Vietnam: River bed sand and gravel mining operations are prohibited at unstable river bank areas at risk of erosion

On February 24, 2020, the Government of Vietnam issued Decree No. 23/2020/NĐ-CP on management of river bed sand and gravel and protection of river beds, banks and terraces.

According to Decree No. 23/2020/NĐ-CP of Vietnam’s Government, areas where river bed sand and gravel mining operations are prohibited or temporarily prohibited shall be determined in accordance with regulations set forth in Article 28 of the Mineral Law of Vietnam; regulations of law on irrigation, dikes and inland transport waterway, other relevant regulations of law and regulations set forth in Clauses 2 and 3 Article 13 of this Decree.

Cấm hoạt động khai thác cát, sỏi lòng sông tại khu vực có nguy cơ sạt, lở

Specifically, according to the topographic and geological features, river bed morphology, flow regime and changes of river beds, banks and terraces, the following areas shall be classified as ones where river bed sand and gravel mining operations are prohibited:

a) Areas that are experiencing erosion;

b) Areas that have experienced erosion and continue to face the risk of erosion;

c) Unstable river bank areas at risk of erosion;

d) Other areas playing an important role in ensuring river bank stability and safety; areas with works serving national defense and security purposes, urban areas, populated areas, areas with dikes, irrigation works, traffic works, water supply and drainage works, monitoring works and other infrastructural constructions where the sand and gravel mining may increase the risk of river bank instability shall be decided by the provincial People’s Committee.

Moreover, Vietnam’s Government also classifies areas where river bed sand and gravel mining operations are temporarily prohibited:

- Areas adjacent to the areas specified in Clause 2 of this Article where the sand and gravel mining may increase the risk of erosion;

- Other areas decided by the provincial People’s Committee to satisfy requirements for river bank erosion prevention and control.

The provincial People’s Committee shall, according to these regulations, determine areas where river bed sand and gravel mining operations are prohibited or temporarily prohibited within its province and seek opinions of authorities in accordance with regulations of law on minerals and of relevant river basin committee (if any) and send a list of areas where river bed sand and gravel mining operations are prohibited or temporarily prohibited enclosed with the opinions to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, which will submit a complete list to the Prime Minister for approval.

Note: The review or adjustment of areas where river bed sand and gravel mining operations are prohibited or temporarily prohibited shall be carried out every 05 years or upon change of any of the areas. In urgent cases in which dike safety, safety and property of the people are threatened, the provincial People’s Committee shall consider deciding to suspend sand and gravel mining and determine areas and request the Prime Minister to decide additions to the list of areas where river bed sand and gravel mining operations are prohibited or temporarily prohibited.

View details at Decree No. 23/2020/NĐ-CP of Vietnam’s Government, effective from April 10, 2020.

Thu Ba

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