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EU supports fight against coastal erosion

Released at: 15:45, 29/05/2017

EU supports fight against coastal erosion

Photo: EU Delegation in Vietnam

EU and France facilitate research and discussions on causes and protection measures in context of climate change, Hoi An workshop hears.

by Hong Nhung

As one of the countries most severely affected by climate change and related disasters, Vietnam will receive support in the vicinity of $98 million from Agence Française de Développement (AFD), possibly mixed with another grant from the EU, which will be designed based on a study recommendation, the “Studies on the Erosion Process and Measures for Protecting Hoi An Beach and the Lower Mekong Delta Coastal Zones” national workshop heard.

Discussing the results of three scientific studies on coastal erosion issues in the three provinces of Ca Mau and Tien Giang in the Mekong Delta and Quang Nam in the central region, the workshop was held in Hoi An city a few days ago.

Studies have been conducted with support from the EU and France through AFD regarding Vietnam implementing commitments made at the Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP).

The studies examined the causes of the coastal erosion that is heavily damaging the region and inhabitants’ livelihoods, aiming to understand the mechanism responsible for the erosion, establishing a solid scientific basis for the integrated management of Vietnam’s coastal zones, and proposing soft and hard measures for sustainably protecting these coastal zones from erosion.

Two large-scale campaigns of in-situ measurements (hydrodynamics of waves, tidal and sedimentary currents) have been carried out for the first time in Vietnam, and experimental (laboratory and in situ) and numerical methods have been implemented.

The soft and hard measures for protecting Hoi An Beach and the Lower Mekong Delta coastal region, resulting from nine months of research, were presented and discussed at the workshop.

Attending the seminar were researchers from national scientific institutions, scholars in the area of coastal engineering, and representatives from the government and local administrations and international organizations and developments partners.

“The study is in response to EU commitments made in Paris during the COP 21 to support Vietnam in adapting to climate change,” Ambassador H.E. Bruno Angelet, Head of the EU Delegation in Vietnam, told the workshop. “While erosion is mainly a man-made disaster, its impacts will be multiplied by rising sea levels. Based on the study results, an investment program will be designed, including hard and soft adaptation measures, which could include dyke building, mangrove rehabilitation, and capacity building for enhanced sustainable development and environmental management.”

“Adopted on December 12, 2015, the so-called Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016, 30 days after the date on which the threshold of 55 countries representing over 55 per cent of GHG emissions was achieved,” said French Ambassador, H.E. Bertrand Lortholary. “Combatting global warming and helping our partner countries adapt to climate change is at the heart of French development and cooperation’s strategies over the world, especially in Vietnam. Together with support from the EU, our development finance will improve Vietnam’s resilience to climate change, the sustainable management of flood risk, coastal protection from erosion, the recovery of coastal mangrove areas, and more.”

The studies were implemented by the Southern Institute for Water Resources Research in cooperation and the Central Region College of Technology, Economics and Water Resources, in cooperation with the AFD.

The Mekong Delta is particularly susceptible and vulnerable to sea level rises. Consistent with its international commitments regarding Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals, the EU is actively helping Vietnam in mitigation through energy sector reform and adaptation via funding studies on climate change impact and appropriate adaptation measures.

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