AusAID is funding the rehabilitating of mangrove to minimize the impact of typhoon storm surge damage on communities in the Mekong Delta.
Photo: Michael Wightman
Vietnam is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change. Its long coastline (3,200 km) and large deltas make it particularly susceptible to more intense and frequent natural disasters, rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and salt water intrusion. Vietnam loses around 2 per cent of GDP per year as a result of weather-related disasters. In 2011, natural disasters continued to impact on Vietnamese livelihoods and infrastructure with flooding of around 450,000 households, inundation of more than 350,000 hectares of rice paddy field, and 295 recorded deaths, with an estimated damage bill of USD 620 million. Such events are projected to get worse with the impacts of climate change. Vietnam is already experiencing wetter wet seasons; dryer dry seasons; higher intensity rainfall, flash flooding and increased frequency of tropical cyclones. Sea levels have risen 20cm, and if they rise by just one metre, more than 11 per cent of Vietnam’s coastal population (around 4 million people) could be displaced.
Australia is focused on reducing future human, economic and environmental losses associated with climate change and natural disasters. We are working with communities in the Mekong Delta to adapt to the impacts of climate change to protect food security and livelihoods. We are also working with the Vietnam Government on low-carbon growth options including improved energy efficiency.
Climate Change Assistance is a new area of support for Australia’s aid program to Vietnam. We are building on our experience in disaster risk reduction and rural development to develop a new portfolio of initiatives that help Vietnam deal with the challenges of climate change.