Vietnam’s long coastline, geographic location, and diverse topography and climates contribute to its being one of the most hazard-prone countries of the Asia-Pacific region, with storms and flooding, in particular, responsible for economic and human losses. Given that a high proportion of the country’s population and economic assets (including irrigated agriculture) are located in coastal lowlands and deltas, Vietnam has been ranked among the five countries likely to be most affected by climate change, its Mekong Delta is one of the world’s three most vulnerable deltas (together with the Nile Delta in Egypt and the Ganges Delta in Bangladesh) to the sea level rising. According to climate change scenarios, in late 21st century, Viet Nam’s yearly mean temperature will go up by 2-30C, the total yearly and seasonal rainfall increases while the rainfall in dry seasons will decrease, the sea level can rise by 75 cm to 1 m compared to the 1980-1999 period. If the sea level rises by 1 m, about 40% of the Mekong Delta area, 11% of the Red River Delta and 3% of coastal provinces will be inundated (over 20% of Ho Chi Minh City flooded); about 10-12% of Viet Nam’s population are directly impacted and the country will lose around 10% of GDP. Climate change impacts on Viet Nam are serious threats to the cause of poverty reduction, the realization of millennium goals and the country’s sustainable development.
The Vietnam Red Cross (‘VNRC’) has long and intensive experience, almost 20 years, in carrying out disaster risk reduction programs which also contributed to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Though playing an active role in this field for a long time, VNRC still identified a gap in its capacity with regard to the climate change. Therefore, two VNRC staff and one IFRC Vietnam Delegation have attended the Regional Master Climate Change Training in Phuket, Thailand in September 2014. The training aimed to build up a pool of climate change trainers who will then facilitate trainings in SEA National Societies. Following this training, the VNRC staff has successfully advocated the VNRC leaders to integrate climate change into the on-going and future CBDRM/DRR projects.