Training Needs Assessment Report (TNA): Towards Microplastic Monitoring and Evidence-Based Policy Measures in Vietnam

Discussion Paper
TNA Vietnam

The report assesses the current status of microplastic monitoring facilities available in Vietnam. Concern over microplastic pollution in the environment is growing worldwide. The body of related global research continues to rise, along with the diversity in methodologies, results and equipment. Building a picture of the state of facilities and research capacities, as well as differences in analysis protocols is important, especially for developing countries, where the extent of research on microplastic pollution is much less compared to developed countries. This study, therefore, aims to assess the training and facilities needs for microplastic research in Vietnam. A questionnaire was designed to clarify the overall state of knowledge concerning the study of microplastic pollution carried out at universities, institutes and private companies in Vietnam. After four months of online surveys, the collected data on the analysis of microplastics in water/wastewater, sediment, biota, and sludge, availability of equipment, and human resources from different organizations were synthesized. As a result, it was found that researching microplastics in Vietnam is not very popular, and mainly takes place in leading institutes and universities in big cities. However, these organizations utilized different protocols in sampling, digestion, observation and chemical composition tests, followed by the publishing of non-comparative data. Moreover, the ability to publish research results in peer-reviewed international and national journals was limited. In the future, standardizing and specifying microplastic sampling, extraction and identification methods for each environmental compartment would help expand the scope of comparative studies in Vietnam. Further, investment in facilities and training on microplastic research to propose consistent protocols for microplastic sampling and analysis to strengthen Vietnamese institutes, laboratories, and universities also need to be considered.

Thuy Chung
Tran Nguyen Sang