Universities contribute to better ecosystems and rural health in Vietnam
The Institutional University Cooperation between Hue University and five Flemish universities is launched
The Institutional University Cooperation programme with Hue University (HU) was officially launched on 6th June 2013, in the presence of Belgian and Vietnamese stakeholders. Besides the support to the institutional management of Hue University, the programme will contribute to the regional and national development of Vietnam, by research on livestock, aquaculture, crop production, ecosystems and rural health development.
Located in central Vietnam, Hue has been the imperial capital until 1945. Hue University is a regional driving force with a strong history in education and research.
Empowering the university
With the Institutional University Cooperation programme (IUC) VLIR-UOS facilitates a 12-year partnership between Hue University and the five Flemish universities. The programme aims at empowering the university as to better fulfill its role as development actor in society. The IUC programme with Hue University is coordinated by Nguyen Van Toan (HU) and Peter Bossier (Ghent University).
Focusing on livestock, aquaculture, crop production, ecosystems and rural health
The programme particularly invests in research on aquaculture, livestock and crop production, coastal and lagoon ecosystems and rural health. The subjects have been chosen as crucial for the university, the region and the country. Besides there is support of the institutional management and service providing such as ICT at Hue University. Special attention goes to research-based education and university governance through seminars, workshops, conferences, visits and short training courses with PhD training.
The launch of the programme was attended by Belgian and Vietnamese stakeholders, including Belgian ambassador Bruno Angelet and Dr. Mai Ha, Director-General, Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The water quality of Tam Giang Lagoon affects 300.000 people
Amongst the various project sites there is Tam Giang Lagoon. 300.000 people depend on the lagoon for their household activities and fishing. The lagoon is used for aquaculture too, at the cost of the biodiversity. That is why the government decided to demarcate some areas in the lagoon where all human activities are prohibited, to guarantee the natural equilibrium.
The preservation of the coastal ecosystems
One of the projects of the programme with Hue University studies the preservation of the coastal ecosystems and natural resources under the effects of development activities and climate change. The project aims to increase the number of protected areas and look for sustainable aquaculture.
On the picture we see a researcher of Hue University measuring the plants that are growing on the sea-floor. Those plants are crucial for the fish population. The sample is taken from a protected area. That is why the roots are well formed. In areas where fishing nets are used in combination with aquaculture, there are almost no plants left.
(Pictures: Christophe Goossens)