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Asia-Pacific aims to boost recycling

Update: March, 21/2013 - 10:49
Classifying waste is an important step to reach the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle scheme.— VNA/VNS Photo The Anh

HA NOI (VNS) — Asia-Pacific countries have expressed their firm commitment to effectively promoting the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (3R) scheme by adopting an important goal-setting document for the next ten years – the so-called Ha Noi Declaration.

This was among the outcomes of the fourth regional 3R forum in Asia that concluded yesterday in the Vietnamese capital.

At a briefing held at the end of the forum, Chikako Takase, director of the United Nations Centre for Regional Development, said that the declaration provided a comprehensive framework for countries in the region to take necessary action in the fight against pollution and waste.

"3R is an important instrument to move toward a green economy. The fact that all delegations here agreed on the 3R goals is a major sign of progress," she said.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan addresses the opening ceremony of the regional 3R Forum. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Dong

Japanese Deputy Minister of the Environment Ryutaro Yatsu said that although the declaration was not a legally binding document, it included monitoring mechanisms to measure achievements for agreed goals and programmes under the declaration.

He stated that the countries participating in the forum's discussions had come up with a set of indicators to monitor progress, adding: "Now we should conduct regular reviews of each country's activities."

This forum was also an opportunity for host country Viet Nam to strengthen its commitment to developing a strong waste management industry, said Nguyen Van Tai, director-general of the Institute of Research and Policy in Natural Resources and Environment.

And the expertise and experiences shared during the talks are expected to be very useful for the country as it moves forward in its bid to meet its environmental targets, he added.

Tai, speaking on behalf of the Viet Nam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said the next move for Viet Nam would be to establish a comprehensive legal framework.

"The differences in the level of commitment among stakeholders are the main reason for the failure of several pilot 3R projects in Viet Nam in the past," he noted.

"Our forward-thinking approach is to view waste as a resource, and we aim to develop the recycling industry as a key new economic sector that will create green jobs," he said.

A waste processing machine with capacity of 5cu.m per day is installed at Vinh Phu Commune, Thoai Son District in southern province of An Giang. The machine helps protect the environment and at the same time create ingredient for fertiliser.— VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue

In an exclusive interview with Viet Nam News, Yatsu spoke about Japan's success in creating a zero-waste society and promised that Viet Nam would receive strong support from the Japanese Government for the development of its 3R policies, particularly with the required legal frameworks.

"During our stay here in Ha Noi, my senior vice-minister had a discussion with your environment minister and both have agreed upon strengthening the bilateral co-operation on legislation," he said.

Yatsu also hinted that both ministries were finalising a joint carbon credit mechanism, in which there was a component set to convert waste to energy.

He said 3R was the second priority in the Viet Nam-Japan environmental co-operation after climate change.

The forum was attended by about three hundred participants coming from thirty-one Asia-Pacific countries. —VNS




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