Vietnam Time

12/5/2017 2:33:08 PM

Mekong Delta: Nearly 50% households not aware of climate change

(VNF) - Only nearly 50% of surveyed households are aware of climate change, this is the result of the research named "Building community’s capacity in responding to disasters in the Mekong Delta", jointly conducted by Bread for the World (Bftw) and ActionAid Vietnam.

The research was conducted as part of the same-name project implemented in 2 yeas (Dec 2016 – 2017).

The target of the project are the vulnerable group (especially ethnic-minority women and youth) who are residents of areas affected by climate change.

Dr.Nguyen Trung Hung, specialist from the Institute of Labours Science and Society representing the research group to present the report. (photo: Phi Yen)

Based on the surveyed result on direct impacts of climate change on the lives of vulnerable community as well as the need, awareness of those people, the project proposes suggestion and solution on improving people’s capacity in responding to climate change.

According to statistical data reported by ActionAid Vietnam, climate change has led to multi severe consequences, such as: 13% households lose or have to abandon all farming land, aqua-cultural water surface area, or lead to lower coefficient of agricultural land use; 16.6% household suffer from damages in terms of housing, land, have to invest in restoring farming land, or hiring more workers or farming land.

Severe landslide in Cho Moi commune (An Giang province), April 2017  (source: VNA)

Especially, landslide has been causing huge damages in terms of houses, farming land in several areas, such as in Cho Moi district (An Giang province) in April and Cho Lach district (Ben Tre province) in mid November.

Also according to ActionAid Vietnam, each affected household needs 73 extra working days on average to make up for what have been damaged/disrupted by climate change effects.

Besides, 18.6% surveyed households are suffering from the degradation of water (depletion, saline intrusion, abnormal odour, etc.)

However, there are only around half of the affected households are aware of climate change, of which the majority are those who are directly affected by the issue.

In overall, the proportion of households who know about climate change-responding programme launched by the government remains considerably low. For instance, in Cho Moi district (An Giang province), there are only 15% households have heard about the government’s 135, 134 or 167 programme.

Based on the reported situation, experts at the conference have proposed recommendations, which mostly focus on paying attention to improving the capacity of the community in responding to climate change.

Apart from macro-level solutions like increasing the connection with global funds on climate change, cooperation with both Vietnamese and foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs), adjusting policies, delegates also proposed solutions at local level.

Accordingly, in terms of administration, it is necessary to make sure the in-charge agencies, functions and operation mechanism of the "Committee for flood and storm control and response to climate change” in lower level (province, district, commune), ensuring representatives who are members of the Labours, the Invalids and Society sector are engaged in the program to reinforce and incorporate contents regarding vocation training, and adjustment of labour-employment placement for people in affected areas.

In terms of financial resource management, it is necessary to allocate properly financial resource to respond to climate change, facilitating optimizing the use of capitals from various sources, with a focus on international funding/capital supporting climate change response such as the Green Climate Foundation (GCF).

Particularly, it is necessary to ensure the effectiveness in mobilizing and making use of financial supports from international community such as: finance, experience, technology transfer.

In addition, the research group of ActionAid Vietnam recommends the enactment of mechanism, policies which allow local authorities (commune/ward) to retain 50%  of the "Fund for flood and storm prevention and control" to be more autonomous in responding to climate change in the locality.

In terms of communication and propaganda, it is necessary to develop competent human resources in responding to climate change, especially the management team working at local levels (commune/ward, hamlet/village), to ensure effective management and information broadcast among the community.

According to Dr. Nguyen Trung Hung, specialist of the Institute of Labour Science and Society, due to the Mekong Delta's distinctive demographic pattern (high percentage of ethnic-minority people), it is necessary to consider the cultural elements while selecting the appropriate propaganda method to fits in the context (culture, customs, etc., of the target group) to make sure the information are conveyed to the people precisely and understandably.

Especially, propaganda on climate change response should highlight the need for livelihood adaptation to climate change, specifically in changing people’s awareness and new production approaches to adapt to climate change. For example, disseminating techniques in water-saving farming with plants including onions, cucumbers, corns, (The institute of climate change – Can Tho University) or switching the prioritized crops (from rice to fruits trees) (Prof. Tran Dinh Long, President of the Vietnam Seedling Association), applying the model of "Alternate Wetting and Drying farming" (GIZ), among others.

Farmers in Bac Lieu province observe Alternate Wetting and Drying farming model (source:

In additions, the delegates also suggested the increase on activities supporting vocation training for people in affected areas, as well as conducting survey, re-assessing the demand for vocation training and employment of women in rural area; encouraging the development of enterprises/non-agricultural industrial zone in the locality for local labourers, ensuring new livelihood which suit the conditions in the locality in responding to climate change./.

  ( Phi Yen )
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