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Monday, May 21, 2018, 13:38 (GMT+7)
Some measures for dealing with sea level rise

Climate change, directly sea level rise, has become a major challenge which has profound effects on human life. As for Vietnam, a country with nearly 50% of the population live in the lowlands, the effects are even more serious. Therefore, to alleviate the damage, and enhance the capability for responding and adapting with climate change, it is required that we have an overall solution and a suitable roadmap. At present, basing on practical studies, scientists have proposed three main measures as follow:

First, applying “hard” and “soft” protective measures. Accordingly, the “hard” measures will be implemented in the forms of physical intervention, and the building of infrastructure projects, such as: dam, dyke, embankment, etc, while “soft” ones focus on the development of ecosystem, such as coastal protection forest, or mangrove forest, etc.

Building dyke to respond with sea level rise in Hai Ha district, Quang Ninh province (Photo: baoquangninh.com.vn)

Second, applying adaptive measures with climate change. In particular, emphasises are placed on the change of cultivating habits, the adjustment of managerial policies, including the  planning, the criteria for land usage and environmental protection, etc in order to minimize the vulnerability and enhance the adaptability of the communities to sea level rise.

Third, applying evacuating measure. This is the last option taken only when the there is no material condition for coping with the sea level rise. Accordingly, the bad affect of sea level rise can be avoided by resettlement, and the evacuation of houses and infrastructure out of the flooded areas.

From the above measures and basing on the practical situations of the prone areas to sea level rise, our Party and State have led and directed localities to proactively implement a number of synchronous, flexible and suitable measures, hence gaining initial results. In particular, coastal dykes have been built in most of the coastal provinces. Notably, in Nam Dinh province, the level-1 systems of coastal dyke have been erected in the focal districts of Hai Hau, Nghia Hung, and Giao Thuy. In Ho Chi Minh city, with the Project of “Seaward development in response with climate change – Phase 1”, the City will evacuate its people from coastal areas and build a system of seaport instead. The evacuated people will be resettled inland. A system of dyke will be built to separate these two areas. The City has invested in 63 projects to deal with high tides and landslides. In the coastal provinces of Mekong Delta, between 2015 and 2017, as many as 2,000 ha of protection forest and special-use forest have been planted; another area of 600 ha has been restored and more than 3,000 ha of mangrove forest have been put under contract protection. More than 600 km of coastal dyke and over 700 km of estuary dyke will be built and upgraded. Ca Mau, the most vulnerable province to coastal landslide, has adopted a number of measures for strengthening its system of dyke and restoring a large area of mangrove forest, hence increasing the forest coverage from 39% to 44%.

The above-mentioned results have helped alleviated the damage of sea level rise. However, this is a complicated, urgent and long term problem which can not be solved soon but requires the concerted effort from the entire Party, people and troops, especially those living in coastal areas.

Nguyen Van Su

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