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VietNamNews

Savvy spending key to climate fight

Update: June, 12/2013 - 09:57
Severe tides swept away many assets and crops of residents in southern Binh Thuan Province's Phan Thiet City. The country should improve its management of financial support from international organisations to deal with impacts of climate change, experts say—VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Thanh

HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam was yesterday urged to improve its management of financial support from international organisations to effectively deal with the impacts of climate change.

Le Van Minh, deputy head of the Support Programme to Respond to Climate Change, said at a Ha Noi conference that developed countries have reiterated their commitment to long-term climate finance support to developing nations, with a view to mobilising US$100 billion per year for adaptation and mitigation by 2020 under the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Doha.

"This is a huge amount of financial support that Viet Nam should take advantage of," he said.

The country should strive to gain access to the variety of supports earmarked for coping with climate change, including the Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund, he said.

If we fail to gain financial support from developed countries and funds, we will meet many difficulties fighting the potentially devastating impacts of climate change, he said.

"To avoid that, an expert team skilled in negotiatiating and obtaining financial support packages from international organisations must be set up," he said.

Managing and using climate funds effectively are also a key factor in successfully overcoming climate change challenges, said experts.

Statistics from the Ministry of Planning and Investment show roughly $1.2 billion was mobilised from international donors under the official development assistance (ODA) model to help Viet Nam combat climate change during 2009-11. The fund was double the amount expected under the Supporting Programme to Respond to Climate Change.

However, the ministry has so far failed to produce a detailed report outlining how the financial support was spent.

Nguyen Tuan Anh, deputy head of the ministry's Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment Department said a lack of detailed information had prevented the release of a comprehensive analysis.

"The data is scattered across both central and local level agencies, so it really takes time to collect and process," he said.

We have worked with the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme to ensure the detailed report be finished by the end of this year, he said.

Experts from OXFAM and CARE, recommended that Viet Nam ensures a fair, transparent and robust accounting system for climate finance from both domestic and international sources.

The monitoring and evaluating of climate-related projects should be undertaken by the State Auditors, they said.

The Government should make disclosures of information on climate-related finance, its implementation and results mandatory, they added.

According to the Asian Development Bank, estimates of climate change's potential impact on Viet Nam's GDP ranged from 1 to 3 per cent per year by 2050.

The country, which has two major low-lying deltas and a long coastline, is vulnerable to a range of climate-related hazards.

In 2008 the Government approved the National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change, worth VND1.9 trillion ($94 million) for the 2009-15 period. – VNS


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