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Climate change affects children

Update: September, 24/2014 - 09:08
Da Nang and other central coastal localities are hit hardest by climate change and extreme weather.— File Photo

DA NANG (VNS) — Migrant and homeless children, children living in informal housing and children engaged in labour were more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in Da Nang.

This was one of the key findings of a research project announced yesterday at a regional workshop held by Save the Children International in Viet Nam.

The project aimed to outline the key vulnerabilities of urban children to climate change, focusing on the central coastal city of Da Nang as well as cities in Bangladesh and the Philippines, said international consultant Sudeshna Chatterjee.

Researchers observed that in Da Nang, the new city-level Climate Change Coordination Office was only beginning to develop effective co-ordination mechanisms between departments and sectors. Moreover, authorities had little understanding about children's vulnerabilities to climate change.

They found few climate change adaptation activities for children. Textbooks and other learning aids on climate change adaptation were not available at primary and secondary schools, nor were teacher training materials and guides on local community based adaptation.

Nguyen Minh Hung, deputy director of Da Nang's Education and Training Department, said that the department was compiling a set of documents about climate change adaptation that would be integrated with subjects such as Geography and Citizen Education. The documents would provide students from primary to high school level with basic skills for adapting to climate change.

Da Nang and other central coastal localities are hit hardest by climate change and extreme weather. One or two strong storms have battered the city annually in recent years and flash floods and landslides have become more frequent, damaging local schools and infrastructure, Hung said.

Heat waves and environmental pollution also caused health problems for children, especially those who were underprivileged or disabled, he added. — VNS

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