Việt Nam joins the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility

Flooding in downtown Hà Nội after a torrential downpour in August 2021. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Việt

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Finance, acting under Government authority, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to become the eighth member of the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF).

The facility is a regional platform for countries in ASEAN, and China, Japan and Korea (ASEAN+3) to work together to strengthen financial resilience against climate and disaster risks in the region.

By joining SEADRIF, Việt Nam will have access to regional and international technical and financial solutions to increase financial protection for the country and its population in the face of disaster and climate shocks.

Nguyễn Đức Chí, Vice Minister of Finance of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam and representative of Việt Nam in the SEADRIF Council of Members, said: “The Government of Việt Nam recognised the growing challenge from disaster and climate risks on the country’s socio-economic development.

“Strengthening financial preparedness for disaster response and recovery has been among the Government’s priorities in safeguarding the country’s development gains and the well-being of our people.

“Participating in regional and international cooperation mechanisms such as SEADRIF will help Việt Nam strengthen its capacity and ability to respond to disaster impacts with new financial instruments.

“At the same time, Việt Nam will play its role as an active and responsible member, together with ASEAN+3 members and development partners, in joint efforts to respond to global and regional disaster risks.”

SEADRIF, the first of its kind in Asia, was established in December 2018 with support from the World Bank and endorsement by the ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.

As a SEADRIF member, Việt Nam will be able to jointly design and develop, together with other countries, products and services that address the country’s challenge in disaster risk financing.

Masato Kanda, Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, Japan Ministry of Finance, as the Co-Chair of the SEADRIF Council of Members, said: “We welcome the addition of Việt Nam as the eighth member of SEADRIF at a critical time when all SEADRIF member countries are stepping up financial preparedness measures to manage the impact of increasing climate and disaster risks.

“We look forward to working closely with Việt Nam as it responds to these risks by utilising the suite of services and products provided by SEADRIF and plays its part in building a more resilient ASEAN region.”

SEADRIF allows member countries to receive technical support in the areas of protection of government budget, financial protection of public assets, risk modelling and risk management, local insurance markets development, technology, and financial product innovation.

Việt Nam can also leverage SEADRIF to access international financial markets with greater economy of scale thanks to risk pooling with other member countries and potential financial support from development partners.

Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director for Việt Nam, added: “The World Bank, together with development partners, has been providing technical, financial and convening support to Việt Nam to build the country’s capacity to manage the impacts of climate and disaster shocks.

“Việt Nam’s accession into SEADRIF is an important step to improve the country’s fiscal and financial resilience against disaster and climate risk, which is becoming more important than ever as the country is heading towards a post-COVID-19 green and resilient recovery.”

With a coastline of more than 3,200km, Việt Nam is vulnerable to multiple natural hazards, most notably tropical cyclones, floods, droughts.

These disasters have caused significant damage to communities and disrupted critical operations of the economy. The Government of Việt Nam has put in place a range of financial mechanisms for disaster response and recovery including budgetary, non-budgetary and market-based instruments.

However, Việt Nam needs more effective tools, especially financial ones in order to cope with the increasing impacts of climate change.

Source: vietnamnews.vn

HCMC restricts single-use plastic in government offices

The HCMC administration has asked government employees to limit the use of bottled water, plastic bags and straws in the workplace.

Joining the national 2019-2021 anti-plastic waste campaign, government offices and agencies in Ho Chi Minh City are required, starting August 1, not to use bottled water, including for conferences. Instead they should use bottles of more than 20 liters that are easier to reuse.

Disposable plastic bags and one-time wipes are discouraged.

Schools and medical centers in the city have also been asked not to use plastic cups and straws or single-use plastic products in all daily activities.

From 2020, the municipal Department of Finance will not allocate funds to government agencies for buying disposable plastic products.

The government of HCMC, home to 13 million people including migrants, has also set a target for zero disposable plastic use in urban supermarkets, commercial centers, convenience stores, bookstores by the end of 2021.

Traders at traditional markets in the city are also encouraged to reduce the use of plastic bags to pack goods for customers while convenience stores and food shops are asked to have discount policies for customers carrying environmentally-friendly products on their own to pack food, drinks and goods.

The city will include the burgeoning anti-plastic waste problem into school curricula to spread awareness and sound the alarm. Students will be taught how to sort waste at source.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said last month that Vietnam should strive for zero disposable plastic use in urban stores, markets and supermarkets by 2021 and for no plastic products to be used in the entire country by 2025.

Earlier, the HCMC Open University and the Medicine and Pharmacy University had announced to stop using single-use water bottles and plastic straw.

Starting August 1, Fahasa, Vietnam’s biggest bookstore chain, will use a paper band to wrap books purchased from their shops for customers who bring their own bag.

Bui Trong Hieu, chairman of the HCMC Urban Environment Company Limited, said that of the 8,700 tons of trash discarded in the city daily, plastic accounts for 1,800 tons but a mere 200 tons, or 11 percent, is The recent moves by different actors come in the wake of reports that Vietnamese produce a staggering amount of plastic waste: around 2,500 tons of a day.

Vietnam has been ranked the fourth biggest polluter of oceans in the world by U.S. based non-profit environmental organization Ocean Conservancy.

Source: vnexpress

Condensable Particulate Matter: Understanding Stack Test Results

Condensable Particulate Matter emission limits have been on the rise in multiple states and are affecting many industries. EPA Method 202 was written to quantify particulates that condense at ambient conditions and has been revised numerous times to reduce interference and increase effectiveness. Even still, ESS is regularly contacted by facilities across the country who struggle to produce accurate condensable results.

There are several things facilities should watch out for if they receive unexpected results. In this series ESS will look at condensable particulate matter stack test practices in depth. While increasing the number of blank analyses can be costly, it is important to understand the importance of each blank in determining accurate condensable particulate matter.

  • Field Train Recovery Blanks: The intent of field train recovery blanks is to measure the lowest achievable mass contribution background resulting from the entire Method 202 sampling and analysis process. Is the value less than 2.0 mg? If yes, then that means there was minimal contamination from contributors such as field reagents, sampling train carry-over, sample recovery and analysis. If no, then further analyses must be conducted.
  • Field Train Proof Blanks: The intent of field train proof blanks is to measure the lowest achievable mass contribution background resulting from the entire Method 202 sampling and analysis process. This blank is regularly archived and analyzed if the recovery blank value exceeds 2.0 mg. The proof blank should always be conducted if it is not possible to bake all glassware associated with the sampling train. If the proof blank exceeds 2.0 mg catch weight, then carry-over contamination has occurred or field reagents are contaminated.
  • Field Reagent Blanks: Field reagent blanks differ from laboratory reagent blanks since they are collected in the field from the wash bottle used onsite. The field reagent blank should be no greater than 0.1mg heavier than the laboratory reagent blank. The field reagent blank quantifies the amount of residual mass contributed to the sample from the reagents, the wash bottles, and that these mass contributions were maintained at a low level during testing.

Look for our next Condensable Particulate Matter overview to understand the next steps to understanding your EPA Method 202 stack test results. Contact us at  to get a quote.