Strategic Mainstreaming of Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Vietnam
The project “Strategic Mainstreaming of Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA) in Viet Nam” supports the development of effective EbA approaches, and aims to help the Vietnamese to adapt to climate change through good ecosystem management practices and their integration into global, regional, national and local climate change strategies, policies and action plans.
Viet Nam is one of the countries most seriously exposed to the adverse impacts of climate change. This problem is estimated to cause the country economic losses of around USD 15 billion each year (DARA climate vulnerability monitoring, 2012), equivalent to about five per cent of its GDP.
Viet Nam is considered a biodiversity hotspot, with a large proportion of its flora and fauna being endemic. The impacts of climate change are threatening this diversity. At the same time, it has been shown that maintaining the stability of functional ecosystems can contribute to climate adaptation, while enhancing the resilience of those ecosystems and of the nearby population. Currently, land use changes resulting from steady economic growth and of the expanding population are the main causes of biodiversity loss
A new approach
Besides mitigating the vulnerability of people to climate risks, ecosystem-based measures are seen as a good alternative – or supplement – to technical measures as they provide many secondary benefits, including contributions to natural disaster protection, food security, livelihoods and the preservation of biodiversity. For instance, the regeneration and preservation of mangrove forests as a natural, cost-effective form of coastal protection is a practical measure being applied by local governments.
The Vietnamese Government has set clear objectives for climate protection and adaptation to climate change, as well as for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity. This is reflected in a series of laws and decrees, the ratification of international agreements, and participation in international initiatives. However, there are too few openings for the mainstreaming of ecosystem-based solutions in policy and society. There is also a shortage of effective instruments and approaches for implementing such approaches, or for monitoring the contribution of ecosystems to adaptation.
This GIZ project was set up to support Viet Nam’s efforts to anchor ecosystem-based solutions systemically in policy and society. It aims to strengthen the capacity of stakeholders at both national and provincial levels to achieve the mainstreaming of ecosystem-based measures in the national climate adaptation policy framework, and to ensure their sustained implementation on the ground.
The project also provides technical support to its Vietnamese partners in seeking national and international financing for ecosystem-based adaptation approaches, and it assists with efforts to share relevant experiences in regional and international forums.
The project pursues activities in four main areas.
- Awareness raising and capacity building for stakeholders at national and provincial levels. These stakeholders should come to recognise the advantages of ecosystem-based adaptation and acquire the capacities to mainstream and implement them.
- Scaling up: the project is developing a solid base for the further use of ecosystem-based adaptation measures. This draws on an evaluation of existing experiences as well as a pilot measure that includes the development of technical instruments, guidelines, manuals and monitoring approaches.
- Integration of ecosystem-based adaptation into the national climate adaptation policy and the relevant legal framework (with a focus on land-use and development planning), and identification of national and international sources of financing.
- Processing of experiences gained through specific measures and pilot interventions; support for the partners and stakeholders in sharing the knowledge they gain from such activities by way of national and international networks and platforms.
By introducing ecosystem-based land management measures (preservation, protection, rehabilitation, sustainable use), the project expects to make a medium to long-term contribution to meeting the country’s carbon commitments. It will also develop effective methods, strategies and policy guidelines to support the use of ecosystem-based adaptation. This includes enhancing the legal framework for its integration into national planning measures, as well as the improvement of methods for identifying upstream climate risks and vulnerabilities. Combined with a number of pilot measures on the ground in two provinces, this will make a direct contribution to adaptation in Viet Nam.
The project aims to create the following long-term impacts:
Contribution to adaptation to climate change: Through the project’s support, innovative and effective methods, strategies and policy guidelines for supporting and implementing ecosystem-based adaptation are developed.
Mainstreaming of EbA into planning: The EbA project has been and still is involved in the production and revision of multiple guidelines and legal frameworks, such as Climate Change Response Action Plans, the Land Use Plan of Ha Tinh Province, and the integration of EbA into Vietnam’s Strategic Environmental Assessment.
Awareness raising and capacity building: Multiple training courses on climate change, ecosystem-based adaptation and its integration into development planning have been conducted for different target groups, reaching from local farmers to ministerial decision makers.
Vulnerability Assessment: For upscaling purposes, a vulnerability assessment for social-ecological systems was conducted in Quang Binh and Ha Tinh province. A team of consultants identified more than 70 social-ecological systems, and suggested EbA measures for the ten most important ones.
Pilot measures of ecosystem-based adaptation: In Ha Tinh and Quang Binh, pilot activities of ecosystem-based adaptation started end of 2016. The objective is to improve the resilience and livelihoods of villagers in a mountainous area and a coastal protection forest ecosystem.
Multiplier impact: To make EbA more known, the project has been presenting the approach at multiple international conferences, and has created this website.