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Children need to learn risks of climate change

Update: April, 10/2014 - 09:02
"Over 90 per cent of those killed in the 2011 Mekong floods were under 16 years of age, according to statistics released by the organisation."— Photo baocaomoitruong

HA NOI (VNS)— It is essential that children should actively participate and contribute to decisions and plans concerning climate change, said Plan in Viet Nam at a conference in Ha Noi on Tuesday.

Experts from different non-governmental organisations shared their experiences and measures taken to cope with climate change at the conference.

Nguyen Cong Nhue, Plan in Viet Nam's climate change adaptation specialist, said that while children are often more vulnerable than adults, they have low awareness and limited capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

They also have limited access to assets, information and government resources, he said.

Over 90 per cent of those killed in the 2011 Mekong floods were under 16 years of age, according to statistics released by the organisation.

Besides the risk of fatalities, children can suffer from diseases related to the shortage of clean water and hygienic conditions, he said.

Manager of the Agriculture and Forestry Research and Development Centre for the Northern Mountainous Region Ho Ngoc Son pointed out that climate change still remains low priority among the local agencies.

"There are no guidelines and sources of funds for climate change activities at the local level, schools and the community," he said.

Nhue said that adults should give children a voice, document good practices and incorporate them into government processes.

More research on children and the impact of climate change should be implemented.

Schools needed to have training tool kits, story books, cartoons and animations on the issue.

Communities, schools and youth club projects to demonstrate solutions to strengthen community resilience to climate change should be given small seed grants, he said.

Ta Thi Thanh Huong, a policy officer of the climate change section of the United Nations Development Programme, added that the State should develop action plans in localities to ensure that migrants and poor vulnerable residents, including old people and children, get climate change information. — VNS

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