France supports Vietnamese cities increase resilience to climate change

Sunday, 15/05/2022 09:20
(CPV) - Mr. Le Quang Hung, Deputy Minister of Construction of Vietnam, and Mr. Philippe Orliange, Executive Director of Geographies of the French Agency for Development (AFD) on May 12 signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their cooperation on the resilience of the country's cities to climate change and natural hazards.

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At the signing ceremony

The signing took place in the presence of the Vietnamese Minister of Construction Nguyen Thanh Nghi, and French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery.

This Memorandum of Understanding formalizes and deepens the existing cooperation between the Ministry of Construction of Vietnam and AFD towards sustainable and resilient cities.

Launched in 2017, the cooperation between the Ministry of Construction and AFD started through several training workshops and a joint seminar on the resilient city.

It also supported Quang Tri Province and the City of Dong Ha in the preparation of an urban project aiming to protect the city from floods and to strengthen the resilience of its populations to natural disasters and to climate change.

Vietnam is considered one of the countries most exposed to the effects of climate change. Rising temperatures and sea levels, increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, combined with population growth and urbanisation, are increasing the risk of hazards, coastal erosion and flooding throughout the country.

The growth of cities, which has been one of the main drivers of Vietnam's economic growth since the 1990s, has significantly improved people's access to employment and essential services such as energy, water, health, education and recreation, and has provided an essential infrastructure base for the country's development. However, this rapid urbanisation may also have increased the vulnerability of the population to climatic hazards, particularly due to the artificialisation of land and urban sprawl in natural risk areas such as flood plains.

At the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Vietnam made a determined commitment to address the effects of climate change, including the goal of achieving "net zero emissions" by 2050. The choice of a sustainable and decarbonised development must contribute both to solving the climate crisis and to accelerating the country's economic transition.

The Ministry of Construction of Vietnam and AFD are therefore joining forces, through this Memorandum of Understanding, to implement the ambitious commitments made by Vietnam at COP26 in the urban sector. Cities have a key role to play in achieving these ambitions: they concentrate the majority of carbon emissions (particularly through the construction and transport sectors) and are responsible for urbanization choices that will determine the country's future (taking into account natural risk areas such as floods or landslides when locating new buildings, ecological and low-emission construction techniques). Cities are also the most likely to strengthen the resilience of their inhabitants to climate change by protecting them from the risks of natural disasters while facilitating their access to essential services such as health and employment.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by Vietnam's Ministry of Construction and AFD sets out a 5-year action and cooperation program (2022-2027). It includes support to Urban Development Agency (UDA) for the development of public policies and regulatory texts relating to climate change, resilience and green growth in cities; support to several cities and provinces in the implementation of pilot projects; and the organization of seminars and joint awareness-raising actions.

These activities will serve to implement the commitments made by Vietnam at COP26 and will be financed by the Water and Natural Resources Management Facility (WARM), a European Union fund delegated to AFD./.

Phuong Huyen

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