Fish Kill Ignites Environmental Movement in Vietnam

It was carpeted by bombs and drenched with millions of gallons of chemical defoliant Agent Orange during decades of war.

And in the years since, its Central Highlands have been polluted by runoff from bauxite mines, and its old growth forests decimated to make way for new hydropower dams.

Which is to say, Vietnam’s environment has endured more than most in modern times. 

So it was not a big surprise last year when tons of dead fish washed up on its shores, polluted by wastewater runoff from a steel plant.

What was a surprise was the response: Vietnam’s growing middle class, fueled by social media, took to the streets demanding government action.  And that demand has not abated.

vietnam map

Bloomberg BNA’s Vietnam correspondent, Lien Hoang, has an in-depth look at the birth of that country’s environmental movement in the story Vietnam’s Environmental Movement Arises From Fish Kill.