Natural Resources and Environment Sector: Ongoing Efforts for People and Businesses

9:13:28 AM | 30/5/2024

While advising and executing many solutions to effectively manage and exploit natural resources and the environment, the natural resources and environment sector of Phu Yen province has also strongly reformed administrative procedures to facilitate people and businesses to access the land fund. Mr. Dang Ngoc Anh, Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Phu Yen province, grants an exclusive interview on this issue to our reporter.               

With its efforts to preserve and protect natural values and the environment, Phu Yen has drawn increasing domestic and foreign tourists. Photo by Huynh Le Vi

The natural resources and environment sector has advised on careful investment selection, resource conservation and environmental impact mitigation. Could you please describe these approaches and the province's policy of “not sacrificing the environment for immediate benefits”?

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment has advised and executed many solutions and activities to effectively protect, manage and control the environment like improving the quality of appraising environmental impact assessment reports and environmental permits to support investors in identifying impacts and having appropriate environmental protection solutions; and reforming communication activities, especially popularizing the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 and new regulations to businesses and people. The department also consulted the Provincial People's Committee to invest in building synchronous waste treatment infrastructure; attract resources to carry out environmental projects to enhance waste management capacity and preserve local biodiversity. With its continuous efforts, Phu Yen has so far attracted many investors and tourists.

The department will continue to consult the Provincial People's Committee to entice potential investors to survey and explore investment opportunities, prioritize large-scale projects using advanced eco-friendly, resource-efficient technologies and waste treatment projects with cutting-edge technologies. Besides, the agency will step up inspections in and instructions for companies to strictly comply with environmental laws; and operate telephone hotlines for environmental feedback, promptly capture information, resolutely handle violations and prevent environmental hotspots. At the same time, it will seriously implement international cooperation programs to attract investors into environmental projects.

Furthermore, the department will advise competent authorities on finding, praising and rewarding organizations, individuals and businesses with effective and practical contributions to the reasonable use of natural resources and environmental protection.

How has the construction of a land database helped improve the effectiveness of land resource management in the province?

Since 2021, the Department has advised the Provincial People's Committee to carry out the land data construction project to integrate planning maps, land prices, land statistical documents, cadastral records and registered land certificates into VBDLIS land database software. To date, the province has integrated data of 695,150 land plots, 171,884 certified land plots, planning documents, land prices and land statistics into the database software, thus helping people and businesses with easier “access to land”.

To help people and businesses to perform administrative procedures, especially land procedures, how has the sector reformed?

Reforming administrative procedures, especially land procedures, has been of special concern. The Department of Natural Resources and Environment currently has 33/96 full-process online administrative procedures, including 26 fully online administrative procedures relating to land licensing.

To increase online submissions, the department has stepped up communications on this matter to people and businesses. Regarding administrative procedures handled at the Provincial Public Administrative Service Center, 100% of online administrative records have been received since July 2023. By October 1, 2023, the department had 74 online administrative procedures available at the Provincial Public Administrative Service Center.

In order to speed up the Phu Yen Provincial Planning for the period 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment has directed district-level authorities to adjust their land use plans to 2030 to ensure compliance with the approved provincial planning. 

For full-process online administrative procedures, the department has so far received over 20,000 administrative records, a positive sign for enhancing the online settlement of procedures. We believe that, with the determination and effort of the entire sector, we will create transformational changes in the habits and awareness of people and businesses about submitting applications online, while improving the quality and service of civil servants in charge of receiving and settling administrative formalities for people and businesses.

Moreover, the department is advising the Provincial People's Committee to promulgate Regulations on the order and time for simultaneous implementation of administrative procedures of land Phu Yen province and coordinated responsibility in land registration and certification. Currently, the completed draft regulations have been put forth for remarks and feedback from relevant agencies and localities and sent to the Department of Justice for appraisal. Accordingly, organizations and individuals can simultaneously carry out two administrative procedures in one submitted application, thus reducing time and traveling costs.

What is your opinion about the province's Land Access index in recent years? How will the natural resources and environment sector strive to raise the score and ranking of this index to help increase the overall PCI Index in the coming years?

In recent years, the province's Land Access Index has tended to look up but yet to enter the high-ranking group. To elevate the ranking of this index, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment has been focusing on carrying out many consistent tasks and solutions.

First of all, the department will continue to review and perfect mechanisms and policies and improve procedures and processes of resolving land-related administrative procedures. At the same time, the department will enhance land planning and execution efficiency; announce land plans, land-use planning, land prices and land repurposing procedures in a public and transparent manner; prepare a clean land fund for desirable investment projects; create the most favorable conditions for granting land use rights certificates to qualified organizations, businesses and investors.

The department will also accelerate strong information technology application to launch online public services; enhance electronic connectivity to exchange land data information between land registration agencies and tax agencies.

In addition, the department will continue to speed up annual administrative procedure reform plans. It will propose additional human resources; pay heed to training and fostering public employees in appropriate and effective forms; invest in facilities like computer systems, promptly resolve difficulties and problems arising from the operation of public administration information portal software and land database software and provide direct support and instruction for people to submit online applications.

Last but not least, the department will intensify inspection, examination, evaluation, monitoring and oversight of administrative reforms and control of administrative procedures; strictly handle individuals, agencies and units inhibiting businesses, organizations and citizens from performing administrative procedures; effectively implement single-window mechanisms and promote the delivery of full-process online public services.

Thank you so much!

By Tran Trang, Vietnam Business Forum