Welcome to SEARCA Knowledge Center on Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management in Southeast Asia (KC3)

Experts Says Vietnamese Children Should Play More Active Role in Climate Change

Published on 22 April 2014 Vietnam

Experts said it is vital for children to actively participate and contribute to decisions and plans concerning climate change, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

Nguyen Cong Nhue, a climate change adaptation specialist from Plan in Vietnam, said adults should give children a voice, document good practices and incorporate them into government processes.

"Children generally have low awareness and limited capacity to adapt to impacts of climate change," Nhue said at conference attended by experts from various non-governmental organisations in Hanoi this week.

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

At the conference, experts shared their experiences and measures taken to cope with climate change.

Statistics released by Plan in Vietnam showed that more than 90 percent of people killed in the 2011 Mekong floods were under 16 years old.

Nhue said that besides the risk of fatalities, children are vulnerable to diseases related to lack of clean water and poor hygienic conditions.

Ho Ngoc Son, manager of the Agriculture and Forestry Research and Development Centre for the Northern Mountainous Region, said climate change continues to remain a low priority among local agencies.

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

Ta Thi Thanh Huong, a climate change policy officer at the United Nations Development Programme, called on the Vietnamese government to develop action plans in localities.

"This is to ensure that migrants and vulnerable residents, including the elderly and children have access to climate change information," Huong said.

Nhue proposed that more research on the impact of climate change on children be conducted, and for schools to provide training tool kits, story books and cartoons on climate change.

Projects undertaken by communities, schools and youth clubs on strengthening community resilience to climate change should receive small seed grants, Nhue added.

Source: Bernama | 11 April 2014