Implementation of eco-industrial parks in Vietnam according to the approach from the Global Eco-Industrial Park Program – New opportunities for businesses

On the afternoon of July 15, in Hanoi, an online workshop was held to introduce the project “Implementation of eco-industrial parks in Vietnam according to the approach from the Global Eco-Industrial Park Program”.

This is a project funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in developing and transitioning countries.

The project is aligned with the goals of the Global Eco-Industrial Park Program (GEIPP), demonstrating the feasibility and benefits of eco-industrial approaches in improving resource efficiency and economic efficiency, environment, and society at enterprises, thereby contributing to the sustainable and comprehensive industrial development in Vietnam.

The conference was held online but has attracted many participants from enterprises.

In Vietnam, the project is implemented by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) in collaboration with UNIDO during the period from 2020 to 2023. The main beneficiaries of the project include Amata Industrial Park (Dong Nai), Dinh Vu Industrial Park (Deep C – Hai Phong), Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park (HCMC). In addition, the project continues to support the development of industrial symbiosis (IS) opportunities at the enterprise and industrial levesl that were identified from the previous phase of the project.

To implement the project, Vietnam Cleaner Production Center Co. Ltd (VNCPC – under BK Holdings – Hanoi University of Science and Technology) and Sofies (Switzerland) were selected to implement the component ” Provision of Services to identify resource efficiency and industrial symbiosis interventions, and to provide related training in Deep C (Hai Phong) and Amata (Dong Nai) industrial parks in Vietnam “. The experience in these industrial zones will be a model to replicate and develop the eco-industrial park model all over the country.

What benefits do enterprises get from participating in the project?

According to Ms. Vuong Thi Minh Hieu – Department of Management of Economic Zones (MPI), Deputy Director of the project: In the process of developing industrial zones, environmental impacts cannot be avoided.

Agreeing with the above opinion, Mr. Dinh Manh Thang – a senior expert on efficient use of resources and cleaner production of VNCPC said: According to calculations, it takes 2 piles of earth to meet the needs the current needs of more than 7 billion people. Therefore, the development of eco-industrial parks is an indispensable requirement for economic development to be less dependent on resources, thereby reducing pressure on the environment…

“There are many financial mechanisms for cleaner production and industrial activities from domestic banks such as BIDV, Agribank, Vietcombank, Sacombank, etc. through loans and credit guarantees. In addition, there are financial mechanisms from foreign banks/organizations, and support programs on capacity building and technology implemented by domestic and foreign organizations”, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Tinh – Sen 26 Trading Consulting Co., Ltd. shared.

Mr. Le Xuan Thinh, Director of VNCPC – the consulting unit said: The project will focus on training on resource efficiency and cleaner production (RECP), IS and knowledge about ecological industrial zones; Quick assessment of RECP and guidance to identify wastes in the production process, improvement opportunities to optimize profits, reduce production costs, save raw materials, energy, water…; Evaluating the feasibility and building industrial infrastructure solutions towards the eco-industrial park model; Support access to financial resources to implement IS solutions.

On July 27-28, VNCPC will organize a 2-day training program to improve the capacity of the RECP and IS for enterprises in Deep C Industrial Park (Hai Phong). However, enterprises outside DeepC can still participate in workshops.


“BRIDGE for Cities – Belt and Road Initiative: Developing Green Economies for Cities”

“BRIDGE for Cities – Belt and Road Initiative: Developing Green Economies for Cities” event organized conjointly by UNIDO and the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation. The annual “BRIDGE for Cities” event aims to advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals as well as the New Urban Agenda.

The 2nd “BRIDGE for Cities” event, which was held in September 2017, attracted over 650 participants from over 136 cities located in 67 countries.

Based on the success of the previous events, we are happy to share with you that the 3rd “BRIDGE for Cities” event will take place from 9 to 11 October 2018 at UNIDO Headquarters in Vienna, Austria. The 3rd event will showcase concrete city cases including urban-industrial development challenges and solutions.

Four case cities – Trieste, Shanghai, Vienna and Chengdu – have been identified for the 3rd event to represent, respectively, the ideal-type of “sustainable city”, of “smart city”, of “liveable city” and of “park city”. Each case city will be the focus of a thematic session on the second day of the event and will organize a booth in the exhibition area to showcase successful projects in the urban development domain, both public- and private-driven.

The registration webpage and the event website for the 3rd “BRIDGE for Cities” event are accessible at:


106 poor families received financial support from SUPA – a EU-funded project

The first pilot pangasius batch that was raised and harvested in a model farm under the EU-funded project – “Establishing a Sustainable Pangasius Supply Chain in Vietnam” (SUPA) – was sold to give financial support to 106 poor families in Tan Phu Ward with the approval of the European Union.

This is an unexpected significant achievement of the project after 2 years of construction and 6 months in operation of the model farm. It is located at the study site of Can Tho University to serve research, placement, experiment, and professional training, as well as demonstrate new technologies before applying in pangasius farms and households.

