This project builds on the success of the National Strategy and Action Plan for Water Disaster Mitigation, which established the first nationwide water disaster information and monitoring system. It takes the lessons learned in water disaster management and applies them to non-water and man-made disasters, from the provincial level down to districts and communes.
Disaster risk management (DRM) is becoming increasingly pertinent as climate change (CC) is worsening recurrent natural disasters such as floods, storms and typhoons. Climate change is now a scientifically established fact and Viet Nam is one of the most affected countries by CC. Climate change is now seen as a threat to Human Development. The government of Viet Nam has estimated that accumulated flash floods accounted for more than 6% of deaths and 5% of total economic losses over the last ten years. The issue of CC is now high on the agenda of the Government as demonstrated by the ongoing formulation of a Viet Nam's National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change (NTP RCC). Although this NTP addresses all aspects of CC, including adaptation in various sectors and greenhouse gas mitigation, the increased risks for natural disasters associated with CC need to be addressed.
The outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI) in Viet Nam was first detected in December 2003. To date ten countries, areas or territories in the region have recorded outbreaks of HPAI; Viet Nam has the highest rate of infection and the largest number of transmissions to humans. The Government has actively tried to control the outbreaks by destroying a large number of bird populations but despite these measures, HPAI is still wide-spread. The negative economic impact for farmers and poultry producers and the potential risk to human health in case of widespread transmission to humans, threatens to seriously undermine the economic and social development progress achieved by Viet Nam in recent years. Furthermore, HPAI is a transboundary problem and represents a serious global health threat of potential pandemic proportions.
This is a medium sized GEF/UNDP project targeting the long-term conservation of the unique biological attributes of the Central Annamites Priority Landscape in Viet Nam, in which the Kon Ka Kinh National Park (KKK NP) and Kon Cha Rang Nature Reserve (KCR NR) are two sites of global importance. The project is implemented by the Gia Lai Forest Protection Department (FPD), on behalf of the Gia Lai Peoples Provincial Committee, in partnership with the Tropical Forest Trust (TFT). TFT will help with sustainable forest management in Dak Rong and Tram Lap State Forest Enterprise areas.
Flooding is a major problem, which severely affects all the Mekong River riparian countries. Located in the lowest area of the Mekong River Basin, the annual flooding in the Mekong River Delta in Viet Nam is more frequent and the flooded areas are larger than in any other country of the Mekong River Basin. An Giang is the upstream province in the Mekong River Delta. The water depth and flood duration is higher and longer than those of other provinces in the region. Families living in low-level houses in the coastal and inland areas of the Mekong River Delta are the ones who suffer the most from the annual flooding. Flood waters seep into their houses with prolonged flooding rendering the houses inhabitable. In a worse case scenario, a strong wave of water may wash houses out completely. Rebuilding houses when people’s only source of income, rice crops, is also lost in a flood proves to be almost impossible.
Con Dao National Park (CDNP) is globally significant because of its marine life, terrestrial habitat and location. The generally shallow waters of the island group contain coral reefs, sea-grass beds, and mangroves. These diverse habitats are home to a rich and significant diversity of marine biota, including 44 endangered species listed in the Viet Nam and IUCN Red Books.
During the armed conflict in Viet Nam over the period 1961-1971 herbicides were used to defoliate terrestrial forests and mangroves, to clear perimeters of military installations, and to destroy crops, This resulted in contamination by the dioxin TCDD (tetra chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin. Although the dioxin concentration of soil in sprayed areas is retreating to background levels, sites at former military airports where large quantities of herbicides were stored or handled are still highly contaminated with dioxin and they are referred to as “hot spots.” By international standards the levels of contamination clearly need to be remediated.The project targets the three worst contaminated hotspots: the airports of Bien Hoa, Da Nang and Phu Cat. They are sources of contamination for the surrounding environment, and pose a serious health risk to people.
Viet Nam is highly prone to natural disasters, with more than 7,500 disaster-related deaths and about VND40,800 billion (EUR 2.0 billion) in losses over the last 10 years. The government has estimated that accumulated flash floods account for more than 6% of deaths and 5% of total economic losses over the last ten years.
Phase I of the Joint Programme (JP), which was implemented from October 2005 to July 2006 with total budget of USD6.93m, has helped to strengthen national preparedness for a human pandemic through development and implementation of the national preparedness plan, and specifically to address priority gaps including (a) support to vaccination of poultry; (b) post-vaccination surveillance, (c) strengthening targeted HPAI surveillance and response in animal and humans; (d) protecting humans involved in the poultry vaccination programme; (e) a nationwide avian influenza information, education and communication (IEC) campaign; (f) research to evaluate the efficacy of an inactivated H5 based vaccine in ducks; and (g) support to coordination and monitoring of donor and government activities.
