According to various information sources Vietnam is one of the countries in the world most severely impacted by climate change (Vietnam, Egypt, Suriname, Bahamas, Bangladesh … ).;
Le Thac Can
Vietnam Environment & Sustainable Development Institute,
Head of Scientist Council of VESDI
In Vietnam during the past 50 years (1958-2007) the average temperature has increased about 0.5oC. Winter temperature has increased faster than summer temperatures. Temperature in the northern zones of the country has risen faster than that in southern zones. The average annual rainfall for the whole country, has decreased by about 2% from 1958 to 2007. The number of cold fronts has remarkably decreased in the last two decades. Anomalous events however are more frequent. Recently in 2008 , an extremely damaging cold surge lasted 38 consecutive days during the winter of 2008. 34.000 ha growing rice destroyed, 33.000 cows and buffalos died from cold. Typhoons of increasing intensity and devastating areas are hitting various parts of the country. Their traces seemed to be moving southward and the season to end later in the year. There have been more typhoons with abnormal trajectories in recent years. Together with these changes in climate parameters the sea level has raised about 20 cm during the period from 1993 to 2008, or roughly 3mm/year during the monitoring period.
Consequences of climate change in Vietnam are considered to be serious and could lead to significant threats to poverty reduction, socio-economic development as well as to achievement of Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development of the country.
Recognizing potential impacts of climate change for the country the Government of Vietnam has developed the National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change (NTPCC) of Vietnam. In the frame of this Programme the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment has developed climate change scenarios for the country based on IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) scenarios of low emissions (B1), of medium emissions (B2) and of high emissions (A2). These scenarios have been developed for 7 climate zones of Vietnam using monitoring data collected during the baseline period of 1980-2008.
According to B2 scenario, comparing with data monitored in the baseline period, in the year 2050 the annual mean temperature in Vietnam will rise between 0,8 and 1,5 oC , in the year 2100, between 1,9 and 2,6oC depending from climate zone in the region. Annual rainfall, in the year 2050, will increase from 1.7% to 3.8% in some climatic zones and will decrease from 0,2% to 0,3% in other climatic zones.
According to medium emission scenario sea level in Vietnam will likely rose 30 cm in the year 2050 and 75cm in the year 2100. With the high emission scenario sea level could rise to 33 cm in 2050 and 100 cm in 2100.
With this medium scenario the Mekong River Delta, which has an area of 39.734 km2, a population of more than 17 million people, producing 50% of the country’s rice output could have 15 126 km2 or 37.8% of its ara area inundated. A similar scenario could also happen with Red River Delta with important losses in agricultural, industrial production and infrastructure constructions.
Climate Change impacts to Vietnam are from two sides. One side is the rising of sea level in South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. The other side is the decrease of vater runoff from Himalaya glaciers due to earth temperature rising. Important part of water runoff in the dry season in upper part of Mekong River is depending from water supply from glaciers of Himalaya. Less glaciers means less water sources for Mekong river in the dry season. Mekong river Delta in Vietnam will have less water, less fish resources, less sediment for rice fields. Rising water from the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand will increase the salinity of important part of the water in this delta.
In December 2008 the Prime Minister of Vietnam has issued Decision Nr 158/2008/QD-TTg approving the National Target Programme on Climate Change (NTPCC) of Vietnam . This NTPCC lists 9 targets:
1. Assessment of CC impacts in Vietnam,
2. Determination of solution to respond to CC impacts,
3. Science and technology program to respond to CC impacts,
4. Strengthening of organizational, regulatory and policy concerning CC issues
5. Development of people awareness and manpower for solving problems
6. Development of international cooperation related to CC.
7. Integration of CC in the preparation and implementation of sector and regional socio-economic development policies, strategies, plans
8. Elaboration of CC action plans of ministries provinces,
9. Development and implementation of CC related projects, including CC adaptation and mitigation projects..
Concerning the tasks of social organizations, NGOs and business organizations NTPCC indicates that these organizations should actively contribute to the activities of the programme, especially in information, education, training for the people and closely cooperate with NTPCC programmes and projects of ministries, provinces and cities.
An investment of 1.965 billion of VND has been provided for implementation of NTPCC in the period 2009-2015.
Vietnamese Civil Society Organizations, including members of large socio-political organizations established by the Government such as Vietnam Front of People, Women Organization, Youth Union … ; important professional organizations established according to legal system and regulations in the country, such as Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association (VUSTA), Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE)… and smaller NGOs, such as SRD (Sustainable Rural Development Center), VESDI (Vietnam Environment & Sustainable Development Institute … are actively participating in the implementation of NTP on CC.
A network of CSOs participating in the implementation of NTPCC has been organized in the country since 2009 with the name of Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) has efficiently assisted NTPCC by activities of the project “Capacity Building on Climate Change for Social Organizations”
Participation of CSOs in NTPCC activities include training activities, such as: organization of Training Courses in CC for NGOs experts (Hanoi, June 2010), Training Courses in Climate Change Impacts Mitigations for NGO experts in Hanoi and Hue City (July,2010), Training Courses in Awereness Raising on CC and adaptation solutions for Mekong Delta Provinces NGO/CSOs staff, organization of on line forum on “Vietnam and Climate Change “ by SRD and Radio the Voice of Viet Nam on 14 July 2010, Seminar on CC organized by VUSTA on June 30 2010, publication of the book “Needed to know about Climate Change” by VACNE in 2009.
CSOs also participated in monitoring, survey, research activities relating to issues of CC adaptation and mitigation for some provinces and cities (Ha Tinh, Binh Dinh, Da Nang, Mekong Delta provinces, Hai Phong City and Ho Chi Minh City..)
International and regional cooperation is very needed for further implementation of NTP on CC in Vietnam. As members of the Vietnamese CC Working Group Network we would like to express sincere thanks for TEI and related international organizations in the organization of this Mekong CSOs Dialogue on Climate Change.
1) Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Vietnam. Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment. Hanoi, 2009.
2) Needed to know about Climate Change. VACNE. Hanoi, 2009.
3) Government of S.R.Vietnam. Decision of Prime Minister nr 158/2008/QD-
TTg on approval of National Target Programme to Respond to Climate
Change., 02 Dec. 2008, Hanoi