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Climate change plan is vital for Viet Nam

Update: May, 14/2011 - 09:07

HA NOI — Climate change has affected the socio-economic development of many countries around the world, including Viet Nam.

Despite its negative impact, it has given people a chance to re-think sustainable development in terms of low-carbon production out-put. It has also given the international community a chance to join hands in response to environmental protection, said Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha.

Speaking at a consultation workshop, set up to draft a Strategy on Climate Change from 2050-2100, held in Ha Noi yesterday, Deputy Minister Ha said that such a strategy was necessary in order for the country to develop drastic measures in coping with the global issue of climate change.

Under the draft, Viet Nam aims to ready itself for active response to natural disasters in terms of weather surveillance, with the implementation of a modern early warning system.

The country aims to complete its network of surveillance stations by 2015.

All hydro-meteorological forecasting stations will be upgraded to keep pace with those in developed countries while, by 2020, 90 per cent of stations will be expected to operate automatically.

Le Cong Thanh, director of the Department of Hydro-Meteorology and Climate Change, responsible for drawing up the strategy, said that the Vietnamese Government had previously approved an action plan in response to climate change in 2008, but that it only focused on measures to adapt and mitigate the impact. Provinces and cities nation-wide were called upon to design their own detailed action plans to further local socio-economic development.

The initial strategy additionally covered the reduction of green house gas emissions, he said.

"Tasks outlined in the draft would not only be related to the impact of climate change, but also to food and water resource security as well as the efficient use of energy," he said.

The draft proposes raising the country's forest coverage to 47 per cent by 2020, seeing as forests could help deal with flooding and soil degradation. Authorities responsible for forest projects could enjoy financial support from the Government as well as international organisations.

Thanh said that relevant ministries were currently drafting criteria for climate change response projects.

He additionally emphasised that scenarios for climate change were not fixed due to changing situations, urging authorities to be flexible in adapting policies and projects.

During the last 50 years, the country's average temperature has increased by about 0.5 Degrees Celsius while the sea level rose by about 20 cm. Extreme weather conditions including storms, floods and droughts were occurring more and more frequently, according to the Ministry's Hydro-meteorology and Environment Institute. — VNS

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