Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has successfully implemented a number of sustainable development projects, particularly in environment and tourism, in Hội An in the central province of Quảng Nam, JICA announced yesterday on the occasion of Japanese Days in the province, which is taking place from August 16-19.
Konaka Tetsuo, chief representative of JICA in Việt Nam, said in recent years JICA had worked with the province to develop small-scale projects implemented by Japanese NGOs, local governments and universities.
These included the Water Environment Improvement project for the Japanese Bridge area in Hội An, a popular tourism mecca. The project improved the sewerage system through the rehabilitation of the bridge canal and built a wastewater treatment plant with capacity of 2,000 cubic metres per day.
The canal has been rehabilitated, and the plant is expected to be completed by November.
Other projects are under the JICA Partnership Programme which JICA financially supports. Japanese non-governmental organisations, local governments or universities offer technical or training support.
The aim of such projects is to encourage the participation of Japanese citizens in international cooperation using Official Development Assistance (ODA) and transferring their knowledge, technology and experience.
For example, the Naha Model Waste Reduction Programme in Hội An, implemented by the NGO Okinawa Citizens Recycling Movement (OCRM) and Naha City (Okinawa Prefecture, Japan) in all 13 communes in Hội An, used the experience of the City of Environmental Symbiosis model of Naha City.
In addition, the long-term project Support for Rural Potential Development for the Cơ Tu ethnic minority community in Nam Giang District was initiated by the Foundation for International Development/Relief (FIDR).
Implemented in 2016 and to be completed in 2020, the community-based tourism project helps to develop the local economy and preserves the cultural values of the Cơ Tu, including weaving, dancing and traditional dishes.
Community-based tourism development can maximise the potential and strength of indigenous culture, history and local life, and contribute to the improvement of incomes and people’s livelihoods, according to JICA.
It also offers opportunities for locals to understand the traditional values of the local community where they live, which can be transmitted to visitors.
Another community-based tourism project, Expanding and Developing Traditional Handicrafts, is being implemented by Minamiboso in Chiba Prefecture (Japan).
The project helps develop handicraft products by supporting the design and renovation of shops offering artisans’ products, and offers workshops to artisans on making goods that meet the needs of consumers and tourists.
Showa Women’s University in Japan operates a project on livelihood diversification through heritage tourism in remote or rural agri-fishery villages.
In addition, JICA has also dispatched Japanese volunteers for a two-year term to share experiences and support people at the grassroots level.
Currently, two volunteers are working at the Hội An Cultural Heritage Conservation Centre, under the People’s Committee of Hội An City.
So far, 18 Japanese volunteers have been sent to work in Quảng Nam, mainly in the fields of architecture, environmental education and preservation of cultural heritage.
Yesterday, more than 150 business leaders from Japan met in Hội An as part of the activities to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and Japan.
Of more than 20 countries and territories investing in the province, Japan is the third largest investor with 20 projects, with total registered capital of more than US$115 million, of which 18 projects are in operation and two are under construction. — VNS