This project has initiated a process to help communities in the Mekong Delta identify and respond to alterations in climate. “See and realise changes” will incorporate the management of coastal resources and the development of sustainable coastal livelihoods in its efforts to manage disaster risks and adapt to climate change. Through these efforts, the project’s organizers hope to make the most vulnerable communities more resilient to the climatic variations already taking place.
Nearly 50 communities to participate
300,000 people in target areas
Vietnam is very vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Mekong Delta where rising sea levels, saltwater intrusion, and flooding already affect vulnerable coastal communities. Rainfall has become less predictable, temperatures are fluctuating greatly, storms have become more extreme, and ocean levels are rising. This is degrading ecosystems and decreasing the availability of land for farming. This makes it harder for people to survive off the land and sea as they have traditionally.
Through the support of Oxfam, this project helps communities identify local risks that need to be addressed, and develop strategies for responding to them. The process starts with a baseline survey to assess the current status of the communities. People in the communities are then educated on vulnerabilities and risk. They will determine the characteristics that define resilient communities, including sustainable livelihoods and natural resource management. They will also be directly involved in identifying options to adapt and respond to natural disasters, and identify potential funding sources.
Helping the planet
Natural disaster management could include measures to protect ecosystems, such as mangrove swamps that act as natural barriers against storm surges. Resilience measures could also be tied to better management of natural resources such as fisheries. Developing sustainable livelihoods prevents the over-extraction of natural resources, averting further environmental degradation.
Better preparation for natural disasters can benefit communities by saving lives and preventing property damage. Developing new or altered ways of making a living in a changing environment increases the communities’ ability to survive and thrive.
Adaptation and disaster planning at the community level are intended to become a part of economic planning. This would allow other communities to reap benefits of the project’s results.
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