Vietnam, US to join hands to address environmental, health issues

By Phan Anh   October 6, 2020 | 10:00 pm PT
Vietnam, US to join hands to address environmental, health issues
An elephant tusks batch seized from traffickers in Ivory Coast in January 2018 as it was bound for Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Luc Gnago.
The U.S. has said it will increase cooperation with Vietnam to address issues like global health security, unregulated fishing and wildlife trafficking.

At an online meeting Monday between Acting Assistant Secretary at the U.S.’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Jonathan Moore, Vietnamese Assistant Foreign Minister Nguyen Van Thao and the U.S.’s ambassador to Vietnam, Daniel Kritenbrink, discussed strengthening of bilateral cooperation in environmental, science, health, and technology issues and building on the Mekong-U.S. Partnership Ministerial meeting held on September 11, a press release said.

The U.S. is expanding its engagement with the Mekong region and increasing cooperation with Vietnam to address global health security, illegal and unregulated fishing, combating wildlife trafficking, air quality, science and technology, environmental protection in the South China Sea and transboundary riverine governance.

It agreed that a prosperous and healthy Mekong region is fundamental to ASEAN’s overall prosperity.

Vietnam calls the South China Sea the East Sea.

The U.S. commended Vietnam for its openness to increasing data sharing on a variety of environmental issues, and would continue to support Vietnam's efforts to improve air quality and water management and manage marine debris by sharing satellite and remote sensing data.

Last month the U.S. Department of State had pledged $153.6 million for various projects across the Mekong region related to crime fighting, data sharing and disaster management.

Of this, $55 million would be used to combat cross-border crimes and $1.8 million to enable the Mekong River Commission to share hydrological data for policy planning.

The rest is meant for disaster management projects and facilitating multilateral policy dialogues for development across the region.

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