Award ceremony of video competition “Extreme disaster events in Viet Nam: Lessons from the past and actions for the future”May 22, 2018
Mr. Tran Quang Hoai, Director General of Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority
Ladies and gentlmen,
I would like to congratulate the Government of Viet Nam for celebrating the72nd anniversary of Viet Nam National Day for Disaster Prevention on May 22nd. This Day carries the long and rich history of the people and the Government of Viet Nam in proactively coping with natural disasters in a changing climate.
As you know, annually more than 400 lives and approximately 1-1.5% of GDP is lost due to the impacts of disasters. Extreme disaster events are now more frequent, causing high damage to people and significantly impacting the economy. In 2017 alone, Viet Nam recorded a historic number of costly disasters in all its sub-regions. Many of those are the affected provinces which have not recovered from the previous extreme drought and saline intrusion due to El-Nino impacts during 2014-2016.
Yet, it is also right at the heart of all these extreme events, that we witnessed the active role taken by media to share public and timely information, early warning messages and outstanding stories on how communities are responding to these effects. We saw many touching stories and learnt many inspiring lessons on how women and men, girls and boys, the elderly and young have overcome these challenges and find ways to adapt and be resilient to future disasters collectively.
UNDP highly appreciates the valuable stories and experience that have been documented through this competition. I would like to congratulate the 09 winners of the competition today for your outstanding skills and knowledge to produce these inspiring stories. Your work help spread local lessons widely to national and international communities. It also visually tells the public how Vietnamese people are taking action to cope with severe disasters and suggest new wisdom to address the long-term impacts of climate extremes.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The event today recognizes the important role that media plays in bringing your knowledge and skills to contribute to disaster risk reduction efforts. It also reminds each of us, whether media or mass organization, public or private sector, national or international organization, to find new initiatives to undertake more effective measures to build resilience for the people in disaster prone areas.
I hope through the screening of the awarded videos and the talks from experts today, we will find effective approaches and fruitful collaborations to turn these stories and lessons into meaningful actions to prepare for the new disaster season. I look forward to collaborating with VNDMA and your organizations to continue this initiative to tell more live and inspiring stories and bring about many more good practices to implement in Viet Nam. I wish you a great day of celebration. Xin Cam On!