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Urban resilience – Key measure enables Vietnam to maintain development gains
Duy Nguyen 06:32, 2021/03/31
Most of hazard-prone cities are unprepared for the urban resilience.

International specialists believed that Vietnam’s urban development without climate resilient measures might face several challenges namely housing, governance, urban mobility, and climate impact.

 Representatives at the workshop. Photo: UNDP Vietnam

Cities are at the very forefront of climate change, both in terms of what is at stake and in terms of their potential to create meaningful and lasting change, according to Sitara Syed, Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Vietnam.

Most disaster-prone cities are unprepared either to handle future disasters or to reduce the associated risks, Syed said at a workshop in Hanoi last weekend.

She warned that Vietnam might risk losing its development gains to disasters without prioritizing urban resilience.

“The overall efforts to reduce risk and adapt to the changing climate on a national scale must also incorporate the reduction of risk specifically in urban areas,” Syed emphasized at the event that was held within the framework of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which will take place in November 2021.

Meanwhile, British Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward said studies show that adaption strategies integrated in land use planning can reduce cities’ vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change and he believed that ddigitalization plays an important role in this.

For that reason, the UK is contributing US$135 million for 5 years until 2021 through the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF) to support fast-growing cities in Asia, including Vietnam, to reduce the risks poor and vulnerable people face from climate change impacts.

He shared that COP26 presents a significant opportunity to raise global ambition on this theme of strengthening urban resilience.

In the run up to COP26, alongside with other development partners, we look forward to working further with the government of Vietnam in this important agenda, the ambassador noted.

COP26 is slated for November 2021 in Glasgow in the partnership with Italy, accelerating the global efforts in five key areas namely Adaptation and resilience, Nature, Energy, Transport, and Finance.

 Rapid urbanization leaves pressure on infrastructure. Photo: Le Trai/Zing

According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Construction, 76 cities in the country accommodate 60% of the total population and contribute to over 70% of the GDP.

The World Bank’s statistics showed that Vietnam’s urbanization rate was at 36.63% in 2019.

Participants shared at the workshop that the increasingly variable trend of climatic conditions and its effects is adding pressure and uncertainties to urban areas. In reality, Vietnam’s 300 coastal cities are low-lying and frequently affected by natural disasters such as storms, floods, droughts and saltwater intrusion.

Consequently, the costs of climate-induced disasters are climbing rapidly, taking an increasing toll on human life, assets, and livelihoods as well as on valuable ecological systems.

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