Children are the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change due to a high risk of disease, malnutrition and environmental pollution caused by natural calamities, experts said at a conference in Hanoi on June 20.

The event was jointly held by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to launch a national research on the effects of climate change and natural disasters on Vietnamese children.

The Government and ministry have adopted many policies to cope with this global issue; however, children have largely been left out of the debate, resulting in a lack of general information in the area.

The five-month research, which was kick-started in May, aims to enhance public knowledge of climate change adaptation and disaster risk mitigation, especially among children.

Its outcomes are expected to help the ministry design measures addressing the issue and improve the social welfare mechanism in disaster-prone areas. It will also call for public involvement in the endeavour.

Owning a long coastline, Vietnam faces many typhoons and other natural disasters every year. It is recognised as one of the five countries in the world most vulnerable to climate change.

According to the Hydrometeorology and Climate Change Department, the amount of green house gas emissions in the country rose from 21 million tonnes of CO2 in 1990 to 150 million tonnes in 2000. It is predicted to reach 300 million tonnes by 2020.

Over the past 15 years, natural disasters, including storms, floods, droughts and landslides, have killed and injured more than 10,700 people, while causing economic losses of about 1.5 percent of GDP each year.-VNA