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Nov 10, 2022 / 21:10

Hanoi finds solutions to preserve the city's green lungs

It becomes more necessary for Hanoi to keep trees amid rapid urbanization.

Hanoi’s relevant authorities need to urgently find solutions to keep the city's trees, which are considered green lungs, said Prof. Dr. Hoang Xuan Co.

Hoang Xuan Co, a scientist with many years of experience in environmental research, and former director of the Environmental Modeling and Monitoring Research Center at Vietnam National University, Hanoi, said that trees play a vital role in the environment and people's health, especially in crowded urban areas like Hanoi.

"However, some said that ensuring infrastructure, protection, and development of the land fund for trees has not received due attention, and this needs to be thoroughly resolved," he told The Hanoi Times.  

According to the Hanoi Construction Department, there are more than 1.7 million trees in the city, which have helped maintain ecological balance, and reduce noise, dust, and the greenhouse effect. In addition, the trees have provided green space and a new environment for residents.

Cau Giay Park with green space. Photo: Pham Hung/ The Hanoi Times

Given rapid urbanization, the road network has expanded, and the land for green trees has been reduced as a consequence. Aware of the loss of vegetation, citizens have enthusiastically undertaken tree planting and greening activities in the city.

However, due to poor planning, tree planting in public places in Hanoi remains spontaneous. On the other hand, the balance between economic development and environmental protection has not been adequately addressed. Although many industrial clusters and residential areas have been built, many housing developers overlook reserving land for trees and flower gardens.

Greening targets need to be achieved

Speaking to The Hanoi Times, Professor Dr. Hoang Xuan Co said that the relevant authorities in Hanoi should make an accurate calculation of the ratio of trees per person and determine the core and periphery for planning, as well as supplement and update the regulations, standards and technical norms to ensure the development of green parks to meet planning.

"The population density and area of Hanoi districts are different, especially the four central districts of Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, Hai Ba Trung, and Dong Da. It is necessary to make a precise calculation to avoid having an excess of trees in one district and a shortage in another," said Professor Dr. Hoang Xuan Co.

Also, when it comes to repairing, renovating, and upgrading urban roads and technical infrastructure works, the Hanoi government should prioritize the investor with an optimal plan that avoids cutting down trees on sidewalks and other public areas.

"Municipalities must inspect promptly and deal with acts affecting green park planning. They must propose mechanisms and policies to attract investments in developing green parks in urban areas. Creating more economic resources is also a feasible option, helping to replace old and stunted trees that do not meet aesthetic requirements," added Co.

According to Lawyer Diep Nang Binh, Head of Tinh Thong Law Office, the responsibility to protect the trees of each individual has been enhanced in the city's draft regulation on urban tree management.

“Specifically, the unit assigned to manage the tree system will have to closely coordinate with local authorities and functional agencies to protect and promptly handle illegal activities,” Binh said.

"To achieve greater efficiency in Hanoi City's development goals, enterprises and individuals who intentionally change the purpose of land use and public tree projects should be strictly penalized according to law. At the same time, local leaders where violations occur should also be held accountable," lawyer Diep Nang Binh told The Hanoi Times.