Nearly a hundred representatives from 15 Asian universities gathered at a forum held on May 22 in the northern province of Quang Ninh to discuss the significance of green growth towards sustainable and harmonious development.

The event, the fourth of its kind, was organised by the Vietnam National University-Hanoi (VNU-Hanoi); the Seoul National University (SNU) of the Republic of Korea; and Quang Ninh provincial People’s Committee.

Discussions focused on the building of a low-carbon society and the promotion of green growth based on universities.

Director of the VNU-Hanoi Phung Xuan Nha said green growth plays a crucial role in addressing global challenges such as economic growth, environmental protection, greenhouse gas emission mitigation, climate change adaptation, and biodiversity conservation.

Meanwhile, Director of the SNU Nak-in Sung said green growth has become an important issue particularly for countries facing economic difficulties while seeking sustainable development.

He said the essence of the green growth strategy is poverty reduction through sustainable economic development and environmental protection, adding that knowledge, new science and technology will be required to achieve these goals.

According to Vice Chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy, Quang Ninh is facing a number of challenges in how to develop coal exploitation, heavy industry and seaport as well as tourism at the same time, the rapid urbanisation and industrialisation; and rising sea level.

Therefore, the province hopes to receive more support from and cooperation with domestic and foreign universities in the fields of green growth, environmental protection, tourism and service development, along with scientific research and technological transfer in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and urban development.

Quang Ninh and the VNU-Hanoi are expected to discuss the establishment of a joint research and training centre on green growth in the province.

The green growth forum in the framework of the Asian University Network was initiated by the SNU in 2011 and is held rotationally in Asian countries to increase mutual understanding and cooperation between regional universities.-VNA