Vietnam has started implementing the third phase of the Asia-Pacific Biosphere Reserves for Environmental and Economic Security (BREES) initiative in the Red River Delta Biosphere Reserve.

As part of the 2013 work plan between the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the BREES initiative aims at empowering the local communities to set up creative responses to climate change. Its first two phases were successfully implemented at the Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve in northern Hai Phong city.

The third phase includes a programme to build up local teachers’ capacities to enhance students’ knowledge on key sustainability challenges, and an initiative that will integrate Education for Sustainable Development into informal and non-formal education through sessions on climate change and biodiversity issues for parents and local community members.

Speaking at the phase’s official launch at Xuan Thuy National Park in northern Nam Dinh province on January 15, Katherine Muller-Marin, UNESCO Representative to Vietnam, emphasised this project will have benefits far beyond Nam Dinh province and the Red River Delta.

It will provide inputs for national policy level, especially contributing to Vietnam ’s curriculum reform, and will be shared as an example within the ASEAN community, she said.

The results of this project will also be a concrete contribution towards the production of open license e-learning courses that UNESCO and the Ministry are working on for teacher training on biodiversity conservation and climate change which will be made available to all teachers in Vietnam , she noted.
The third phase of BREES at the Red River Delta is expected to finish in late May.

BREES is a long-term (7+ years) climate change and poverty alleviation programme in the Asia-Pacific Region and is a regional flagship programme of the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Science in Jakarta.-VNA