A workshop was held in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang on September 4-5 to discuss methods to combine climate change response and disaster risk alleviation efforts with socio-economic development planning.

The event was co-organised by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Community-based Climate Change Action Grants and several non-governmental organisations active in Vietnam .

During the workshop, delegates voiced their opinions on the pressing issues of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, with a special focus on their respective impacts on coastal regions, the environment in general, and agriculture, as well as on children, women and people with disabilities – the members of society most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Representatives from different localities shared their practical experiences in combining climate change adaptation with socio-economic development planning.

Do Ngoc Hoa, Deputy Director of Nam Dinh’s Planning and Investment Department, reported on the northern coastal province, which is affected by saltwater intrusion during the dry season, and landslides and floods during the rainy season. To address these issues, the province’s planning processes now consider the impact of sea level rises on coastal production areas. Furthermore, the locality has prioritised investments in the dyke system and in aquaculture in brackish and saltwater ecosystems.

Huynh Van Muoi, a representative of the central province Quang Nam , told workshop participants that the locality spent approximately 135 billion VND (6.34 million USD) on climate change responses during the 2011-2015 period. Accordingly, the province constructed schools and healthcare facilities that can serve as shelters during natural disasters, and organised activities to increase the local inhabitants’ awareness of climate change adaptation and disaster alleviation.-VNA