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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           19   August  2011

Vietnam gets first UN eco-town

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A project launched by the United Nations this week will see the central city of Hoi An develop into Viet Nam's first eco-town.

Run by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the project will work alongside business and government agencies to promote green practices within the city.

UNIDO Viet Nam official Le Thi Thanh Thao said the project aimed to support Hoi An's development of green industry and would tackle key environment and climate issues in the city.

"The project will help the city carry out green industrial activities in small- and-medium-sized enterprises and will focus on the energy and environmental aspects of tourism and craft industries," she said.

The project would review and make recommendations of policy relating to Hoi An's environment, energy and town planning, which would be done in consultation with the municipal authority, she added.

The project will focus on business and community development, with the aim of raising incomes and employment opportunities, especially for women.

Chairman of Hoi An City People's Committee Le Van Giang said the aim of the project was to make the city Viet Nam's first eco-town by 2030.

"We're pleased that UNIDO chose Hoi An City to implement the trial project and the city will work hard with UNIDO to meet the project's goals," Giang said.

Head of Hoi An City's Environmental and Natural Resources Department Nguyen Van Hien said the trial eco-town model would be a mix of traditional and modern factors, and between economic, social and environmental development in which local residents would play a central role.

According to Hien, the project will be divided into three phases - the first from now until 2015, the second from 2016 to 2020 and the third from 2020 to 2030.

The project is part of the Policy Advice on Environmental Management: Green Industry Development, funded by UNIDO and the United Nations One Plan Fund.

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