Speaking at the event, Mr Nguyen Van Tam (Chairman) was on behalf of Tan Phu’s People Committee, acknowledged the European Union, SUPA project, and Can Tho University for the contribution, kindness, and humanity to help the poor in the project site, especially on the occasion of upcoming Tet holiday.


The pictures at donated event

Participating in this event were representatives of Tan Phu ward, Can Tho University, and SUPA project. On behalf of Tan Phu ward, Mr. Nguyen Van Tam – Chairman, Mr. Pham Hung Thong – Party committee secretary, and representatives of the organizations and unions of Tan Phu ward participated in the event. Dr. Tran Ngoc Hai and Dr. Nguyen Thanh Long – Vice dean of College of Aquaculture and Fisheries of Can Tho University, Dr. Pham Thanh Liem – Deputy Chairman of Freshwater Aquaculture Department, Dr. Nguyen Van Trieu – Director of Centre of High-tech Aquaculture, were representatives of Can Tho University. Importantly, Mr. Le Xuan Thinh, Deputy director of VNCPC/ Project manager of SUPA and 106 poor households presented.


The speech of Tan Phu’s chairman


Representatives of the poor and beneficial households

To close the event, Tan Phu’s People Committee highlighted contribution of SUPA and Can Tho University by giving a thankful certificate. Hopefully, the project will be successful and generate more meaningful activities for local people in Mekong Delta region.


Can Tho University and SUPA received the certificate from Tan Phu’s People Committee


Representatives from all participated organizations


Source: VNCPC Admin

World’s coal power plants consume enough freshwater to sustain 1 billion people – Greenpeace

The world’s rapidly dwindling freshwater resources could be further depleted if plans for hundreds of new coal power plants worldwide go ahead, threatening severe drought and competition, according to a new Greenpeace International report.


The report is the first global plant-by-plant study of the coal industry’s current and future water demand. The research also identifies the regions that are already in water deficit, where existing and proposed coal plants would speed up the depletion of water resources.

“If all the proposed coal plants would be built the water consumed by coal power plants around the world would almost double. We now know that coal not only pollutes our skies and fuels climate change, it also deprives us of our most precious resources: water,” said Harri Lammi, senior global campaigner on coal at Greenpeace East Asia.

Globally, 8,359 existing coal power plant units already consume enough water to meet the basic water needs of 1 billion people. A quarter of the proposed new coal plants are planned in regions already running a freshwater deficit, where water is used faster than it is naturally replenishing, which Greenpeace calls red-list areas.

The top countries with proposed additional coal plant capacity in red-list areas are China (237 GW), India (52 GW) and Turkey (7 GW).  Almost half of the proposed Chinese coal fleet is in red-list areas. In India and Turkey this figure is 13%.

Coal is one of the most water-intensive methods of generating electricity. According to the International Energy Agency, coal will account for 50% of the growth in global water consumption for power generation over the next 20 years. Greenpeace research shows that if the proposed coal plants come online, their consumption of water will increase by 90%. Given the deepening water crisis in the major coal power bases, it is unbelievable that plans for hundreds of new coal plants are even being considered.

“Governments must recognise that replacing coal with renewable energy will not only help them deliver on their climate agreements, but also deliver huge water savings. It’s more urgent than ever that we move towards a 100% renewable future,” said Iris Cheng, lead author of the Greenpeace International report.

Greenpeace proposes three key policy steps, which, taken together, can turn around the coal industry’s water use:

  • An immediate moratorium on coal expansion in regions with high water stress, and a transition from thirsty coal to energy that uses little or no water, like solar PV and wind.
  • Replacing the planned coal plants in the red-list areas with renewable energy, such as solar PV and wind power, would avoid consumption of 1.8 billion cubic metres of water per year in China, and 1.2 billion cubic meters per year in India.
  • Closing plants that have been operating for 40 years. The US could save a staggering 9 billion cubic meters of water by shutting down its old coal power plants.


The Global Atlas for Renewable Energy

The Global Atlas for Renewable Energy is an initiative coordinated by IRENA, aimed at closing the gap between nations having access to the necessary datasets, expertise and financial support to evaluate their national renewable energy potential, and those countries lacking such elements.


As of January, 2015, 67 countries and more than 50 institutes and partners were contributing to the initiative.

The Global Atlas facilitates a first screening of opportunity where further assessments can be of particular relevance. it enables the user to overlay information listed in a catalog of more than 1,000 datasts, and to identify areas of interest for further prospection. IRENA is continuously adding information to the system.

Currently, the initiative includes maps on solar, wind, geothermal and bioenergy resources along with one marine energy map. The initiative will eventually encompass all renewable energy resources, providing global coverage through the first-ever Global Atlas for Renewable Energy.

The GIS interface enables users to visualize information on renewable energy resources, and to overlay additional information. These include, population density, topography, local infrastructure, land use and protected areas. The aim is to enable users to identify areas of interest for further prospection. The GIS interface will progressively integrate software and tools that will allow advanced energy or economic calculations for assessing the technical and economic potential of renewable energy.

