Climate change adaptation incorporated into sector development plans

(VEN) – Doctor Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommended the adaptation of sector plans to absorb the effects of climate change at a workshop to discuss the implications for Vietnam of the “Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” co-organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Hanoi.

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Dr Pachauri said Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries would be affected by climate change on a number of areas including agriculture, water resources and health. Particularly, the rising of sea water levels could cause floods and wipe out the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in this region, including Vietnam.

Climate change scenarios show that recent years have seen warmer temperature in the winter than in the summer and also that in the mainland compared with the coastal regions. There has been a decline in the rainfall in the dry season and an increase in the rainy season.

According to forecasts, extreme climatic events and disasters will occur in Vietnam such as declining drizzling rain and cold weather in the North, increasing heat wave in the Central and Southern regions and more frequent strange heavy rain in wet-seasons. These are challenges for operations to fight against natural disasters and respond to climate change.

The IPCC Chairman said Vietnam is highly vulnerable to the affects of climate change, in which the Mekong Delta is one of the world’s three “extremely” hot area and it was estimated that about one million local people may have to evacuate the region due to rising sea levels that could cause drought and flood and affect their lives. Rising sea levels would also have a serious impact on agriculture, more specifically on 0.9 million for rice growing out of 1.6 millions ha of agricultural land in the coastal regions.

In his assessments of Vietnam’s response to climate change, Dr Pachauri said Vietnam has taken reasonable measures and issued synchronous legal documents, affirming the country’s strong political determination in the fight against the climate change and rising sea levels. He confirmed that the IPCC would work closely with Vietnam in the field, recommending the country to strengthen investment in early warning systems and policy making regarding agriculture and urban planning.

The official also said to minimize affects of climate change on the socioeconomic development, Vietnam should combine activities in response to climate change with development plans and strategies of other sectors. The management of the risks of natural disasters and responses to climate change need to be implemented at different levels and scales, both domestically and internationally.

As for the part of Vietnamese people, especially the poor in the fight against the climate change, the efficient measure is to improve their living standards. Dr Pachauri said “if we don’t take reasonable measures right now, climate change could deteriorate the poor circumstance and continues to dampen economic growth in developing countries”.

Therefore, a strong legal framework is needed so that climate change adaptation is incorporated into public economic development strategies as well as in coordination among ministries and sectors to increase people’s capacities to cope with extreme events and disasters./.

By Nguyen Huong

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