|Land erosion hit residential areas in Kênh Đào Đông Hamlet, Đất Mũi Commune in southernmost Cà Mau Province. The province loses about 450 ha of land along the coast each year due to climate change. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đạt|
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese Government and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) on Monday announced the first GCF-funded project in Việt Nam, worth almost US$30 million. The project focuses on supporting vulnerable, highly disaster-exposed communities to protect themselves from the impacts of frequent typhoons and floods.
The 3-year project named “Improving the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities to climate change–related impacts in Việt Nam” was approved this month.
It was developed as a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Construction, and Planning and Investment and seven coastal provinces.
Accordingly, activities will include the provision of safe housing to protect vulnerable coastal communities from increased flooding and storms, robust mangrove coverage to provide a natural buffer between coastal communities and the sea and enhanced climate risk information to guide climate-resilient and risk-informed planning.
The project, slated to start from August, will be carried out in the provinces of Thanh Hóa, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Quảng Ngãi, Quảng Bình, Quảng Nam, Cà Mau and Nam Định.
About 40,000 poor people in disaster-prone areas are expected to benefit when storm and flood resilient design features are added to 4,000 new houses in the provinces.
About 4,000ha of coastal mangrove will be regenerated to form buffer zones against storms.
It is expected that public and private sectors will be able to access more data about damages and losses caused by climate change in the country’s 28 coastal provinces.
Speaking at the project announcement ceremony on Monday, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Thế Phương said that the need for investment to support climate change mitigation and low carbon development was urgent as Việt Nam was considered one of 30 countries at “extreme risk” to the impact of climate change.
Phương said that the GCF-funded project would be the first step in the long-term strategic partnership with GCF.
United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Việt Nam Kamal Malhotra said that UNDP was working with Việt Nam’s Government on initiatives to build resilience to extreme climate events among rural poor, many of whom are women or come from ethnic minority groups.
He said that the UNDP expected innovations and transformations to increase climate resilience, especially among the private sector.
Nguyễn Đức Quyền, vice chairman of central Thanh Hóa Province People’s Committee said that the province was calling for assistance to improve its sea dyke system, reservoirs, dams, natural disaster monitoring and early warning system as well as aids to improve the livelihoods of disaster-hit poor households.
“Besides the province’s budget, funding from the private sector, overseas development assistance and help from NGOs are appreciated,” he said.
He said that the province hoped to join three components of the GCF projects: flood resistant housing, afforestation, and improved natural disaster risk management and warning.
The GCF was created in 2010 by the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP) in Mexico, aiming to allocate its resources to low-emission and climate-resilient investment in developing countries.
To date, the GCF has received total commitments of $10.3 billion, of which $6.7 billion has been contributed. The new financial mechanism was established and operated in 2013 and is expected to become the most important and unique financial mechanism on the basis of merging existing financial mechanisms to implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. — VNS