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Vietnam does not trade environmental health for economic growth: PM
By Nhan Tam
Wednesday,  Jun 27, 2018,18:08 (GMT+7)

Vietnam does not trade environmental health for economic growth: PM

By Nhan Tam

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the opening session of the Sixth Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF-6) Council in the central coastal city of Danang on June 27 – PHOTO: NHAN TAM

DANANG – Vietnam is determined not to pursue economic growth at the expense of the environment, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the opening session of the Sixth Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF-6) Council in the central coastal city of Danang on June 27.

The Government leader said that the country is striving to implement the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations by 2030 and commitments made at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Despite facing difficulties and limited resources, the Government is determined to incorporate environmental protection and climate change response activities into the country’s socioeconomic development plan, the PM told the conference.

PM Phuc floated three suggestions during his speech. First, major environmental challenges should be identified to formulate priority policies for resolving these issues in a comprehensive and effective manner.

Second, GEF-6 should assess the effectiveness of its current support and cooperation mechanisms, and then make breakthrough improvements in them, particularly in the process of resource mobilization and allocation.

According to the PM, this move would support its member countries, especially those facing major challenges due to environmental degradation and pollution and climate change effects.

Third, GEF-6 should propose integrated projects of a global, interregional and intersectoral nature aimed at tackling the underlying causes of pollution, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change.

In addition, the agency should set up key projects to solve urgent issues such as plastic waste in general and plastic pollution in the world’s oceans in particular, he added.

Earlier, on June 26, Vietnamese Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha and CEO and Chairwoman of GEF Naoko Ishii co-chaired an environmental conference.

Minister Ha noted that GEF had provided Vietnam with a total of over US$400 million to execute 107 regional and national projects in the environment sector over the past 25 years. The majority of these projects focus on biodiversity conservation, climate change, desertification, chemicals and waste.

Danang City and Vietnam as a whole have achieved success, according to Naoko Ishii. However, Vietnam and other countries have been suffering the consequences of environmental problems such as forest degradation, polluted water resources and ocean waste.

At the conference, Ishii expected delegates to share their thoughts on developing a sustainable economy and seek solutions to create a diverse ecology that acts as a driving force for economic growth.

She stressed this is not only a major challenge but also a great opportunity and a catalyst for Vietnam’s growth in the coming years.

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