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First Vietnamese picks up Goldman environmental prize

Released at: 17:22, 26/04/2018

First Vietnamese picks up Goldman environmental prize

Nguy Thi Khanh (front, 1st from left) with six other winners. (Photo from thanhnien.vn)

Nguy Thi Khanh has helped cut 115 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in Vietnam every year.

by Le Diem

Ms. Nguy Thi Khanh has received an award from the US-based Goldman Environmental Foundation for her contribution in curbing coal pollution in Vietnam, becoming the first Vietnamese to receive the world’s largest award honoring environmental activists.

As Director of the Green Innovation and Development Center (GreenID), Ms. Khanh’s scientific research motivated government agencies to participate in long-term sustainable energy projects that help reduce Vietnam’s dependence on its coal resources. Her efforts have contributed to cutting 115 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the country every year.

The Goldman award this year honored seven outstanding people from six countries: the US, France, Colombia, the Philippines, South Africa, and Vietnam.

Ms. Khanh, 41, was born and raised near a coal plant in the north of Vietnam, where she experienced firsthand the pollution and dust from coal operations and witnessed many people in her community develop cancer.

She studied history and diplomacy but after graduating realized a deeper passion for the environment. She then joined a non-government organization in water resource preservation and community development.

In 2011, she founded GreenID, to promote sustainable energy development in Vietnam as well as good water and air governance and green development.

She is also one of the founders of the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance, established in 2012, which is a network of eleven domestic and international environmental and social organizations that collaborate on regional energy issues. Since its establishment she has engaged with experts and decision makers on renewable energy and energy efficiency in order to reduce the dependence on fossil fuel and coal power.

The Goldman Environmental Foundation was founded in 1989 to honor and inspire grassroots environmental activists around the world. It is presented every year to environmental heroes from six geographic regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands & Island Nations, North America, and South & Central America. Winners are selected by an international jury from secret nominations submitted by a network of environmental organizations and individuals worldwide.

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