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Operational rules issued for Vietnam’s climate change strategy

Published on 2 May 2014 Vietnam

Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has issued the details of its operational framework for implementing an ecosystem-based adaptation for climate change.

The operational framework was developed by the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (Isponre)-a research institution within the ministry– in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the World Bank (WB).

Vietnam is one of the countries most severely affected by climate change, and its government, ministries and local authorities have been exerting great efforts to mitigate its impact.

For a long time, the preferred solution has been to engage in infrastructural engineering and construction and other "hard" options – such as sea walls and dikes – rather than "soft" options such as conserving, restoring and improving ecosystems, since the former provides immediate, measurable results.

Recently, however, evidence shows the long-term financial efficiency and practicality of ecosystem-based solutions.

These solutions are especially suitable for countries like Vietnam, where many people depend directly on the benefits derived from natural ecosystem services.

Since 2010, WWF has been working to develop a guiding framework for ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change for the Mekong Subregion. In Vietnam, WWF has been cooperating with Isponre and the World Bank to research and pilot these guidelines in order to adjust them to specific in-country conditions.

"The guidelines have been developed in consultation with national and international institutions, and the recommended ecosystem-based adaptations have been piloted in three coastal districts in southern province of Ben Tre," said Huynh Tien Dung, conservation programme manager of WWF-Vietnam.

"We hope the guidelines will be of great help to policy makers and decision makers in responding to climate change," he added.

The implementation of ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change is drawing attention from Vietnam's policymakers and partners for its remarkable results.

Dr. Nguyen Van Tai, director of  Isponre, said, "It is essential that we integrate climate change issues into our strategy and planning development. And that makes this operational framework a valuable reference."

This operational guide is appropriate for policies and strategies established by the government of Vietnam in the battle against climate change. These include Resolution 24-NQ/TW on actively responding to climate change, enhancing sustainable resource management, protecting the environment, as well as the National Strategy on Green Development and the National Strategy against Climate Change, both of which emphasise the importance of maintaining and recovering ecosystems to climate change resilience in Vietnam.

The operational framework will be distributed to government agencies, institutions, NGOs and other relevant entities across 63 provinces and cities of Vietnam.

Source: Asia News Network | 19 April 2014