Solution for interprovincial cooperation in response to climate change in the Red River Delta region

13/04/2016
Before the second Red River Delta Symposium, a technical session hold by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and Hai Phong People's Committee in Hai Phong city on February 24, 2016 under the support of the Vietnam Forests and Deltas (VFD) Programme from USAID

The session had attracted representatives from northern coastal PPCs (Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh), experts and scientists from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, institutes and universities.

 

The participants of the meeting on the threshold of the 2nd Red River Delta Symposium

 

The session aims to review and update the activities implemented in the Joint Statement of the first Red River Delta Symposium, providing an opportunity for the provinces to share the challenges and find out priority measures to cope with climate change, interprovincial issues and interprovincial coordination development before the official forum (25/02/2016).

 

Identify challenges

In a joint effort after the 1st Forum, MARD through VFD had actively supported five northern coastal provinces in establishing provincial working teams to review and update the action plans in response to climate change, addressing climate change challenges in the province, reflecting the actual situation of the province and developing basis for future provincial and interprovincial projects.

 

Mr.Mark Fenn – Chief Technical Adviser of VFD at the session

 

Representatives from five provincial working teams presented how climate change become an issue and key challenges in the Red River with the increasingly negative impacts. According the climate change scenarios in 2100, these five provinces may take from 150 to 200 thousand hectares of land loss due to sea level rise and flooding. Don’t have to wait until the end of this century to witness the negative effects of climate change, its impact curently has increased with intensive and great complexity and clear evidence of saline intrusion, ecosystem and biodiversity destruction lowering the agricultural land productivity and natural systems in localities which tens of thousands of households relying on to maintain their livelihoods.

 

Representatives of coastal provincial working groups update action plans to respond to climate change

(Photo: Le Quang Trung)

 

Over the recent 50 years, the sea level in Quang Ninh has raised by 20 cm with  the average annual rise of about 0.2 to 0.4 cm, strong storms and heavy rain appeared with increasing frequency leading to flooding, flash floods, landslides and sea water flooded the lagoon shore, inland saline intrusion damaging thousands of hectares of rice and vegetables, aquaculture area and many infrastructure works, Ms. Tran Ha, Vice Director of the Department of water resources management and climate change, of Quang Ninh province said.

 

According to Nguyen Hai Dang, deputy director of Seas and Islands department of Thai Binh province, saline intrusion and sea level rising caused serious impact to the coastal districts of the province, besides the drought dueto lower water flows in the Red and Thai Binh river system significantly caused the crop yields decrease, the habitat loss of several freshwater species, biodiversity decrease of many ecosystems, salined surface water and groundwater resources. The shortages of fresh water for domestic consumption and production pushed more than 200 households of Dong Long coastal commune, Tien Hai district to move behind the dyke.

 

Climate change has a negative impact on the diversity of the ecosystem in the National Park. According to Nguyen Trong Nghia - Director of Seas and Islands department of Nam Dinh province, sea level rise, saltwater intrusion, especially low freshwater flow had affected brackish water environment, changes of habitat, structure, composition and the number of animal and plant communities in the mudflats of Xuan Thuy National Park.

 

The extreme weather phenomenons directly affect the lives of the people in Ninh Binh and Hai Phong provinces. Disasters are not seasonal, but all year round, the big and long lasting floods, heavy rains, flood spillways, river dike bursts as a result of rising water becomes frequent in Nho Quan and Gia Minh, Gia Vien of Ninh Binh province, and in Tien Lang and Haiphong city of Hai Phong province.

 

The participants perceived that climate change is becoming a serious problem, however the implementation of response measures is just at the first step. The coastal provinces of Red River Delta lack of technology, information and experience, especially resources (human, financial, infrastructure) to promote all the indigenous capacity to cope with climate change. Local awareness is limited individually at sectors not at overall or inter-sectoral, inter-provincial level. Climate change had not been integrated into planning policies.

 

Long-term solution to climate change response

Facing the increasingly serious impact of climate change, the Red River Delta provinces initially developed their response measures through projects such as enhanced rehabilitation, biodiversity protection, coastal mangrove ecosystem development and adaptive livelihoods for local people depending on natural resources in these areas, said Vu Van Hung - Director of VFD. However, these projects have not shown the high efficiency and comprehensive effect outcomes such as dyke protection, linkage to coastal conservation zones and  sustainable livelihood development of local people.

 

Group discussion for inter-provincial and inter-regional solutions and proposals in response to climate change

 

Aiming to clarify the issues of inter-provincial, inter-regional and inter-sectoral solutions for priority projects to respond to climate change in the future, at the session the participants discussed and shared experiences as well as effective solutions to solve the problem of climate change impacts such as saltwater intrusion and erosion, water pollution, flooding and land use in the context of climate change, biodiversity decline, sustainable livelihoods for coastal dwellers.

 

In the context that climate change is and will continue to be a tremendous effort challenge in the coastal areas and resources to support RRD in response to climate change are limited, the basic measures agreed namely as continue watershed afforestation and protection, sustainable and long-term planning for inter-provincial water use, overall basin planning; enhance information sharing among the provinces based on inter-provincial monitoring system; expand smart agricultural production models, balanced use of groundwater and surface water; and promote the plant and animal restructure. Besides, develop the coordination mechanisms, inter-sectoral coordination within the province and inter-provincial, and develop effective inter-regional projects.

 


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