Land and Resources, Environmental Issues
Deforestation rates, heavy bombing, soil degradation, Groundwater contamination, endangered species
Groundwater contamination has led to inadequate supplies of drinking water in many areas of Vietnam. Only 95 percent (2000) of the urban population has access to safe drinking water. Chemicals sprayed during the Vietnam War caused widespread defoliation in the country’s forests, contributing to soil degradation and water pollution. Coastal water pollution, along with severe overfishing, has greatly endangered the country’s marine life.
Deforestation rates in Vietnam were high in the late 20th century as a result of logging, agriculture, and heavy bombing during times of war. From 1990 to 2000, the country’s deforestation rate was -0.54 percent (1990-2000). Forests cover 30.2 percent (2000) of Vietnam, and only 3.1 percent (1997) of the land is protected in parks and other reserves. Vietnam is party to international treaties concerning climate change, endangered species, hazardous wastes, ship pollution, and wetlands.
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