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Environmental protection for sustainable development

Due to the effects of El Nino, the average temperature in 2015 winter will be the highest one in over the past 10 years in Vietnam. Like many other developing countries, Vietnam also has to deal with the consequences of global climate change.

Having 3,260 kilometers coastline and many coastal lowlands, over 80% of the Mekong Delta and 30% of the Red River Delda having elevations of 2.5 m below sea level, which are easily affected by hurricanes, tornados, high and erratic rainfall, Vietnam is one of the most vulnerable countries affected by global climate change.

According to the World Bank (2007), Vietnam is among the five countries that will seriously be affected by climate change and rising sea levels. According to international studies, the global average sea level could rise by nearly 1 meter by 2050. If the sea level rises by 1 meter, about 40% of the Mekong Delta area, 11% of the Red River Delta  and 3% of coastal provinces will be inundated, about 10-12% of Vietnam’s population are directly impacted and roughly 10% of its GDP will be lost.

If the sea level rises up to 3 meters, about 25% of Vietnamese population will be affected directly and there will be 25% GDP loss. The most strongly affected sectors include: water resources, agriculture and food security, health, the plains and coastal areas.

Vietnamese Government has participated and ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol; approved and implemented the National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change (2008), developed and published Vietnamese scenarios of climate change and rising sea levels (2009) and published updated scenario results (2012); approved the National Strategy on Climate Change (2011-2020), established the National Committee on Climate Change. Climate change was also mainstreamed into the National Socio-Economic Development Strategy (2011-2020) and Socio- Economic Development Plan (2011-2015), and policies on disaster risk reduction, coastal zone management, and energy supplies and usage. Vietnam, with the help of other countries, international organizations, has undertaken series of models to cope with the impacts of climate change, especially sea level rise.

During COP-21 (30th November-11th December, 2015), with 195 UN member countries, Vietnam expects to achieve a joint agreement to cooperation in the fight against global climate change, protect national interest of each nation and every citizen. In the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to UNFCCC Secretariat on 30th September, Vietnam has affirmed with domestic resources, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 8% by 2030 compared to the Business as Usual scenario (BAU). The above-mentioned target could be decreased up to 25% with international support.

Targeting economic development associated with adaption to climate change, environmental protection, Vietnam – a developing country in Asia – has defined its consistent direction with human’s common goal. This is also the contribution of Vietnamese people to a better living environment in the fight against global climate change.

 

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