Halong City, Vietnam –The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) hosted a capacity building workshop for policymakers in the Mekong region in Halong City, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam, from 25 to 26 September 2012. This international workshop was co-organized by GGGI and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS).
The workshop was designed to bring together policymakers, academic leaders, and experts from the countries in the Mekong region and international development institutions to share ideas, opportunities, and challenges of green growth in the region. Under the main theme “Mekong as a Green Growth Hub in Asia-pacific,” the workshop aimed to strengthen global collaboration on green growth with practical policy recommendations and measures for implementation through interactive discussion among multinational participants.
Marking the first time that the five countries of the Mekong region – Vietnam, Cambodia, China (Yunnan Province), Laos, and Myanmar – have gathered specifically to discuss the topic of green growth, the workshop convened about 100 participants including a broad array of international experts from institutions, such as UNEP, UNESCAP, UNHABITAT, ADB, World Bank, and Technical University of Denmark.
The workshop was comprised of six plenaries, including an opening session and two breakout sessions, which were composed of three parallels each. Key agenda topics covered in the plenary sessions included sharing a green growth vision in the Mekong region, the mainstreaming of green growth in a global perspective, implementing green growth in developing countries, appropriate policy framework and institutional set-up for green growth in developing countries, and mobilizing resources for inclusive green growth.
The parallel sessions explored key sectors with pressing issues related to the region’s green growth. The topics fell into two categories: 1) the Food-Energy-Water Nexus with focus on Agriculture and Rural development, Energy and Water resources; and 2) Transportation, Urban development, and Innovation and Industrial policies, which were identified as key factors required to transform economies into a sustainable ones while keeping up with the speed of economic growth.
Among the key speakers at the workshop included President of VASS, Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang; Professor Emeritus at Seoul National University, Dr. Cae One Kim; Secretary of Quang Ninh Provincial Party’s Committee, Dr. Pham Minh Chinh; Vice Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Science, Technology and Environment, Dr. Le Bo Linh.
President Dr. Thang stressed that the paradigm shift toward green growth in the Mekong region should be conducted incrementally with emphases on the application of green technology, the establishment of institutions, and regulatory regimes, such as for GHG emissions.
Dr. Cae One Kim said, “From building green infrastructure and fostering green industries to greening existing brown industries, none of these goals can be realized with only one nation’s will and endeavor. That is the reason why we all, together, should make a common and conscious effort for the Mekong Region’s sustainable development through green growth.”
This capacity building workshop is a continuation of joint efforts made by GGGI and VASS toward Green Growth in Vietnam and the Mekong region. GGGI and VASS have co-organized two other workshops for capacity building since December 2011. The two organizations will continue developing programs to advance capacity for policy-making and research in green growth in both Vietnam and the Mekong region.