Vietnam: Norway helps build Green One UN House in Vietnam

The Norwegian government has pledged 1.8 million USD toward the building of the Green One UN House in Vietnam.

The grant agreement was signed in Hanoi on Apr. 15 between the visiting Norwegian State Secretary for International Development, Hakon Gulbrandsen, and Setsuko Yamazaki, Country Director of the UN Development Programme in Vietnam.

“This grant aims to support the UN reform and the aid effectiveness agenda in Vietnam and at the same time to support a demonstration model for green buildings in Vietnam,” said State Secretary Hakon.

As a tripartite undertaking between the UN, the Government of Vietnam and donors, the office building is expected to enable the UN in Vietnam to use energy and water more efficiently, thus minimizing the ecological footprint of the UN in Vietnam.

According to the Norwegian Embassy in Hanoi, the building will allow co-location of UN staff who are currently scattered in 10 different locations throughout Hanoi.

Norway is among the first donors strongly supporting the “Green One UN House” idea, along with the UK, Ireland, Finland, Australia and New Zealand. From the beginning, the country granted 200,000 USD towards the eco-design of the building.

Its latest grant increased the total pledges by donors to more than 50 percent of the total retrofit cost which is estimated at 8.5 million USD.

The Vietnamese Government is contributing a high value land site and is likely to offer the premises on a rent-free basis for a minimum of ten years.

The Norwegian State Secretary is on a working visit to Vietnam from Apr. 15-16, during which he will meet with Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Pham Khoi Nguyen, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment Cao Viet Sinh and other officials.

He will also visit the Mekong Delta to learn more about the challenges of climate change in this vulnerable region.

http://www.isria.info/en/16_April_2009_85.htm

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