The Asian Institute of Technology and development partners on Thursday established a center to foster capacity building and help Vietnam incorporate environmental and social safeguards into infrastructure development.
The Learning Center on Environmental and Social Sustainability, located in Ho Chi Minh City, will offer capacity building to project management units, district and provincial authorities, consultants and other stakeholders in social and environmental issues.
The center is being established with initial funding support from the Australian government. Other development partners -- the World Bank, ADB, USAID, and the Asian Institute of Technology Center in Vietnam -- have committed to provide technical support.
“Vietnam’s socio-economic development strategy seeks more environmentally and socially sustainable development. This requires attention to environmental and social safeguards in executing the country’s huge infrastructure development program,” said Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank’s country director for Vietnam.
“The mission of this center is to help fill the gap in Vietnam’s social and environmental safeguards capacity,” she said.
Given the surge of investments in infrastructure sector and Vietnam’s challenges on environmental pollution and climate change related vulnerability, the center is expected to play a critical role in building long-term capacity on environmental and social aspects of development projects and programs in Vietnam on a sustained basis.
"Investments in Vietnam's infrastructure will be more durable and effective, and benefit from a lower risk of serious problems, if Vietnam finds ways to incorporate social and environmental safeguards,” said USAID Vietnam Mission Director Joakim Parker.
“The center will help provide the country with the latest information and capacity building to achieve this, as will other efforts like USAID’s to support a broader base for decision-making."