On June 23, 2018, in Da Nang city will start the 6thMeeting Session of Global Environment Facility General Assembly (The 6thGEF General Assembly). The 6thGEF General Assemblywill summarize and evaluate GEF's overall policies, activities and members for the period between 2014 and 2018 as well as will approve proposed amendments to the GEF Document for 2018-2022 period.
In preparation for this meaningful event, Mrs. Naoko Ishii-CEO and Chairperson of GEFvisited Vietnam. Mrs. Naoko Ishii said:
“Firstly, let me thank Vietnam Government for the decision to host the 6thGEF General Assembly. This is a very important event for us.
This is the time that we need to make decisions for our planet’s future and ourselves. The global natural environment issuesare now being pushed to the extreme limit, whereas issues of land, ocean, sea, forest, and climate are at an alarming level.
To address these enormous challenges, we need to change our current socio-economic system. In food production, on the one hand, it is necessary to increase efficiency and productivity, but also to improve environmental sustainability. The cities we live in need to become greener, cleaner and safer cities. We need to find the right solutions to reduce carbon emissions in the current economy to create a more sustainable environment for future generations.
The GEF General Assembly is an opportunity for all of us to act together for that common sustainable goal. It not only needs the efforts of central and local governments but also the cooperation of the business, the community, and all classes of people. It requires people to connect, unite and offer the best solutions. I hope that we will have a successful GEF General Assembly and fruitful discussions in Da Nang in coming June 2018.”
* Could you tell us what conditions GEF has selected Vietnam as the venue for this 6th GEF General Assembly?
Mrs. Naoko Ishii:“Vietnam and GEF have experienced 25 years of cooperative relationship and the two parties are growing more effective. When deciding which country will host the 6thMeeting Session, the first country I think of is Vietnam. As you know, we are facing global challenges such as land use, ocean issues, and carbon emissions. Vietnam is also facing huge challenges and is at the forefront of addressing these challenges. So, I thought the organization of the GEF General Assembly in Vietnam would be of great significance to all”.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with Naoko Ishii
* Attending the 6th GEF General Assembly, what results do you expect from this event?
Mrs. Naoko Ishii:“We are preparing for the next four years of Cycle 7. We have come up with many ideas, for example how to change the economic system, land use, agriculture, cities, and forest management. New challenges may be related to ocean and economic cycle, and many other issues. I really hope that, as the leaders meet, discuss and work together in Da Nang, we can have a better implementation plan to cope with this global issue. We will have many of the world's leaders in this event, such as Unilever board members, organizations’ CEOs, as well as the presence of many international organizations such as the World Bank, ADB, and UNDP”.
Therefore, once world's leaders work together, I really hope that we will have a bigger plan that can be implemented in the next four years.
* I learned in the morning of May 30 that you had a meeting with Prime Minister of Vietnam. Can you briefly share the results on that meeting?
Mrs. Naoko Ishii:“First of all, I highly appreciate the leadership and direction of Prime Minister on hosting the 6th GEF General Assembly in Da Nang.
I would also like to congratulate Vietnam Government and Prime Minister in particular on the integration of environmental accessibility as part of a sustainable development plan.
Prime Minister has asked us to do 10 things over the next four years, in which the main aspects include: As I mentioned above, we have discussed and agreed that the environmental challenge that Vietnam is facing is the problem of agriculture. How to make agriculture, food and land use effectively? How to make cities grow greener? How to address the issue of reducing carbon emissions? We also agreed to strengthen cooperation to find appropriate mechanisms and solutions to solve the problems mentioned above.
Prime Minister also emphasized clearly that there are a number of issues that Vietnam should take the lead, for example, the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta is an important issue, not just a matter of climate change adaptation but also food security.
At the same time, Prime Minister also mentioned the problem of plastic pollution of the ocean. Prime Minister will attend the G7 Conference in Canada and one of the issues Prime Minister will choose to address at this conference is the oceanic plastic problem. This is a problem not only in Vietnam as a forefront country, but also in neighboring countries. I promise that the GEF will support the leadership of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on this issue and the GEF will always accompany with Vietnam.”
Mrs. Naoko Ishii in the meeting with Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha
* Vietnam is currently proposing a number of projects and initiatives to address the challenges related to environment. To address these global challenges, how will GEF support Vietnam in this regard?
Mrs. Naoko Ishii: “I am very happy and satisfied with the leadership, commitment, and determination of Prime Minister to attach environmental aspect with the long-term sustainable development of the country. Its importance is not only for Vietnam but also for many other governments as they link environmental issues to the long-term and sustainable development of the country. That is the key to sustainable development. Beside environmental aspect, it’s also important to attach other important issues.
Prime Minister also pledged that all Vietnamese would act together, not just the government, but also the city, businesses and scientists. Commitment and unite is the way to develop and the GEF will strongly support the leadership of Prime Minister.”
* Thank you Madam!