Social integration challenges in the context of environmental change were the focus of a high-level forum on social transformation management in Southeast Asian countries held in Hanoi on December 20.

Organised by the Vietnamese Government, the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) and the Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme under UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Sector, the event attracted delegates from Vietnam and other regional countries, including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar.

Delegates discussed issues which can help solve the priority of the MOST programme, namely social transformations arising from global environmental change and social integration.

According to the VASS Vice President, the forum meets urgent requirements to ensure people’s basic rights, including the right to live in safety and the right to be protected from risks posed by climate change.

Southeast Asian nations are prone to climate change, in which Vietnam is one of the five countries in the world most vulnerable to the phenomenon.

During the forum, delegates called for the strengthening of the role of social sciences in addressing social integration challenges in the context of environmental change.

They stressed the need to establish an empowerment mechanism that allows people to have the chance to enjoy happiness and sustainable sources of livelihood.

They suggested Southeast Asian countries implement research activities to build a consistent social policy framework which has the close coordination of the region.

It is necessary for the region to put social and ethical aspects into environmental policies, and set up a council of scientists and consultants to gather opinions about social aspects of environmental change as well as policies to deal with it, they added.-VNA