Shelter from the Storm: Why flood and storm resilient housing is key to sustainable development in Viet Nam

12 Nov 2017 by Jenty Kirsch-Wood, UNDP Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Specialist

Source: OCHA
Last week Typhoon Damrey ripped through central Viet Nam.  More than 100 people lost their lives, while more than 130,000 homes were damaged or flooded.  Winds of up to 135 km/hour battered provinces like Khanh Hoa- an area historically has been spared such ferocious storms in the past.  It was particularly poignant that the storm struck as high level global conferences were bringing world leaders together to discuss both the global impact of Climate Change and Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).  It is sobering that current climate change projections appear to be being proved correct.  Last week’s storm seems very much in line with the Government of Viet Nam’s official climate projections, which forecast both more intense typhoons and storms that that take less predictable, and often southerly tracks.  I hope that the world leaders meeting to discuss Climate Change action in Bonn next week, including the high-level Viet Nam delegation, take note and take action to ensure swifter action to reduce global emissions and to promote adaptation that can reduce future typhoon damage and loss.   Equally important I hope that APEC leaders take note of the massive costs of this storm, and remember that green, low-emissions development is a prerequisite, … Read more

Criminal Lawyers Exchange Knowledge and Skills to Protect Human Rights in Viet Nam

09 Nov 2016 by Sean O’Connell, UNDP Vietnam

“If you want to travel fast use the old roads”, this Vietnamese proverb truly describes how criminal lawyers, old and young, from across the South of Viet Nam share knowledge to adapt to changes in the law concerning criminal legal representation. … Read more

Implementing REDD+ in Ca Mau Province, Viet Nam

03 Aug 2016 by UN-REDD Programme's Asia-Pacific team

Ca Mau is the southernmost province of Viet Nam, surrounded on three sides by sea. One of the main forest owners in the province is Nhung Mien Forest Management Board (FMB). Under Vietnamese law, FMBs are bodies established by the government to administer areas of land, which are legally defined to be “forest land”, irrespective of whether there are trees growing on the land.  In the case of Nhung Mien FMB, its role is to protect and manage about 12,600 ha of forest land in 14 villages of Vien An Dong commune. Approximately 40% of this area is actually forested (around 5,400 ha), consisting of mangroves planted for protection (43%) and production (57%) purposes.   During July – September 2015, with technical and financial support from the Viet Nam UN-REDD Phase II Programme, the FMB developed a Site REDD+ Implementation Plan (SiRAP) in consultation with local stakeholders. The Plan aimed to address the widespread issues of mangrove conversion and degradation, with illegal conversion to shrimp farms identified as one of the critical drivers of deforestation. The UN-REDD Provincial Programme Management Unit (PPMU) of Ca Mau signed a REDD+ Implementation Agreement (RIA) with the FMB in November 2015 to encourage the FMB … Read more

Improving Access to Legal Services for Prisoners Returning to Our Communities

08 Jul 2016 by Scott Ciment, UNDP Policy Advisor for Rule of Law

At a workshop hosted by the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) in Ha Noi in Summer 2016, local lawyers, professors, legal experts, and law students gathered together for an open discussion on how to improve access to legal services for prisoners reintegrating into society. Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) University of Law teamed up with UNDP to create the “Mobile Clinical Legal Services for Prisoners Preparing for Release,” aimed at supplying basic legal information to inmates at five prisons across the south of Viet Nam. This program provides inmates and recently released prisoners with a strong community of support, willing to help with the variety of problems they face. “Difficulties with identity cards, clearing criminal records, and family issues are common problems,” said Mr. Duong Hoan, Vice Director of the Legal Consultancy Center. He called for continued support of this program, saying in earnest, “Our prisoners are still people, and we need to help our people.” The distinguishing mark of the program is its personal touch and enhancement of socialization for the prisoners. Fifty law students from the HCMC University of Law held one-on-one counselling sessions with over 600 inmates to assess each person’s distinct, legal needs which built upon the … Read more

Making every voice count

12 Apr 2016 by Pratibha Mehta

Photo: ©Shutterstock/UNDP Viet Nam
A few weeks ago I was fascinated to learn that local authorities in Da Nang have harnessed the power of social media to make their coastal city cleaner, greener, and more beautiful. People can go online to report a broken lamppost, flooded street or an illegal landfill. By helping to prioritize and direct the authority’s response, it has quickly become a success story for other cities and provinces to learn from. Ten years ago, responsive governance like this would have been almost unthinkable in Viet Nam. However, as incomes and aspirations have continued to rise, the relationship between government and their people has been transformed. As other countries have found, the more prosperous and educated citizens are, the more they expect governments to be accountable and responsive.   That is why we embarked on a journey to help improve communication between local government and its people. In 2009 UNDP Viet Nam and its national partners introduced a pioneering set of metrics to capture people’s experience in the Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI). According to the national press, PAPI came as a breath of fresh air to push local administration to reform. By engaging provinces with their results, not only … Read more

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