Disaster prevention doc to air nationwide

Update: May, 30/2015 - 10:15
Looming large: Danish Ambassador John Nielsen introduces a new TV documentary on disaster prevention that will be broadcast nationwide on television and appear on social media, including YouTube and Facebook, on June 1. —Photo courtesy of Danish Embassy
HCM CITY  (VNS) — Danish Ambassador to Viet Nam John Nielsen, in a visit to HCM City yesterday, introduced a new documentary that will provide the public with information on preventive measures against natural disasters.

Storm is a 30-minute documentary which instructs families on how to best prepare for and survive a major storm, flood or natural disaster. It will be broadcast on national and regional television and appear on social media, including Facebook and YouTube, on June 1.

The Danish Embassy co-sponsored the documentary, which was made by World Climate Change Challenge, a nonprofit organisation registered in Viet Nam and supported by the embassy.

"We cannot stop such disasters from happening, but we can reduce their impact if the right measures are taken in advance," Nielsen said yesterday during a press briefing.

"The Danish Embassy has engaged in a wide variety of public initiatives. Most prominent are the Earth Hour Viet Nam campaign and the Voice of Viet Nam's serial radio programme with an aim to help spread knowledge on climate change and the practical steps all of us can take to address this challenge," he said.

More than 70 per cent of Viet Nam's population is at risk from typhoon, flood and storm surges, according to the embassy.

The country is believed to be one of the world's most vulnerable countries affected by climate change.

In 2013, Viet Nam faced an unusually high number of natural disasters, including 15 intense typhoons causing 277 deaths, 855 injuries and economic loss estimated at US$1.5 billion, according to the ambassador.

Speaking at the press briefing, Paul Phillips, producer of the TV documentary and director of Storm Productions in Viet Nam, said: "If we all sit back and do nothing today, thousands of children will again become the unnecessary victims of the next super storm or flood that hits the region, be it this year, or next. A huge number of deaths, injuries and illnesses can be prevented by putting into place educational media that is relevant to urban and rural communities."

Denmark was the first country to support the Vietnamese government's National Target Program of Response to Climate Change with $40 million, a press release from the embassy said.

Denmark has supported Earth Hour since 2011, and Nielsen has for the last four years been acting Earth Hour Ambassador.

The Danish government has also supported the production of more than 100 radio programmes to equip people in the country's remote and rural areas with knowledge on the effects of climate change.

One study has estimated that sea levels may rise by 33cm by 2050 and up to 1m by 2100, which could displace 7 million people in the Mekong Delta alone, a press release from the embassy said.

A one-metre rise in sea level will affect some 11 per cent of the population, impact 7 per cent of the country's agricultural land, and reduce the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by as much as 10 per cent. — VNS