Vietnam worse than many in environmental performance

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Vietnam's environmental performance has been ranked 85th out of 163 countries by a World Bank report, which argues that many natural resources are under threat in the developing nation. 

With 59 points scored on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), Vietnam is considered doing well in planting forests, water and pesticide use for agriculture.

But it has carried out ineffective environmental measures concerning aquaculture, climate change and air pollution, the report said.

Rapid increase of population, urbanization and industrialization were blamed for affecting the natural environment.

Such trends have caused severe pollution in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and their vicinities, especially water pollution caused mostly by the garment and food industries.

Heavy pressure from economic development has been put on various natural resources including arable land, natural forests, aquatic products and minerals, the loss of which are threatening the country's biodiversity.

The report suggested Vietnam use natural resources effectively for economic growth, and let the community participate in protecting the resources.

In the region, Vietnam was ranked below Thailand, Laos, the Philippines, and above China, Indonesia and Mongolia.

There have been three EPI reports before this, first in 2006, then 2008 and 2010.

In the 2010 scorecard, the top five countries were Iceland, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Sweden, and Norway.

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