The event is a part of JICA’s technical cooperation project for “Green Growth Promotion in Ha Long Bay Area, Quang Ninh Province.”
The project has been underway for three years from November 2016 and is managed by JICA and the Quang Ninh Department of Planning and Investment (DPI). It aims to support Quang Ninh Province in its transition from a brown to a green economy through the promotion of ecotourism and adoption of environmentally sustainable policies in key sectors such as industry and agriculture.
The project was designed based on lessons learned and experiences gained under the Lake Biwa model from Shiga Prefecture in Japan. Lake Biwa is the largest freshwater lake in Japan. In the early 70s, to address environmental challenges including the deterioration of water quality, a comprehensive program was established to both preserve the water environment and develop the regional economy through the collaboration of industry, government, academia and citizens.
At the final seminar, Quang Ninh DPI presented the achievements of the projects and shared their experiences and lessons learned from various pilot activities to promote green growth in Quang Ninh.
With support from Japanese experts and Shiga Prefecture, Quang Ninh DPI improved the financial metrics of the provincial environment protection fund, introduced incentives for energy efficiency, promoted community-based ecotourism programs on Quan Lan Island and developed Blue Sail Certificate criteria to encourage investment in clean technologies by tourist boat owners.
Besides this, the project piloted the application of environmentally friendly technologies such as bio-toilets and rapid composting to reduce the pollution load in the Ha Long Bay area.
Tetsuji Goto, senior advisor at JICA headquarters, noted that Quang Ninh Province should sustain the outcomes of the project and reflect on the takeaways from the project activities in planning their future green growth policies.
Considering the recent development of several highways, leading to the improvement of connectivity between Quang Ninh, Hanoi and Haiphong, and the significant increase in the number of tourists to the province, it is very important that Quang Ninh PPC continue its strong leadership to ensure that Quang Ninh can achieve economic development in harmony with the need to conserve natural resources at the World Heritage site of Halong Bay, remarked Goto.
In his closing remarks, Dang Huy Hau, standing vice chairman of Quang Ninh PPC and head of the Steering Committee of the project, expressed gratitude on behalf of Quang Ninh to JICA and Shiga Prefecture for their support during the project.
He also confirmed that the provincial government is strongly committed to reshaping the provincial growth pathway into a green one even after the completion of the project and expressed hope that Quang Ninh will become a model of green growth promotion for other provinces.