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Cablegate: U.S. Engagement Stimulates Other Donors to Increase Agent

VZCZCXRO8418
RR RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #2009 3330258
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 290258Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6790
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 3994
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 6070
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP/ISA/AP/ES//
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI//J00/J005/J006/J01LA/J06/J5//
RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS HANOI 002009

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, EAP/EP, EAP/RSP, EAP/PD, OES/PCI
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR ANE, G/ENV
STATE PASS TO EPA/OIA (DENNIS CUNNINGHAM AND MARK KASMAN)
STATE PASS TO EPA/ORD (KEVIN TEICHMAN)
HHS/OSSI/DSI PASS TO OGHA (WSTIEGER/LVALDEZ/CHICKEY), NIH: FIC
(RGLASS) AND NIEHS
CDC FOR OGHA (BLOUT/MCCALL), NCEH (THOMAS SINKS/MSWEENEY)
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (TSHUBERT AND WVAN HOUTEN)
BANGKOK PASS TO RDM/A

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL SENV TBIO KPAO VM
SUBJECT: U.S. ENGAGEMENT STIMULATES OTHER DONORS TO INCREASE AGENT
ORANGE/DIOXIN ACTIVITIES


1. (SBU) Koos Neefjes, Senior Sustainable Development Advisor for
the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), recently informed
ESTHOff and HHS Attache that U.S. engagement on Agent Orange/dioxin
issues in Vietnam had spurred other donors to increase funding and
involvement in this area. In particular, the Global Environmental
Facility (GEF) relied upon the recent announcement of the USD 3
million in FY-2007 Economic Support Funds for its decision to raise
the limit of potential support to the Government of Vietnam's (GVN)
dioxin remediation efforts to USD 5 million from an earlier estimate
of USD 2 million provided in April 2007. Neefjes reported that he
had seen the GEF decision documents that specifically referenced the
United States Government's political commitment and financial
support of USD 3 million as justification for greater potential GEF
involvement.

2. (SBU) Neefjes noted UNDP's continued efforts and its desire to
work with the United States to coordinate projects, especially those
funded through the recent ESF appropriation. Already, UNDP/Vietnam
has spent USD 350,000 of "core funding" to support Office 33 in the
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), the Ministry
of Defense and local authorities on a project entitled "Capacity
Building and Completion of the Overall National Plan for
Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contaminated Hotspots in Viet
Nam." The one-year project, begun in July 2007 and expected to
finish in June 2008, will strengthen the GVN's capacity for
planning, assessment, and remediation of dioxin-contaminated
hotspots such as those in Danang, Bien Hoa and Phu Cat. UNDP
expects the project will produce a comprehensive data set, including
crucial GVN data and possible additional hotspot samples, further
environmental assessments conducted by Hatfield Associates (a
Vancouver-based consultancy) in the Bien Hoa and Phu Cat hotspots, a
more complete remediation cost determination based on most
appropriate and cost-efficient technologies, and the development of
a trust fund to attract international donors to support the GVN's
national dioxin remediation program.

3. (SBU) Neefjes also corrected an erroneous press report that had
indicated UNDP was set to initiate a USD 75 million project to
eradicate dioxin contamination in hotspots throughout Vietnam.
Neefjes clarified that UNDP had contracted with a New Zealand
remediation technology expert to review possible remediation
solutions pursuant to its existing program. A press release from
the University of Auckland, where the expert teaches, had provided
incorrect information that made its way into the New Zealand media.


MICHALAK

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