Vietnam should play a more active role in international efforts to respond to climate change, instead of just calling for assistance from international organisations, said Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Minh Quang.
In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on prioritized response programmes in 2015, the minister said responding to climate change is both an urgent and long-term task for the country, citing forecasts that Vietnam is one of the 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change by the end of this century.
According to the minister, the Mekong Delta—the nation’s largest rice granary— is among the three deltas hardest hit by the phenomenon, while climate change is also directly affecting 28 coastal localities and the Red River Delta.
The National Committee on Climate Change Response, headed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and relevant agencies have built strategies, plans of actions and national target programmes to realise the Party Central Committee’s Resolution 24-NQ/TW on responding to climate change and strengthening natural resource management and environmental protection, Quang said, adding that the National Assembly also issued a resolution on climate change adaptation in the Mekong Delta.
The minister highlighted the need to adjust climate change response scenarios for vulnerable localities until 2100, given the unpredictable climate developments, citing Ben Tre province where the sea level is rising at higher-than-predicted rates as an example.
He shared that through support from international organisations, Vietnam has carried out several effective adaptation models in Quang Nam and Ben Tre provinces, which will now be expanded to other localities.
Priority will be given to projects and programmes preventing erosion by planting protective forests, upgrading sea dyke systems, and addressing flooding in Hanoi, HCM City, Ben Tre and Ca Mau.
Vietnam will also actively participate in international conferences on climate change, including the 21 st United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) to be held in Paris later this year, he said.
Minister Quang emphasised the essential role of the community in the nation’s policies on climate change response, stressing the need to raise public awareness of climate change responses, heighten the sense of social responsibility, and incite the involvement of every person and organisation in the initiatives.
Greater attention is needed in enhancing disaster forecast and warning capacity to mitigate disaster impacts, he said, adding that the State should also allocate more budget funds for issues related to climate change.