Environment behind nearly quarter of global deaths: WHO

GENEVA - One in four deaths worldwide are due to environmental factors like air, water and soil pollution, as well as unsafe roads and workplace stress, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday.

An estimated 12.6 million people died in 2012 as a result of living and working in unhealthy environments, 23 percent of all deaths reported globally, according to the new study.

"If countries do not take actions to make environments where people live and work healthy, millions will continue to become ill and die too young," warned WHO chief Margaret Chan in a statement.

Chinese mine firm promises to respect residents

Official Chinese representatives from the Shwe Htun Pauk company have said that they will stop their operations if they face continued opposition from residents.

The company, officially licensed to mine gold and other minerals at the Tanintharyi River near Maw Hta village, held a meeting about water pollution with around 40 residents, Dawei-Myeik representatives of the Karen National Union and regional civil groups.

Environment sector declares 2016 aims

HA NOI (VNS) — The Vietnamese environment sector's main tasks this year include administrative reform, tightened controls on natural resources and more measures to tackle climate change.

This was revealed at a conference on Tuesday to review the 2015 performance of the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry as well as to introduce its working plan for this year.

Urgent need for law to control water pollution

HA NOI (VNS) –– Formulating a specific law to control water pollution in the country's legislative work programme is a necessary task of State agencies and scientists to ensure national sustainable development.

A consensus on this was reached by participants at a workshop on roles of the Viet Nam Union of Science and Technology Association (VUSTA) and social organisations in setting up a water pollution control law, held in Ha Noi today.

Gia Lai suffers from waste pollution

GIA LAI (VNS) — Residents in An Khe Town's Thanh An Commune in the Central Highland province of Gia Lai said they were affected by the stench and waste water from a Gia Lai Livestock Joint Stock Company cow farm.

Nguyen Huu Quang, who lives in Thanh An Commune's Village 3, said the waste water discharged from the farm had flowed into canals and to the Ba River.

The situation worsened when it rained as waste water from the farm spread to rice cultivation areas and fish ponds.

Tay Ninh penalises polluting enterprises

TAY NINH (VNS) — The Natural Resources and Environment Department of Tay Ninh Province penalised 116 enterprises that have been discharging waste into the Vam Co Dong River since 2013.

Those enterprises were fined more than VND12.5 trillion (US$581 million) total.

Nguyen Dinh Xuan, the department's director, said that in order to keep the province's water sources clean, the department asked enterprises to build waste treatment facilities that meet national standards. — VNS

New bill to get tough on ship pollution

An update to the Merchant Shipping Act with clauses to tackle pollution from cargo ships has been sent to the Attorney-General ahead of its formal submission to parliament, says an official from the Ministry of Transport.

The bill proposes “stiff fines” for both water and air pollution and a more developed maritime security framework, according to said U Ye Myint, a director in the ministry’s department for setting laws and technological standards.