09:55 | 17/12/2015 Industry
(VEN) - Developing ecological industrial zones (eco-IZs) is a new model of economic development and environmental protection, helping promote sustainable growth of businesses, localities, and nations. Vietnam is pursuing sustainable development goals, so it needs to embrace the development of this model.
The Tra Noc IZ has been selected to be developed as a sustainable IZ
In developed countries, eco-IZs are places where businesses cooperate with each other to achieve effectiveness in production, trade, and environmental protection through effective use of energy, water, and material resources, reducing waste emissions, and recycling waste for reuse.
A recent workshop held by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Support Center 2 (SMEDEC 2) in association with the Taiwan Green Productivity Foundation (TGPF) in Ho Chi Minh City showed the positive impact of eco-IZs. According to Liao Yi-Fan from the TGPF, the conversion of IZs into eco-IZs will bring considerable economic benefits and help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Professor Fan Chien Te from the National Tsinghua University in Chinese Taipei believed Vietnam could develop environmentally-friendly low-carbon industries instead of promoting industrial development in a traditional manner. However, developing eco-IZs is very costly, so Vietnam needs international financial aid to do this.
Vietnam is pursuing sustainable development goals, so it needs to develop eco-IZs. SMEDEC 2 Director Pham Le Cuong said developing eco-IZs was an ideal model of industrial development, focusing on environmental protection. In the process of boosting international integration and coping with climate change, Vietnam should invest in this model, especially Ho Chi Minh City which is pursuing the goal of becoming a liveable city according to a recent resolution of the municipal party committee.
In 2012, the Ministry of Planning and Investment coordinated with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to prepare a project promoting the implementation of an eco-industrial park initiative for sustainable IZs in Vietnam. In August 2014, the project was approved by the prime minister. With grants totaling over US$4.5 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the project will be developed in the near future.
The existing poor condition of infrastructure in IZs and a lack of suitable policies and mechanisms in Vietnam are hindering the development of eco-IZs in the country. Tran Minh Tri, former Director of the Vietnam Institute for Tropical Technology and Environmental Protection, said eco-IZ was still a new concept in Vietnam, and there is almost no regulation or legal documents referring to the development of eco-IZs.
Therefore, the government as well as businesses needs to be persistent. Along with intensifying communications, it is necessary to work out detailed plans for turning existing IZs into eco-IZs. Special attention needs to be paid to seeking access to sources of finance for eco-IZ development.