Germany ups environmental protection aid for Vietnam
Vietnam is one of important partners of Germany, and the European nation will continue its assistance to the country, particularly in environmental protection, and natural resource and biodiversity management.
Jochem Lange, Country Director of the German International Cooperation (GIZ) in Vietnam, made the remark at a symposium titled “Adaption to Climate Change in the Coastal Zone of Soc Trang province” in Ho Chi Minh city on November 19, 2013.
The function was organised by GIZ Vietnam and the Soc Trang People’s Committee within a technical cooperation project on “Management of Natural Resources in the Coastal Zone of Soc Trang province”.
It heard experiences shared by participants in adapting to climate change in the province in the past six years, measures to resolve the contradiction between economic development and sustainable management of natural resources, and cope with climate change in the Mekong Delta region.
The experts warned that the expansion of shrimp farming will negatively impact on the environment, make the use of natural resources in coastal areas unsustainable, and threaten submerged forests’ function of protection, thus lowering locals’ earnings. Moreover, coastal areas are also impacted by climate change, which brings storms, floods and rising sea levels, they added. Scientists forecast that if the sea level rises by one metre, about 70 percent of land in the Mekong Delta region will be intruded by saltwater and Vietnam will lose two million hectares of farmland and many coastal localities will be inundated.
In Soc Trang alone, 44 percent of its area will be flooded, affecting more than 450,000 people or 35 percent of its population. Vietnam is one of the five countries most vulnerable to climate change while the Mekong Delta region, Vietnam’s rice granary, is among the three large deltas in the world worst hit by it.