06/03/2020 09:43 GMT+7 print

Nguy Thi Khanh’s green innovations

In 2018, Nguy Thi Khanh, director of the Green Innovation and Development Center (GreenID), became the first person from Vietnam to win the Goldman Environmental Prize which is the world’s largest award for grassroots environmental activists. Khanh’s efforts have helped eliminate 115 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the country annually.

Born in 1976, Nguy Thi Khanh grew up during the country’s transition period from a centrally planned economy to a market one. At that time, beehive coal briquettes were used by many families as a main source of energy. Khanh’s home was close to a coal plant which caused serious environmental pollution. Obsessed by the serious health problems of people living in her neighborhood, Khanh started to think of how to better the living environment.

Khanh studied history and French with a dream to become a diplomat. But memories of the pollution in her home town led her to work in water conservation and community development at a Vietnamese non-profit organization.

Khanh attended a lot of short-term international training courses on energy, water and the environment and traveled to every corner of Vietnam to study water sources and the living environment in poor localities. The knowledge and experiences gained from these trips have prompted Khanh to develop environmental projects to improve the quality of life for people.

In 2011, Khanh founded GreenID to promote green solutions and reduce carbon emissions. GreenID has implemented 40 projects on air quality monitoring, and public awareness about climate change and green environmental projects to increase community involvement in these projects. She also established Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance, a network of 11 Vietnamese and international environmental organizations that collaborate on regional energy issues.



GreenID Director Nguy Thi Khanh has contributed to energy, climate change and environmental research activities. Photo: Viet Cuong


 In 2018, Nguy Thi Khanh became the first person from Vietnam to win the Goldman Environmental Prize. Photo: Files


Khanh delivers a speech at the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize award ceremony. Photo: Files 


Khanh and six other winners of the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize. Photo: Files

 Khanh coordinates and organizes numerous seminars on renewable energy in Vietnam. Photo: Viet Cuong

In 2013, Khanh conducted a study on reducing coal use by using renewable sources. Her study showed the high costs and risks of coal use which she found must be replaced. Khanh’s and her GreenID’s publications and articles on the adverse impacts of coal on the environment were taken into account by the government in revising its energy development plan.

After six years of operation, GreenID has implemented almost 60 projects, 59 studies and 102 documents to advocate policies, sustainable energy, water, clean air and green development.
In January 2016, the government adjusted plans for coal plant development and affirmed Vietnam’s commitment to international action against greenhouse gas emissions. The plans incorporated Khanh’s recommendation to increase renewable energy, including wind and solar power.

GreenID has helped over 20,000 people in different communities to have access to clean energy and water. In 2016, Khanh and her colleagues at GreenID launched the first Vietnam Renewable Energy Week, which has now become an annual event for sharing information and practices on clean energy. Khanh believes clean energy will help reduce environmental degradation and restore water resources and clean air in Vietnam.


Khanh and her GreenID have implemented practical projects on developing renewable energy. Photo: Viet Cuong


Replacing coal with solar energy is a research project implemented by GreenID
which has affected greenhouse gas emission reduction plans of plants in Vietnam. Photo: Viet Cuong 



Khanh shares her joy with children in Tu Mai village, Dong Anh, Hanoi for having clean water. Photo: Files 

 Children in Dong Khanh village, Dong Anh, Hanoi now have access to clean water under GreenID’s project. Photo: Files 
 
Story: Bich Van - Photos: Viet Cuong & Files