Speech by Mr. Kamal Malhotra, UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam at the Viet Nam - Green Climate Fund Cooperation Dialogue

Jun 26, 2017

·         Excellency Vice Minister Phuong, from the Ministry of Planning and Investments,

·         Mr. Howard Bamsey, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund,

·         Representatives from MARD, MOC and other line ministries and provinces,

·         Colleagues from development partners, international financial institutions, UN agencies, private sector, mass organisations, NGOs and media agencies;

·         Ladies and Gentlemen

I am particularly honoured to be here with you today to mark a key milestone on the journey towards a sustainable green future:  the announcement of Viet Nam’s first approved project supported by the Green Climate Fund.  I am particularly proud that this project has been developed as a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam, the Ministry of Construction, coastal provinces and the Ministry of Planning and Investment as nationally designated authority.

This project will help communities protect themselves from the front-line climate change impacts- namely from more intense and frequent typhoons and floods.  It will create mangrove buffer zones, and provide the poor with strong, safer, more resilient housing. 

We hope and expect that the project can contribute towards a transformation in how government, and communities access and apply climate change data in decision making to promote resilience.  It aims to strengthen how government programmes integrate their actions to provide better targeted and sustainable support, and engage communities centrally in decision making processes.  And it creates opportunities for and promoting a greater role for the private sector in adaptation action and risk sharing.

During formulation, we have drawn on UNDP’s global experience and expertise, but also domestic know-how and expertise.  Organisations such as the Viet Nam’s Women’s Union and NGO Climate Change Working Group have provided insights and guidance, successful pilots from government and other stakeholders have been examined, and good practice built upon.  Provincial experts have outlined key needs, but also of appropriate solutions that can be built-upon, scaled-up and replicated to ensure that resilience building options are appropriate and sustainable. Many of these new partnerships and dialogues established will be key to successful implementation and to the achievement of the project’s ambitious targets.

And as the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres reminds us, while climate change presents one of the largest “threats to our present world and to the future of our planet…climate action is unstoppable…”   Countries around the world are commitment to climate action not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is the smart thing to do and because those “betting on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and on the green economy, will be the ones that have a leading role in the economy of the 21st century."

The negative aspects and consequences of climate change are also a threat to achievement of the sustainable development goals- and adaptation is not an add-on, it’s a pre-requisite for sustainable development.  Moving forward, it is essential that global action maintain a balance between investments in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the unavoidable negative impacts of climate change on our daily lives.

As an organisation, and particularly in Viet Nam, UNDP has been working closely with Government and communities to ensure that we have a strong pipeline of quality projects that can make a measurable and meaningful contribution to meeting the Paris Agreement targets.  High-impact low-regret measures, like increasing the eco-friendliness and efficiency of the fertilizer and cement sectors, or promoting new solar power decisions are in line with the government’s climate change strategy and a roadmap towards green growth. 

Further work is also required to fast-track adaptation, especially among vulnerable groups, such as the rural poor in drought impacted provinces- most whom are women and many of whom come from ethnic minority groups.   Stepped up efforts to consolidate promote sustainable forestry and REDD plus implementation are also required. 

Given the need for rapid action now, UNDP aims to promote innovation and transformative change. We are looking to develop new partnerships particularly with the private sector around climate sensitive impact investment, and to support innovative South-South collaboration and technology transfer.  There are many other partners here today who are equally committed to supporting the Government achieve its climate change targets, and we commit to working together towards effective coordinated action.

Moving forward, climate change action needs to become central to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.  Effective action will draw on the skills of many parts of government, academia, the development community and civil society.  At both national and provincial level, it will require new synergies, more innovation and a strong policy and enabling environment to underpin and finance effective action.  And these changes need to be measurable in terms of their impacts on the lives of women and men and on that of future generations.

Needless to say, UNDP is committed to working with the Government and people of Viet Nam to meet this formidable challenge, and you can count on our fullest commitment to ensure the effective implementation of this project, aimed at “Improving the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities to climate change related impacts in Viet Nam.”

Thank you.

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