Vietnam has actively contributed to the international community’s efforts to reduce the impact of climate change and protect the climate system, said a Vietnamese senior environment official.

“To actively deal with the adverse impacts of climate change in Vietnam; to join the international community’s efforts in mitigating climate change and protecting the climatic system, the Vietnamese Government approved the National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change on 02 December 2008; and approved for publication ‘Climate Change Scenarios toward 2100 for Vietnam’ in early August 2009,” permanent Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Van Duc told the third world climate change conference in Geneva on September 4.

Vietnam will continue to closely cooperate with the World Meteorology Organisation and other international organisations to address climate change, Duc stressed.

According to the official, in Vietnam, the annual average temperature has increased by about 0.5-0.7 degrees centigrade in the last 50 years (1958-2007), and sea levels have increased by about 20cm in the same time.

Climate change has created natural disasters, such as typhoons, storms, floods and droughts, and such disasters are becoming increasingly severe in the Southeast Asian country.

He also cited the World Bank’s Report in 2007 as saying that Vietnam is one of the five countries foreseen to be the most affected by climate change due to its long coastlines, high concentration of population and economic activity in coastal areas and a heavy reliance on agriculture, natural resources and forestry.

Vietnam has been facing a number of impacts due to climate change that effect many aspects of life, from daily life and earning a livelihood, to natural resources, infrastructure and the economy, he noted.

The third world climate conference, themed “Better climate information for a better future,” took place from August 31 to September 4./.