Nam Dinh, January 16, 2014 -- It is my pleasure to be here today at the launch of the Vietnam Forests and Deltas Project. Thank you to Vice Chairman Nguyen Viet Hung and the people of Nam Dinh province for the warm welcome and the opportunity to see first-hand the potential impacts of climate change in Quất Lâm, an area of the Red River Delta that is one of the most vulnerable communes to climate change, much like the other provinces that are represented here today.
This region offers so much that is special and important. It has important historical figures and temples, and culinary specialties. It a center of Vietnam’s growing textile and trade gateway via the Red River Delta. And of course relevant to the environment there is Xuân Thủy National Park, the first wetland area to be announced a Ramsar site in south-east Asia and one with internationally significant migratory bird habitats.
Climate change is a global issue that knows no national boundaries and a challenge that can best be addressed internally. The negative impact felt by the people living in communities like Quất Lâm is shared in communities in the U.S. That’s why environment was highlighted as an important issue in the Comprehensive Partnership that was announced last year between President Sang and President Obama. The tangible effects of climate change are one of the reasons that we are so committed to cooperating with the Government of Vietnam to address this important area.
I am very impressed with the Government of Vietnam’s dedication and efforts to tackling climate change, such as the recent passage of the Green Growth Strategy, that will sustain livelihoods and economic vitality. Through the Vietnam Forest and Deltas project, USAID is pleased to partner with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and participating provinces to support the adoption of land use practices that slow, stop, and reverse emissions from deforestation and degradation of forests and other landscapes in Thanh Hoa and Nghe An province and in building the resilience of people and livelihoods in both deltas through partnership with the Long An province in the Mekong Delta and the Nam Dinh province in the Red River Delta.
There are many challenges ahead in preparing for, and adapting to, the evolving consequences of climate change, here in Quất Lâm and throughout Vietnam. Planning and preparation will require a long-term perspective and to address what are difficult and costly decisions such as possible future re-settlement of many coastal communities like Quất Lâm. The project will support the GVN’s efforts to develop green growth plans at the sub-national level, access climate finance opportunities and develop enhanced public-private sector programs on creative ecosystem service payment schemes.
I am confident through the leadership from MARD and the provinces of Nam Dinh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Long An, in cooperation with USAID’s implementing partner, Winrock International and the consortium of organizations on the Vietnam Forest and Deltas project will improve the lives of the Vietnamese people.
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Last updated: March 28, 2014