Water Security in context of climate change in Vietnam – Challenges and solutions toward sustainable development

Ha Noi, December 2020 – Water security challenges facing Viet Nam in recent years, including interstate management, water quality, water shortages, and water-related natural hazards, are a growing concern in terms of both scope and severity. Alongside the development of le to meet the challenges it faces in this area. So, to promote integrated water resources management, climate resilience toward sustainability and address water security challenges, UNESCO, the Institute of Hydrology and Meteorology Science and Climate Change (IMHEN) (under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment) and Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) National Committee in Viet Nam organised a national workshop under the theme “Water and Climate Change – Challenges and solutions toward sustainable development in Viet Nam”.

In this one-day workshop, over forty participants from ministries, provinces and researchers discussed the country’s needs for water management and ideas to address the key challenges which the country has been facing, especially in riverine deltas.

Storms, floods, landslides have caused severe damages to several provinces and cities in the centre of Viet Nam recently. Many people believe the reasons lie in climate change, and the lack of planning and exploitation of water resources and forests, people’s awareness and response skills to climate change and water security. Improved water management capacity can address climate change response and mitigation. Water is not the problem, but a part of a solution to respond to climate change

The workshop discussed water resources and water security in the context of global and regional changes. Over the past decades, water resources have been experiencing numerous pressures, originating from rapid population growth and urbanisation, consumption patterns changes and climate change. Under this theme, the recent United Nations’ Water Development Report 2020: Water and Climate Change highlighted Water Security and SDGs, together with risks and challenges of water security in climate change in Viet Nam and the roles of reservoirs in water security.

It also covered the effects of climate change on the hydrological regime, building resiliency of water-related disasters for sustainable development, hydrological forecasting and water-related disasters warning. In recent decades, the intensive overexploitation of water resources has deteriorated water quantity and quality and the aquatic ecosystem, seriously affecting economic, social development, and ecosystem integrity.

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The workshop also discussed solutions towards water security in the emerging context of Viet Nam to achieve SDGs through putting best practices into. Considering current deficiencies in innovative tools, human resources capacity and practical guidance on integrated water resources management, this session shared case studies in managing water resources as in water security governance and IWRM, water-sharing mechanism and climate change and Water resources management in the Ba River basin.

In the final session, participants proposed recommendations for addressing water security in Viet Nam, noting that interdisciplinary solutions would be required for effective solutions.

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Ensuring water security in the context of climate change, population growth, urbanisation and industrialisation is challenging. We need to perceive it from different angles, such as Problem awareness, technology, infrastructure, management, policies, institutions. The solution requires strategic inter-regional and interdisciplinary strategy. It relates not only to water and agriculture but also related to land, industry, energy, environment, education and training, communication, etc

Mr. Vo Tuan Nhan, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment

The outcome of this workshop will strengthen the momentum of our joint efforts to support water resources management in Viet Nam and increase the country’s resilience to climate change, and helping ensure that, truly, nobody is left behind, or nobody is left dry.

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