The interuniversity cooperation project Environment-Friendly Wastewater Treatment in rural and peri-urban areas in Quang Ninh and Hanoi provinces in Vietnam, was developed by the UB Water Research Institute, led by Miquel Salgot, from the Department of Natural Products, Plant Biology and Soil Science at the Faculty of Pharmacy. The main aim of the project, funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)
, was to contribute to environmental sustainability and the correct development of these provinces by using water treatment and tecnologies which protect the environment. In this sense, the project included the construction of a wastewater treatment plant in Halong bay, in Quang Ninh, a province designated as World Heritage site by UNESCO.
UB Solidarity Foundation led the Spanish delegation which participated in the seminar. It was composed by Xavier López, manager of the Foundation; Antonina Torrens, researcher from the UB Water Research Institute and the head of the project from the Foundation; Irene Maestro, president of Món-3 Foundation and professor of Global Economy at the UB; Antoni Alarcón, assistant manager of the Barcelona Regional Urban Development Agency, and Ignasi Rodríguez, researcher from the Catalan Institute for Water Research.
The seminar was part of a working visit to Vietnam National University in Hanoi, which included a meeting with the governor of Quang Ninh province, in order to set the main aspects of the collaboration agreement between the UB and Vietnam National University in this province located in Northeast Vietnam, which shows a high degree of tourism development and, at the same time, serious environmental problems related to air and water pollution.
A visit to the wastewater treatment plant built in Halong was also carried out within the seminar. The plant treats wastewater derived from the fish processing made by a local factory. With a capacity of 20 cubic metres of water per day, this plant uses sustainable systems based in the technology of wetlands, which allow treating wastewater without using mechanical devices and with minimum energy consumption. It is the first plant of this type that is built in Southeast Asia which is catalogued in the International register of built wetlands.