Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA)-Measures to encourage ethnic minority groups to help the country respond to climate change were discussed at a conference held in Hanoi recently.

The event was organised to encourage all parties involved in the 2015 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21), including Vietnam, to ensure the rights and benefits of ethnic minorities were protected, as well as their ability to participate in climate change response.

Vietnamese ethnic groups including the Tay, Nung and Thai are facing critical impacts of climate change, such as flooding, landslides, forest fires and water shortages.

Land should be handed over to the ethnic groups to protect and develop natural forests, which help reduce emissions and greenhouse gases, the ethnic minority groups suggested.

A representative from the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong recommended that the Government set up ethnic minority regulations and provide relevant information in ethnic minority languages.

Construction of infrastructure works such as hydropower plants, infrastructure and others require consultations with ethnic minority groups. Strict punishments must be given to organisations and individuals who illegally exploit natural resources or damage the environment.

In addition, international and domestic organisations need to give support to ethnic people to increase their capacity to battle climate change.

The participants also agreed that countries with large volumes of emission must give technical and financial aid to ethnic groups to create resilience against environmental changes.-VNA