Government is setting up the “Viet Nam Panel on Climate Change” and releasing the “Viet Nam Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation”
22 January 2015
- Hanoi, 22 January 2015 – Today the Government of Viet Nam is organising a conference on the establishment of the Viet Nam Panel on Climate Change (VPCC), including the country’s leading scientists on climate change impacts and climate change adaptation as well as mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. The conference also announced the “Viet Nam Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX Viet Nam)”. This is the first major collaborative scientific analysis on climate change by Vietnamese researchers.
It is a major challenge for Viet Nam to become a modernised industrial country in a context of climate change that is becoming a major threat to the sustainable development. The VPCC was established to advise the Government and the National Climate Change Committee on both policy and scientific aspects to effectively respond to climate change and to support the country’s green growth.
SREX Viet Nam builds on the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Chairman of the IPCC, Dr R.K. Pachauri, who received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of IPCC in 2007, visited Viet Nam to launch that global report in 2012. Today, on his second visit to Viet Nam he presented findings from the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment, and its significance for Viet Nam. He showed that all countries must respond to the reality of increasing climate extremes, as well as mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid the worst case scenarios that are known as “runaway climate change”.
SREX Viet Nam was compiled by a group of authors from different Institutes, universities, non-governmental organizations, as well as local and international experts on disaster risk management and climate change adaptation. The report assesses extreme events, their impact on the natural environment, social-economic and sustainable development of Viet Nam; evolution of future extreme climate events as a result of climate change; and interactions between climate, environmental and human factors, in order to promote activities to adapt to climate change and manage risk of disasters and extreme events in Viet Nam. The Authors also compiled a Summary for Policy Makers as a basis to guide ministries, sectors and localities to develop and implement plans to respond effectively and manage disaster risks and adapt to climate change.
Professor Dr. Tran Thuc, co-Chair of the VPCC and Coordinating Lead Author of SREX Viet Nam explained that “climate change leads to changes in climate extremes and increased impacts on Viet Nam. Adapting to climate extremes should therefore be the focus of the country, and requires public investment”.
The scientists concluded from their analysis that Viet Nam has very considerable experience in responding to natural disasters and also in taking measures to reduce the impact of natural disasters and extreme climate events. Average annual human casualties and economic losses are very high in Viet Nam, compared to other countries over a period of decades, whereas the risks are increasing as climate change effects are taking hold, but Viet Nam has only recently started long term climate change adaptation measures. Disaster risk management and climate change adaptation must be better coordinated at all levels, and these must be mainstreamed in all social economic development plans, sector plans and investments.
One critical issue is that the exposure of people, communities, infrastructure and other public and private economic assets to the ever increasing climate extremes will be reduced, in coastal regions, major deltas, major cities and also in the mountains. The vulnerability of Viet Nam’s human systems and ecological systems to climate extremes must also be reduced. The report assesses many measures already taken in Viet Nam to reduce disaster risks and adapt to climate change, including enhanced risk analysis; improved early warning systems; strengthened spatial and urban planning; climate proofing of infrastructure, housing and other buildings; and social protection and assistance systems, especially focused on the elderly and children.
The UN Development Programme actively supported the formulation of SREX Viet Nam. Dr Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator said that: “Viet Nam is severely affected by climate extremes. Women, children, the elderly and ethnic minorities are among the most vulnerable groups and all efforts are needed to help build their resilience. The right policies, capacity and knowledge are continuously needed in order to take measures that reduce climate risks. Without that, sustainable development is not possible in Viet Nam”.
Assoc.Prof. Huynh Thi Lan Huong, IMHEN, +84 91 211 9740, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ta Thi Thanh Huong, UNDP Viet Nam, +84 90 409 0179, email@example.com