Almost all the residents of Tien Chuong Village in the central province of Ha Tinh are aware of proper environmental procedures, such as collecting waste, recycling, and using safe water in their daily routines, said Vu Thanh Binh, head of the village.

Binh was speaking on August 11 at a review of a project, co-sponsored by Toyota Vietnam (TMV) and the Vietnam Environment Protection Agency (VEPA), that organisers said was designed to make Tien Chuong into an eco-village – an environmentally responsible community that preserved natural resources for sustainable development.

The 800 million VND (40,000 USD) project, funded by TMV, organised training courses on environmental hygiene and taught locals about water hygiene standards to improve community health.

"Local people will also be trained to improve infertile soil and develop eco-systems along and around their fields, as well as new cultivation methods and how to use suitable fertilisers and pesticides," said Dang Phan Thu Huong, deputy general director of TMV.

She said the project had supplied locals with extensive written material, which explained how to deal with waste around their homes and how protect water resources; villagers were also provided 800 saplings, three trucks to transport waste and 60 plastic waste bins placed around in the area.

Huong said the project is expected to run through the end of next year to ensure it successfully improves people's living standards.

Nguyen The Dong, deputy general director of VEPA, said the project has turned the village into a much cleaner place, where the majority of citizens dispose of their rubbish responsibly.

"We hope that the project's initial success will be applied to many other villages in the country," said Dong.

Last year, a similar project was launched in An San Village of the northern province of Lao Cai's Bat Xat District, benefiting some hundreds of local people on how to improve their living standards.

The projects are a part of the major Go Green Programme, jointly launched by the TMV, VEPA and the Ministry of Education and Training in 2008./.