Environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment have been stipulated in Vietnam’s Law on Environmental Protection (72/2020/QH14) and they are necessary tools in environmental management and sustainable development. However, such assessments still have limitations due to environmental losses and social consequences in the future are not fully assessed. The main reason is that stakeholders involved in development strategies, plans and projects have not been assessed in terms of cumulative impacts. Assessments in environmental reports only focus on each specific objects, leading to the quantification of impacts and the recommendation of mitigation measures are not detailed and do not take into account cumulative effects. As a result, many large investment projects have low economic efficiency, and extremely impact on the environment and society. This article provides an overview of cumulative effects assessments in the world and then proposes lessons learned for Vietnam in environmental assessment.
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