The Lao Government has properly managed chemical use in the agriculture and industry sectors in accordance with the law, however there are challenges in ASEAN member countries, a senior official has said.
The statement was made by Director General of the Pollution Control Department Khamphanh Nanthavong at the 2nd Meeting of ASEAN Working Group on Chemicals and Waste (AWGCW) in Vientiane capital on June 7.
Mr Khamphanh said that chemical management in the agriculture and industry sectors and other sectors, and hazardous waste management lacks proper waste treatment systems and disposal facilities.
Municipal solid waste management collection service is the responsibility of the local government, and other polluting sectors pay by principle. This is managed with the money collected from service users except for the cleaning of public areas.
Consequently, at the moment, only people who live in the urban areas receive waste collection service. People living in non-collection areas generally conduct waste reduction and recycling within their compounds and dispose of remaining limited waste by themselves.
The Government of Lao PDR has a policy for chemical and waste management for the control of the import of chemicals and waste based on the Environmental Protection Law.
Laos also has a slogan to encourage cities to be Clean, Green and Beautiful Laos, so as to become environmentally sustainable without compromising the quality of life of the next generation, Mr Khamphanh said.
Hence, in order to promote environmentally sustainable cities, the government conducted a Pilot Program from 2011-2015 for Narrowing the Development Gap towards ASEAN Environmental Integration in Cooperation with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and ASEAN.
Currently, socio-economic development is experiencing rapid growth, the population is rising, there are more consumers, and this is compounded by chemical use to increase production. This contributes to an increase in the volume of waste and pollution is becoming a critical issue, Mr Khamphanh said, expressing his concern over the problem.
As this is a serious issue, Minister Khamphanh, representing the Lao PDR called for participants to have good policies, human resource development and proper practices on chemical and waste management so as to address the issue of chemical and waste management together with the ASEAN member countries.
Source: Lao News Agency