Griffith University has welcomed a group of young leaders from Vietnam’s Institute of Strategy, Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE) for an intensive Australia Awards Fellowships program.

The “Leadership for a Resource Efficient Zero Waste Society (Vietnam)” program is being led by Dr Sunil Herat from the Griffith School of Engineering.

Eleven staff members from ISPONRE are taking part in the program, which is funded to the value of $211,332, through the Australia Awards Fellowships. This program, administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, aims to build capacity and strengthen partnerships between Australian organisations and partner organisations in eligible developing countries, in support of key development and foreign affairs priorities.

This Fellowship will provide ISPONRE staffwith training, networking and support necessary to promote significant changes in technical and policy aspects of waste management in Vietnam. Developing strategies to tackle the serious environmental, social and economic issues which are inherent in this area will lead toimproved health for rural poor by increasing access to safe water and sanitation.

ISPONRE researcher and leader of the visiting group, Nguyen Minh Khoa said they had already gained valuable knowledge on sustainable waste management strategies, taking into consideration Vietnam’ s unique context.

“It will be of great value for us in proposing relevant policies and strategies for Vietnam,” he said.

“The program enhances our capacity in waste management theoretically and practically, and offers opportunities to learn from, and collaborate with, Australia’s leading institutions.The program consolidates the bond between ISPONRE and Griffith University.”

Dr Herat is a consultant to the United Nations on e-Waste, and an Associate Editor for the world-leading journal Waste Management & Research.With more than 20 years experience in the field, his research interests are in waste management and cleaner production with special emphasis on managing electronic wastes (e-Waste).

“The project is further recognition of the University’s waste management training capabilities,” Dr Herat said.

Project management is through Griffith International’s International Business Development Unit .