Both Vietnam and the Netherlands have embarked on a sustainable development pathway that requires a deeper integration of people, profit, and planet. In our recovery we have to ‘build back better’ and that will require a more comprehensive and integrated approach of economy and ecology in our economic growth models. Substantial investments are needed from both the government and the private sector. Last year, Vietnam and the Netherlands signed a comprehensive partnership agreement. This challenge provides an excellent opportunity for a comprehensive and integrated Dutch-Vietnamese approach. An example of an integrated approach is the way the Netherlands innovated its spatial planning. In the highly populated and flood-prone Dutch river delta each plot of land is valuable, has multiple interested parties and can be used in multiple ways. Then came climate change, which prompted the Dutch in the early 2000s to invest substantially in adapting water infrastructure and delta management in order to move from vulnerability to resilience. Rather than continuing to heighten the dykes, Dutch planners gave ‘room’ to the river to flood uninhabited areas. Rather than losing beaches due to erosion, dredging companies were supplying sand to the shores. This inspired also the government of Vietnam to take action… Read full this story
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