Representatives from the VNDMA, UNDP, and the project’s seven provincial project management boards were in attendance, as well as officials from the Women’s Union and the Commanding Committees on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control and Search and Rescue from 21 coastal provinces.
Coastal communities are at the forefront of the impacts from climate-related hazards. Their preparedness determines the level of socio-economic impacts from these hazards, and how quickly they can recover. Since 2018, this GCF-funded coastal resilience project has so far conducted CBDRM training courses for more than 44,000 people in 373 coastal and near-coastal communes in Viet Nam’s seven most disaster-prone provinces: Nam Dinh, Thanh Hoa, Quang Binh, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, and Ca Mau. The main activities include sessions on the application of Risk Packs in coastal provinces, community-based disaster risk assessment data collection software, integrating risk information into socio-economic development planning, and gender mainstreaming in CBDRM. Through these courses, commune authorities and local people have collaborated to identify solutions and action plans to strengthen their communities’ capacity for disaster preparedness and response.
At the opening of the meeting, Mr. Nguyen Van Tien, Deputy Director General of the VNDMA, noted the key role these training courses play in building community resilience. “It is important to enhance the capacity of officials and people in coastal areas through training courses as well as disaster risk assessments. This is the principal factor to improve livelihoods and provide safety for coastal people who are frequently affected by disasters.”
The training courses are contributing to the efforts of the Government of Viet Nam to enhance public awareness and community resilience under the new National Strategy for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control to 2030 with a Vision to 2050 (Decision 379/QD-TTg), as well as the next 10-year national programme on CBDRM (Decision 533/QD-TTg), which was approved by the Prime Minister on 6 April 2021.
Mr. Khusrav Sharifov, Senior Technical Advisor at UNDP Viet Nam, noted the importance of engaging people from all levels of society in disaster risk reduction as he addressed the workshop participants. “Given Viet Nam’s high level of vulnerability to climate change and the impacts of disasters, it is important to strengthen capacities at the community level. Through this partnership, we are investing in resilience at all levels in order to reduce the negative impacts of cyclones, storms, floods, droughts, and saltwater intrusion on vulnerable coastal communities.”
UNDP has been working closely with the VNDMA to implement the national CBDRM programme (Programme 1002), which was first launched in 2009. By the end of 2021, the project will have reached out to a total of 520 communities in its seven target coastal provinces, continuing to help them with risk assessments and supporting them to elaborate their own disaster and climate risk reduction plans. More than 10,000 additional people are expected to gain access to information on climate change and disaster risks, as well as ways to strengthen the resilience of their communities to the impacts of disasters and adapt more effectively to climate change in the years ahead.