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SIWI launches project to strengthen farmers’ resilience to climate change in Viet Nam

Stockholm, Sweden (January 22 2013) Viet Nam is at risk of becoming one of the most adversely affected countries by climate change, which could seriously affect the country’s booming economic growth. To help address this issue, SIWI launches a bilateral project to “strengthen farmers’ resilience to climate change in the Mekong and Red River deltas of Viet Nam.”

Current trends show that climate change will result in a significant temperature increase leading to sea level rise, increased water and soil salinity, and dramatic changes in weather and flood patterns. Increased precipitation during rainy season and drought during the rest of the year are among the current trends observed by national agro-meteorologists and the international research community.

The potential impacts of climate change are likely to be serious for agricultural production, and the availability of water resources will be less certain and more variable. As 80-90 percent of the population depends on agriculture, a majority of the population will be vulnerable to these potential impacts. Low land fish and rice farming support the livelihoods of millions of Vietnamese, and are key for both national food security and the economy. Viet Nam is the second largest rice exporter in the world.

Understanding that “climate change is water change,” the Vietnamese Association for the Conservation of Nature (VACNE) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) launches a project to improve current knowledge and documentation of the impacts of climate change on the farming communities in both key deltas. The project is partially funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and aims at helping the country increase the resilience of its farming communities by synthesising international research with field information on this topic, and eventually raise awareness among farmers, and building capacities of water management practitioners at government agencies on how to address climate change.

During 2013, the project will pilot in three provinces, namely, Vinh Long in the Mekong Delta, and Ha Nam and Thai Binh in the Red River Delta. Farmers in these provinces will gather information on hydro-climatic hazards and local responses, which will be used to raise awareness on the potential implications of climate change, as well as the response methods that the community already possesses to address those risks. The programme will focus on empowering farmers by helping them articulate their concerns and need for support from the international community and national government working on climate adaptation policy in order to enhance resilience at the local level.

The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is a policy institute that generates knowledge and informs decision-making towards water wise policy and sustainable development. SIWI performs research, builds institutional capacity and provides advisory services in five thematic areas: water governance, transboundary water management, water and climate change, the water-energy-food nexus, and water economics. SIWI organises the World Water Week in Stockholm – the leading annual global meeting place on water and development issues – and hosts the Stockholm Water Prize, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the Stockholm Industry Water Award.

The Viet Nam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE) is an NGO and a member organisation connecting Vietnamese expertise from inside and outside the country in the field of nature conservation and environmental protection in Viet Nam. With its broad network, VACNE is deemed as the best possible local partner for the implementation of this project. VACNE has access to Vietnamese researchers, authorities, and organisations that are imperative for the successful implementation of this project. They also maintain a very high level of integrity and credibility in pursuing such efforts, and have had experience dealing with Swedish organisations in implementing other projects in the past. VACNE is ideally setup to take the prime communication role with the local communities, and thereby both assess the perceived needs and desires. VACNE combines long standing experience from environmental work, with excellent knowledge on socio-economic conditions and pre-requisites on local community level.

Inception Workshop
The Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE), Vietnam and Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), will co-organise the Inception Workshop to launch the project on January 22-23, 2013 at the Sunway Hotel, 19 Pham Dinh Ho str., Hanoi, Vietnam.

This workshop will present the preliminary findings of the project on the current impacts of climate change and the status of adaptation measures in Viet Nam. Priorities to address climate change in Vietnam and the role of this project from the Vietnamese perspective will be discussed. The outcome of the session will be taken into account by the PDC partnership during the further implementation stage of the project. Key experts from relevant fields as well as representatives of local beneficiaries are expected to participate.

For further information about the workshop, kindly contact us at: VACNE, thuyvacne@gmail.com, +84 983761714, or Event Organiser support: Vietnet-ict, phngan@vietnet-ict.org, +84 989146114.

At SIWI, please contact rami.abdelrahman@siwi.org for more information.