The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) launched an Advisory Council for the National Committee on Climate Change on January 22, bringing together leading Vietnamese scientists in areas related to climate change assessment and relief and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
The council will consult with the National Committee on Climate Change during the design of policies and application of advanced science and technology to cope with climate change in accordance with Vietnam’s socio-economic development strategies, said Deputy Minister Tran Hong Ha.
As one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, Vietnam is highly aware that mitigating the effects of climate change and preventing accompanying natural disasters is vital to the country’s sustainable development, he said.
The country has deployed numerous measures and policies to tackle climate change and boost green energy development at home while also working together with the international community to reduce global climate change impacts and protect the environment, he noted.
Also on January 22, the MONRE released Vietnam’s Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX Vietnam).
According to Dr. Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam, the report was conducted by 40 Vietnamese scientists and eight national institutes with the support of the UN Development Programme.
It updates natural disaster risks in Vietnam, as well as elaborates on necessary steps to be taken, she said.
SREX Vietnam also points out the need for a long-term vision on climate change adaptation when designing strategies for sectors and localities in the context of extreme events, she stated.
Beyond handling flood and storm consequences, it is crucial to reduce the risk of extreme weather phenomena by reducing the vulnerability of communities, infrastructure systems, and economic activities, as well as impacts on agriculture, urban planning, and tourism development, among others, says the report.
Professor Tran Thuc, Vice Chairman of the Advisory Council, said climate change has led to unusual weather patterns with strong impacts on Vietnam.
Adapting to climate change should be considered a major focus for the country’s public investment, said Thuc.
Vietnam has considerable experience in dealing with dramatic weather and natural disasters, as it faced an average of 6-7 major storms annually and countered 74 floods from 1990 to 2010, together with other extreme events including droughts and landslides, he noted.
The SREX Vietnam also dictates a series of measures to respond to disasters and climate change, including analyzing risk, improving alert systems, and enhancing social protection and support systems focusing on the elderly and children, providing a framework for ministries and localities to design climate change strategies.