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Goldman Prize winner promotes progressive environmental policies

The 2018 Goldman Prize for the first time has honored a woman from Vietnam.

Nguy Thi Khanh - the 2018 Goldman Prize winner
Nguy Thi Khanh – the 2018 Goldman Prize winner

Nguy Thi Khanh met reporters recently at a hotel in HCMC, where GreenID (Green Innovation and Development Center) was organizing a workshop to review the one-year implementation of the resolution on solar power development.

GreenID is a Vietnamese non-profit organization (NPO) that works to promote sustainable development in Vietnam and the larger Mekong region.

She said she only had 40 minutes because she had to travel to Can Tho City, where another workshop was being held.

Khanh did not talk about her family and the prize she got in April, but spent the 40 minutes to discuss GreenID, of which she is the director, and the organization’s contribution to Vietnam’s environmental policies.

Khanh and her colleagues at GreenID were happy to hear that the 20,000 MW coal-fired thermal power plant was excluded from the seventh national plan on electricity development. They felt proud of the contributions to the building of a progressive policy.

GreenID, a seven-year-old non-government organization, has a multi-dimensional approach and cooperation. It shares information with all related parties, including scientists, the public and state agencies, and receives replies from them.

In 2017 alone, GreenID organized 10 policy dialogues, carried out 10 research works and prepared 35 documents for policy lobbying.

Khanh said she once worked for a non-government organization on water sources and river protection. She found that hydraulic power has close relations and it is part of the panorama on power development.

Inspired by international programs on sustainable energy development, Khanh realized the need to make the nation’s changes in power development, a sector that non-government organizations rarely focused on in 2011.

GreenID was then established as a result of Khanh and three co-workers’ efforts to seek solutions to the sustainable development for the community.

‘Standing on the shoulders of giants’ is a principle of GreenID when carrying out research and making policy recommendations.

The organization conducts research, or uses available studies after verifying the authenticity of the studies, and shows its arguments with associated proofs.

As the first Vietnamese person honored by the Goldman Prize, Khanh represents the relentless efforts of local NGOs in accelerating sustainable development in Vietnam.

Khanh is now busy working with colleagues and experts, preparing to make recommendations to the eighth national electricity development plan.

GreenID now also works on a solution to clean water and air management.