This project is designed to establish a practical DRR action and Climate Change Adaptation in selected three pilot provinces which have a high exposure of agriculture to natural hazards. The project address four critical problems and gaps identified:
In response to the flooding in 2008, the Government of Viet Nam through MARD requested rehabilitation assistance from FAO to support poor and flood-affected households in Phu Tho, Yen Bai and Lao Cai Provinces to restart their rice cultivation. The region was hit by a series of natural disasters including Cyclone Kammuri in August 2008 and followed by Cyclone Hagupit in September 2008. Though emergency support can not be completely avoided, in order to mitigate future threats, effective planning, preparedness and technical/institutional support are needed to minimise the adverse impacts of natural disasters and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
To enhance coordinated and integrated DRR actions and adaptation to climate change, institutional and technical capacity of the professional bureaus of MARD at the national level and provincial and district level DARD staff is necessary that they can address risks in a proactive way from an agricultural perspective, including the emerging challenges of adaptation to climate change. Such institution building is expected to catalyze a process to better positioning the MARD in the implementation of the National Strategy for Natural Disaster Prevention, Response and Mitigation and new climate change action plan. Building institutional and technical capacity within MARD related to climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation will also provide a comparative advantage to better represent the agriculture sector in National Target Programme on climate change.
Together with technical capacity building, measures to enhance institutional support services is required to enhance coordinated and integrated DRR actions and adaptation to climate change at local level. From the previous assistance two major aspects have been recognized for improvement: (i) improving provincial, district and community level seed production, storage and maintenance and (ii) make available usable early warning products including weather/climate forecast products for agricultural applications. Such an improvement would help to expand the scope for saving lives and better safeguarding of peoples’ livelihoods.
Well coordinated DRR actions and climate change adaptation need to start addressing existing vulnerabilities and risks in agriculture. Availability of location specific data on disaster impacts and spatial information on vulnerability and risks provides a basis to understand the areas of concern to make better informed decisions in disaster preparedness and response and long term measures relevant to climate change adaptation. The ongoing efforts by UNICEF on Vietinfo database need to be strengthened incorporating indicators relevant to agriculture sector together with other available indicators for the northern mountain region.
The Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation action converges at local level. To operationalize the community level actions, it is essential to introduce and demonstrate through a guided learning by doing process at district and community levels, a set of locally adapted, innovative and gender-sensitive technologies for climate change adaptation in agriculture; this will further enhance: i) local awareness about disaster preparedness and adaptation to climate change; ii) the resilience of local communities against the impacts of current climatic extremes, which are expected to further increase in intensity and frequency in the context of climate change; iii) livelihood assets, on-farm employment and household food security; and iv) active participation of the most vulnerable men and women. Successfully tested good practice examples will provide the basis for further replication in similar agro-ecological regions in the country.
The project needs to play a catalytic role in ensuring close interaction and coordination between line agencies at provincial and district levels. The Government of Viet Nam, through MARD has prioritized all the above problems for immediate attention and subsequent consultation during the formulation mission has confirmed that the Government agencies are fully committed to implement the project.