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Models of green growth city and sustainable development index


   Within the high level officials meeting of the Asia - Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2017, which was recently organized in Hà Nội, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn and Vice Minister of Construction Phan Thị Mỹ Linh co-chaired the APEC 2017 Dialogue on sustainable urbanization. The forum focused on discussing important issues of the sustainable urbanization in order to propose policy recommendations on “cities become safer, firmer and more sustainable”.

Group picture at the Việt Nam APEC Dialogue 2017

   The dialogue was attended by the Chairman of the second Senior Officials Meeting APEC 2017 (SOM2), representatives of APEC economies, senior officials of the Government, urban areas in APEC, international organisations, non-governmental organizations, enterprises and representatives of ministries, sectors, localities, associations, universities and research institutes in Việt Nam...

   APEC is the leading economic cooperation in the region, with the objective to promote sustainable economic growth and prosperity in Asia - Pacific. As an important economy in the South-East Asia and Asia, the urban sustainable development in Việt Nam is a key task of new, nice and modern urban areas, at the same time to meet the increasingly demands of local people. During the urban development process, the Government of Việt Nam is aware that the sustainable development of urban areas requests comprehensive planning and implementation by leaders, provincial/city authority, policy makers, investors…

   The dialogue had been paid attention by experts, academia, representatives of APEC members as well as domestic and international development partners with more than 20 presentations on the status of urban areas in Việt Nam, Việt Nam new urban area development strategy, 2035 Việt Nam report - management of urbanization to enhance economic efficiency… Particularly, during the meeting, the national representative of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) - Ms. Lê Thị Mỹ Hạnh had a presentation on green growth city model with indicators on sustainable development which were formulated by GGGI based on international experience linked with the national strategy on green growth and the Việt Nam green growth action plan.

   GGGI is an intergovernmental organization which was established to support and promote the new economic growth models - “green growth” focusing on key targets of economic development such as poverty reduction, job creation, social integration and sustainable environment. Currently GGGI has 27 member countries; Việt Nam is a founding member and ratified the agreement since 2012. GGGI currently cooperates with many countries in the world, supports capacity building and collaborates on green growth policies which influence millions of people. The organization also cooperates with countries, multilateral institutions, governmental agencies and the private sector in order to support economies to growth faster, to use natural resources more effective and sustainable, to use less carbon and to better respond to climate change.

   Currently, challenges in green urban development as well as infrastructure in renewable energy, transportation, wastewater treatment are still not addressed, which consists of high possibility of energy emission and lack of monitoring and evaluation. Despite challenges, green urban development will bring many opportunities such as green jobs, sustainable economic development and enhanced preparedness of the Government of Việt Nam, from central level to local levels in accessing financial resources to cope with climate change.

   Consequently, GGGI proposed green growth city model based on green urban development guideline, including green growth urban indicators which support the Government as well as cities/provinces to measure and manage the progress of integration of green concepts, actions and initiatives in spatial management and planning for urban areas and cities in the urban classification system of Việt Nam. Four key thematic groups are specified in sub-groups and indicators: environmental sustainability, economic development, social integration, institutional compliance. “The difference of the green growth urban indicator set is because it is developed based on international experience but is always considered to be appropriate with the urban development context of Việt Nam, and it is comprehensive, focusing the sustainability of many aspects: environment, economics, social integration and institutional possibility”, Ms. Hạnh said.

National representative of GGGI presenting green growth urban model, 
Ms. Lê Thị Mỹ Hạnh 

   Green growth urban indicator is developed based on the context of green growth strategy and the vision and objectives of the strategy, at the same time the appropriateness of these indicators is reviewed in the specific context of Việt Nam. The green urban indicator is also developed based on international and regional experience, including: green urban programme indicator by OECD; green urban indicator by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU); European sustainable city reference framework: Global urban indicator framework and global sustainable city development developed by the Urban issue committee of the White House.

   Within the dialogue, Leaders of the Ministry of Construction together with representatives from domestic and international development organisations exchanged information and experience in urban planning, urban development management and establishment of linkage and cooperating network. Accordingly, almost all leaders and participants stressed the importance of experience sharing in sustainable urbanization among cities, experts in APEC and enhancing the cooperation network among APEC economies regards to economic and environmental sustainability for a joint future.

GGGI commits to bring forward green economy, creating social integration, poverty reduction and sustainable environment. GGGI cooperates closely with the governments of developing countries to ensure that growth not only protects but also promotes environmental protection, which is focusing on policies and initiatives that support clean energy, wastewater management and financial mobilization for green growth projects.

Countries that GGGI cooperates are those that are vulnerable to impacts of climate change, facing with natural disasters, affected by sea level rise. In addition, the rapid growth will make these countries to increase greenhouse gas emissions.

GGGI has a cooperation programme with the Government of Việt Nam since 2011, through the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Construction, that focus on finance, urban, energy and water in order to promote green growth initiatives.

GGGI has been cooperating with the Ministry of Planning and Investment in preparing the investment guideline for green growth, training the guideline for more than 100 staff of 7 ministries and 31 provinces/cities nationwide; enhancing the coordination in the implementation of the Việt Nam Green growth strategy and proposing recommendations on policies to integrate green growth in loans of the small and medium size enterprise development Fund. GGGI together with the Ministry of Planning and Investment has formulated the five year cooperation plan to 2020.

At the same time, GGGI has been cooperating with the Ministry of Construction and localities in implementing the Green growth strategy, of which including Đà Nẵng City; developing green growth urban indicator set to monitor green growth projects in cities, enhancing staff capacity on green growth city. GGGI is also cooperating with the Ministry of Construction to formulate the National strategy on green urban development linked with objectives of the National Determined Contributions (NDC) and the Việt Nam Green Growth Strategy (VGGS) and creating conditions for green growth projects to attract investments.

GGGI is cooperating with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, localities and GIZ to formulate the Provincial action plan on biomass energy; financial access support for projects that can mobilise budget on biomass energy and development of pre-feasibility report for biomass energy projects in the sugarcane industry.

GGGI has cooperated with the Việt Nam Mekong River Committee to publish “Green growth in the Mekong Delta” aiming to introduce green growth to vulnerable strategic economic delta as well as recommendations on wastewater treatment in the Mekong delta.

Nguyễn Thanh Hằng 
Tạ Thị Thanh Hương

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