Sustainable management of materials and converting waste into resources is one of the strategic initiatives experts have suggested for Vietnam to develop its green economy.

The experts made the suggestions at a conference entitled “Local economic development – Practical experience” in the southern province of Dong Nai on November 20. The event was co-organised by the Association of Cities of Vietnam, the Canadian Municipalities and the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat).

Experts said Vietnam should develop green transport and industry and build its infrastructure by designing a master plan for hi-tech cities in line with green industry and growth, while strengthening the comprehensive management of water resources and boosting green urban agriculture associated with eco-tourism.

According to UN-Habitat specialists, Vietnam ’s future green growth strategy should focus on restructuring and upgrading economic establishments in the direction of effectively using natural resources, improving the economy’s competitiveness by technology renovation, and economic tool.

This will contribute to dealing with climate change, reducing poverty and ensuring sustainable development, they said.

The experts also pointed out three key strategic missions in realising the strategy, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of clean and renewable energy, boosting green production through clean industrialisation and effective use of natural resources, and encourage green lifestyle and sustainable consumption.

Especially, the improvement of environment quality, the acceleration of economic growth and the generation of new jobs are among factors to push the green growth process, they added.

UN-Habitat Director Nguyen Quang said Quang Ninh, Quang Nam provinces and Da Nang city have taken first steps in the work by including green growth in their development strategies.

Many experts held that local government and infrastructure system play significant roles in deciding the competitiveness of a locality, while its renovation, human resources, standards and historical heritages are factors to boost the green growth.

UN- Habitat has calculated that with its current urbanisation speed, Vietnam will see about one million people moving from rural to urban areas every year. Therefore, urbanisation poses both opportunities and challenges for a city’s socio-economic development. And the only solution for Vietnam is green growth and a low carbon emission economy, experts said.-VNA