On the GIS interface, users can edit the map and add several other datasets from the catalog. The new map can be saved under the user’s personal profile.

Users of the Global Atlas can also launch the Catalog directly and search collections of descriptive information (metadata) for every dataset listed in the catalog. These include, the title of the dataset, the source, the contact person for the dataset and any information on data quality. The web map service (WMS) for the dataset is also included for use in third party applications.

Selected datasets are also accessible through the Global Atlas pocket. The app allows to seek and search renewable energy resource arround you or for any point on the globe. Available on Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone stores.

Available at

Vietnam rice boom heaping pressure on farmers, environment

Rice farmer Nguyen Hien Thien is so busy growing his crops that he has never even visited Can Tho, a town only a few miles from his farm in the southern Mekong Delta.

“When I was a child, we grew one crop of rice per year — now it’s three. It’s a lot of work,” 60-year-old Thien, who has been farming since he was a child, told AFP on the edge of his small paddy field.

Experts say Vietnam’s drive to become one of the world’s leading rice exporters is pushing farmers in the fertile delta region to the brink, with mounting costs to the environment.

The country is already the world’s second largest exporter of the staple grain. But intensive rice cultivation, particularly the shift to producing three crops per year, is taking its toll on farmers and the ecosystem.

“Politicians want to be the world’s number one or two rice exporter. As a scientist, I want to see more being done to protect farmers and the environment,” said Vietnamese rice expert Vo Tong Xuan.

A major famine in 1945 and food shortages in the post-war years led to the government adopting a “rice first” policy.

This now generates far more of the crop than needed to feed Vietnam’s 90 million population and has catalyzed a thriving export industry.

Workers load paddy onto a boat for a customer at Co Do Agriculture Company in the southern Mekong delta province of Can Tho. Photo:AFP

Rice yields have nearly quadrupled since the 1970s, official figures show, thanks to high-yield strains and the construction of a network of dykes that today allow farmers to grow up to three crops per year.

The amount of land under cultivation in the Mekong Delta has also expanded and quotas are in place to prevent farmers from switching to other crops.

But experts are questioning who really benefits.

According to Xuan, farmers don’t reap the rewards of the three crop system — the rice is low quality and they spend more on pesticides and fertilizers, which become less effective year by year.

Falling quality

He argues the delta would be better off if farmers cultivated a more diverse range of crops, from coconuts to prawns, with just the most suitable land used to grow rice.

The country should consider abandoning the third crop and focus on improving quality and branding to sell Vietnamese rice at higher prices, he said.

Currently, the bulk of Vietnam’s rice is exported at cut-price costs on government-to-government contracts through large state-owned enterprises (SOEs) like the Southern Food Corporation, known as Vinafood 2.

“Over the last five years, the trend is towards lower-quality rice,” admitted Le Huu Trang, deputy office manager at the firm.

Some argue that such SOEs have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo as they earn lucrative kickbacks from the huge contracts.

A farmer throws fertilizer on his family rice field in the southern Mekong delta province of Can Tho. Photo: AFP

But even as salt water intrusion, drought and flooding increase in the delta — to say nothing of agricultural chemical pollution — it is also hard to convince farmers to change.

“The prevailing mindset is to grow three crops… we have to explain two crops is better,” said Nguyen Tuan Hiep from the Co Do Agriculture company.

Over the last 20 years, Co Do — which is state-run but a flagship model of how the industry could evolve — has identified the best rice-growing land in the delta and helped farmers expand their farms.

They now work with 2,500 families on 5,900 hectares (14,600 acres) of land, enough for each family to make a living — typically the average rice farm in the delta spans less than one hectare.

The firm invests heavily in high-quality seeds and improving irrigation, while also advising farmers on the best chemicals to use.

“Two crops is more sustainable long term — the soil is not degraded, the environment isn’t polluted, and value of the rice increases,” Hiep said.

‘Ground zero’

Climate change is another factor threatening the delta, according to the World Bank Group’s vice president and special envoy for climate change Rachel Kyte.

“This is really ground zero for some of the most difficult adaptation, planning challenges that any country in the world has,” she said.

Nguyen Thi Lang walks among new rice varieties she is developing at the Vietnam Rice Research Institute in the southern Mekong delta province of Can Tho. Photo: AFP

Ultimately Vietnam has tough choices to make, including whether to help people transition from a rice-based economy to aquaculture (fish or shellfish farming) or other crops, Kyte added.

The environmental costs of maintaining Vietnam’s current level of rice production are also rising.

The system of dykes, which blocks flood water, are preventing soil nutrients from flowing freely and over time “soil fertility will fade”, said Tran Ngoc Thac, deputy director of Vietnam’s Rice Research Institute.

Scientists there are busy trying to breed new strains of rice that require fewer fertilizers and can survive in extreme weather.

“If farmers don’t change, if we can’t find a suitable new rice strain, pollution will continue and incomes will drop,” Thac said, adding these measures were essential to save the delta.