UNDP launches new green chemical project

11:58 | 09/04/2018
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Vietnam Chemicals Agency, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade on April 6 held the inception workshop of the project entitled "Application of Green Chemistry in Vietnam to support green growth and reduction in the use and release of POPs and hazardous chemicals."

According to Dao Xuan Lai, UNDP assistant country director, Head of Environment and Climate Change, this is the first green chemistry project to be implemented in Vietnam and Southeast Asia with the goal of minimising the use and emissions of chemicals that are not on the list of the Multilateral Environment Agreements.

"The project has three objectives: creating a legal environment, raising awareness, and piloting practices that will help reduce emissions and the use of POPs," said Lai.

undp launches new green chemical project
The programme will utilise Vietnam's significant experience in dealing with POPs

He added, "Vietnam is one of the pioneers in POPs issues and has a lot of experience in dealing with POPs left over from the war to the present. Therefore, the UNDP and GEF expect that Vietnam will lay the foundations as well as give the first lessons and experiments in this field.”

At the workshop, Christine Wellington Moore, UNDP Programme Advisor Montreal Protocol Unit/Chemicals, Asia-Pacific Regional Centre, introduced the overall project activities, results framework, and the components to be implemented in Vietnam. "Green chemistry is not new, but it is not easy to do, so we want to get the opinions of the stakeholders in this workshop."

In Vietnam, while the chemical and manufacturing sectors play a very important role in the development of the national economy and in the industrialisation and modernisation of the country, certain chemicals which are potentially hazardous or toxic, their production processes, and products containing such chemicals are becoming of increasing concern because of their impact on human health, the environment, and ecosystems.

The project aims to create an enabling environment for the introduction of Green Chemistry in Vietnam and introduce Green Chemistry applications in production sectors with the purpose of reducing the use and release of chemicals controlled under the Stockholm and Minamata Conventions.

The project will reduce the use of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and release of Unintentional Persistent Organic Pollutants (U-POPs) through the introduction of green chemistry approach in six industrial sectors in Vietnam: chrome plating, pulp and paper manufacturing, plastic manufacturing, textile, pesticides, and solvents.

Specific guidance for each sector will be developed and the green chemistry approach will be streamlined into relevant legislation.

With the support of GEF and the UNDP, this three-year project will also promote awareness on green chemistry and the benefits of its application and its guiding principles.

By Bich Ngoc

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