The first fair showcasing the scaling-up of green innovations was held on Thursday by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the Green One UN House in Hanoi.
Representatives from 15 projects supported by the Global Environment Facility-UNDP Small Grants Programme (UNDP/GEF SGP) and non-governmental organizations attended the event to showcase their innovations at community level to protect the environment and improve local livelihoods and quality of lives.
Participants also joined discussions on potentials to scale up best practices.
UNDP is United Nations’ global development network operating in 177 countries to provide expert advice and training and grant support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to least developed ones.
Vietnam is highly vulnerable to climate change, being among the ten most affected countries by natural disasters as per the Long-Term Climate Risk Index (CRI).
The rural poor in coastal areas and mountainous ethnic minority people are especially at risk and in need of heightened resilience.
While Vietnam has obtained many achievements in most of the MDGs, especially its success in lowering poverty rates, it has not achieved MDG7 on ensuring environmental sustainability.
Despite significant government efforts to adopt necessary legal frameworks, strategies and programs, the policy enforcement and social norms are still inadequate.
Additionally, rapid industrialization and urbanization have depleted natural resources and degraded the environment, which in turn has affected local livelihoods and quality of lives.
“Communities are often at the forefront of unprecedented climate change impacts, but they are least able to cope with them,” UNDP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Haoliang Xu said at the event.
“National public efforts with the collaboration of the international community aim to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to ensure that no one is left behind,” Xu said, “These efforts, however, need to be complemented by local initiatives, which are essential to ensure that the benefits of sustainable development are equally distributed.”
He also highlighted the critical role of local authorities in institutionalizing, providing financial support and facilitating conditions for replication and scaling-up of innovations to improve communities’ livelihoods, assist the adaptation to climate change, and protect the environment.
“It is important to have an inclusive approach and consultative processes to encourage the active participation and the contribution of all relevant stakeholders side-by-side with local communities to ensure a sense of ownership, which is essential for any successful innovation,” Xu continued, “UNDP commits to work with all stakeholders to identify, encourage the green innovations and promote replication and scaling-up of the best practices.”
Since 1999, UNDP/GEF SGP has been working closely with local non-governmental and community-based organizations to provide financial grants and technical support to 150 small projects in more than 40 provinces in Vietnam.