The mountainous region, which accounts for three quarters of the country’s total land area, benefitted from numerous initiatives to reduce the risks of natural disaster, be it from the Party and State or national and international organisations over the past three decades.

However, natural disasters such as landslides, flash floods, droughts and forest fires have become more unpredictable in recent years, reversing socio-economic development and hampering poverty reduction efforts.

Rapid population growth, increasing malnutrition, and a limited understanding of the issues are limiting the impact of natural disaster adaptation measures.

Furthermore, deforestation and the overexploitation of natural resources have also contributed to environmental pollution and ecological degradation.

The difficult terrain of the mountainous region, coupled with poor infrastructure and transport, prevents local residents from accessing information on natural disasters, failing to promptly take adaptation measures.

According to the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control, 250 flash floods and landslides have occurred in Vietnam since 2000, leaving 646 dead and missing, 351 injuries, and economic losses of more 3.3 billion VND (145,000 USD).

The northern mountainous areas have been experiencing unusual frost and icy weather in recent years, whilst provinces in the Central Highlands, centre and south of Vietnam are increasingly affected by serious droughts as a result of environmental change and population growth.

The mountainous region is home to approximately 12.3 million people, representing 14.27 percent of the nation’s total population.-VNA