Vietnam leads region in climate change challenge

HANOI, 9 March 2010 (IRIN) – Serious efforts are under way to respond to the impact of climate change in Vietnam but a lack of capacity and resources remains a challenge, experts say.

Vietnam has been identified as one of 12 countries at highest risk from climate change and is the most threatened by rising sea levels, according to World Bank studies.

UN-cited data on global climate change and model studies show that Vietnam is at increased risk of floods and droughts, saline intrusion and increased health risks from heat waves, dengue fever and malaria.

However, experts say the government has acted quickly and is leading neighbouring countries such as Cambodia and Laos in trying to create policies to respond to climate change.

The National Target Programme (NTP) was approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in December 2008, and began implementation last year.

Coordinated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), the NTP is intended to help develop an overall climate change strategy, including goals for adaptation and the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

The document lays out responsibilities for ministries and government agencies and asks all cities and provinces to devise their own climate change action plans by the end of this year, to be implemented by 2015.

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