Public lighting, which includes lighting of streets, schools and hospitals, is still small in Viet Nam. Certain barriers have resulted in the installation of public lighting systems that are neither economically optimal, nor environment friendly. As the country continues to develop rapidly, public lighting is expected to grow quickly as well. Without effective intervention, Viet Nam is likely to be burdened with a public lighting sector that wastes public resources and contributes disproportionately to the national GHG emissions inventory.
Over the past decade, Viet Nam has taken important legal and institutional measures to protect its environment and conserve its natural resources with a comprehensive Environment Protection Law that was enacted in 1993; and the Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency (EC&EE) Degree (Decree 102) that were enacted in 2003.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is increasingly likely to be included in a post-2012 climate agreement, yet many questions remain unanswered. How will the REDD mechanism link to existing national development strategies? How can forest communities and indigenous peoples participate in the design, monitoring and evaluation of national REDD programmes? How will REDD be funded, and how will countries ensure that benefits are distributed equitably among all those who manage the forests? Finally, how will the amount of carbon stored and sequestrated as a result of REDD be monitored?
As Vietnam continues to modernize its economy, management of chemical production, trade and use will play an important role in Vietnam’s efforts in maximizing economic growth while protecting environment. The practice shows that insufficient prevention measures, low awareness within the industrial and agricultural sectors especially decision makers about chemical risk, environmental and health safety procedures results in increased levels of pollution, industrial related accidents and spills that have for example resulted in fish die-off, loss of biodiversity, contamination of important drinking water sources, contamination of aquaculture and marine resources.
Avian influenza viruses of the H5N1 subtype emerged as a serious cause of disease in poultry and humans in Viet Nam in late 2003. The response activities undertaken over the past five years have been guided by the first National Integrated Operational Program for Avian and Human Influenza (OPI), 2006-2010.
Climate change policies, national targeted programme and action plans, including budgets and investment plans at national and provincial levels take full account of climate change challenges to minimize future social, economic and environmental vulnerability, and to control GHG emissions fulfilling obligations under multinational agreements, particularly the post-Kyoto framework.
Vietnam is considered as one of the 16 most biologically diverse countries. Its biodiversity is however under threats which are often grouped as: (1) over-exploitation of plant and animal species, (2) habitat loss, (3) pollution, (4) invasive species, and (5) climate change. Underlying causes that are often deep rooted and complex are originated from urbanization; industrialization; local, regional and global economic trends; and on-going demographic changes in regions.
Environmental contaminants of global concern include significant quantities of healthcare waste from the activities of healthcare facilities and services (e.g. hospitals, clinics, immunization campaigns, etc.) and healthcare waste treatment and disposal methods need to be applied. As health systems are strengthened and healthcare coverage expanded in developing countries through efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals, the releases of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other persistent toxic substances (PTS) to the environment can increase substantially. This is often an unintended consequence of choices in materials and processes that seek to improve health outcomes.
The Government of Viet Nam has faced serious constraints in dealing with stockpiles of POP pesticides, including constraints due to funding, access to appropriate technologies and coordination among multiple ministries and agencies. While some stockpiles are housed in sheds or buildings, in some communities with particularly large stockpiles, POP pesticide stockpiles are buried due to the lack of suitable infrastructure. An estimated 1,140 tones of buried POP pesticides have been found in five sites, and certainly there are many more such sites in the country. The buried stockpiles are of far greater concern than above-ground stockpiles both because of their size and because of far less control over storage conditions, which results in much larger risk potentials and actual human health problems.
Viet Nam is one of the world’s ten most biologically diverse countries- it contains about ten percent of the world’s species though covering less than 1% of global land area. Whilst virtually all protected areas in Viet Nam were designated as Special-use Forests, this will change in 2009, with the passage of the “Law on Biodiversity” that will come into effect on 1st July, 2009 Viet Nam will have four types of PAs which will apply to all ecosystems: National Parks, Nature reserves, Wildlife reserves, and Landscape protection zones. In common with the situation in many developing countries, threats to biodiversity in Viet Nam can be ascribed to two basic processes: loss of natural ecosystems; and degradation of natural ecosystems.
TCDD (tetra chloro dibenzo-dioxin, aka dioxin) contamination in Viet Nam originates from the armed conflict during the period 1961-1971, when herbicides were used to defoliate forests and mangroves, clear perimeters of military installations and destroy crops. The TCDD contamination has created very serious environmental effects and health risks. Studies in Viet Nam and from other highly contaminated sites throughout the world have shown that Viet Nam has among the worst TCDD contaminated sites in the world.