Vietnam honors Japanese professor for environmental contribution

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Japan's Professor Yasuaki Maeda (R) and Tran Minh Ha of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment after the former won a medal for his contributions to environmental protection in Vietnam

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Monday awarded a medal to Japan's Professor Yasuaki Maeda for helping Vietnam protect its environment and natural resources.

Maeda was sent by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to work for four years as an environment expert in Vietnam after the country sought Japanese help in dealing with pollution and protecting natural resources.

He is the leader of a Japanese scientific team working on a joint project with Vietnamese scientists and JICA on environmental protection.

In 2004 JICA started sending some of Japan's top experts in the field of environment to Vietnam, including Maeda, who was a lecturer at Osaka Prefecture University. 

During his four years in Vietnam, Maeda has made some significant contributions including support to build a "10-Year Vietnam Environmental Action Plan" to improve environmental monitoring systems and help to raise public awareness of environmental protection in urban areas.

After his term finished, he stayed back and helped set up environmental management systems at government agencies, especially the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, contributing to the development of human resources.

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