RMIT Vietnam NewsClimate change and urban resilience in the Asia-Pacific

Climate change and urban resilience in the Asia-Pacific

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 17:55
Opening session of the workshop.
Vietnamese and foreign officials and experts at the workshop

An international workshop hosted at RMIT Vietnam Saigon South has showcased climate adaptation best practice across the Asia-Pacific, with the aim to improve the resilience of the region during climatic events.

More than 50 Vietnamese and foreign officials and experts discussed urbanisation and global environmental change in the Asia-Pacific as well as impacts specific to Vietnam, as part of the two-day Urbanisation and Global Environmental Change (UGEC) workshop.

Day one was focused on issues specific to Vietnam with day two opening the discussion to the wider Asia-Pacific context, ranging from flood management in Bangkok, Thailand, to the recent experiences of Manila, in the Philippines.

Vietnamese officials and experts presented on the impacts of climate change in urban areas across the country including urbanisation challenges and the government's plans in response to climate change.

The workshop also covered climate change and urban resilience across several Vietnam provinces and cities such as the Mekong Delta, Can Tho, Quy Nhon and Lao Cai.

Dr Nguyen Quang, Manager of the UN-Habitat Programme in Vietnam, said people of a low income, emigrant, elderly, women and children were particularly sensitive to the stress of climate change.

"Environmental or climate change can impact on living conditions and rights to approach other services," Dr Quang said.

RMIT's Professor Darryn McEvoy, from the University's Climate Change Adaptation Program and a member of the UGEC International Scientific Steering Committee, said the workshop was designed to act as catalyst for building deeper relationships and shared understandings of the threats to the region's rapidly growing urban population.

"It has enabled a discussion with key stakeholders across Vietnam on the issues which may have an impact on the country in the future," Professor McEvoy said.

Organisation of the workshop was in collaboration with the Global Compact Cities Programme, an initiative which aims for business to work towards the benefit of economies and societies.

Ms Elizabeth Ryan, from the Global Compact Cities Programme, said that being part of the discussions with climate change and urban resilience experts was both highly informative and inspiring.

"Climate change and urbanisation present a myriad of critical issues in the Asia-Pacific and this workshop was an excellent starting point for the programme to build purposeful relationships across the region," Ms Ryan said.

The workshop is one of a series of five which are being organised by UGEC across Africa, East Asia, the Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe.