Can ‘Citizen Science’ Save Vietnam’s Environment From Unchecked Economic Growth?

Vietnamese activists protest to urge Formosa Plastics Corporation to take responsibilitiy for an environmental clean-up in Vietnam, Taipei, Taiwan, Aug. 10, 2016 (AP photo by Chiang Ying-ying).
Vietnamese activists protest to urge Formosa Plastics Corporation to take responsibilitiy for an environmental clean-up in Vietnam, Taipei, Taiwan, Aug. 10, 2016 (AP photo by Chiang Ying-ying).

In early April 2016, fishermen in Vietnam began noticing something alarming: Dead fish were washing up on the shores of several provinces. Days turned into weeks, and the dead tuna and mackerel kept coming, joined by clams and even one whale. It turned out to be the largest environmental disaster in Vietnam’s history. Fishermen lost their livelihoods, and some people fell ill after eating fish that had apparently been poisoned. But at first the government kept quiet about the cause of the mass fish kill. Authorities limited coverage of it on state media and arrested hundreds of people who participated […]

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