On May 26 UN Habitat and adelphi organised an inception workshop in Hanoi to launch the V-LED project in Vietnam. The workshop presented the project to relevant government ministries, civil society and international donors and provided a space to jointly identify priorities and synergies for the project.
Within a quarter of a century Vietnam has impressively transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a lower middle income status. However, the growing threat of climate change poses increasing challenges on sustaining the country’s economic achievements: Vietnam has been ranked among the five countries likely to be most affected by climate change.
Faced with adverse climate impact, the government has formulated a comprehensive set of climate and green growth instruments at the national level. However, challenges to harmonize strategies and coordinate their implementation across national, provincial and city levels remain. Additionally, there is a need for a stronger concerted effort to coordinate the ministries that are responsible for climate change adaptation, mitigation and risk reduction.
Against this backdrop, UN-HABITAT and adelphi kick started the V-LED project in Vietnam. The workshop opened with presentations by adelphi and UN-Habitat that introduced the V-LED project, its conceptual framework and expected outputs, emphasizing that strengthening collaborative efforts for climate action lies at the heart of the project.
A representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) further presented Vietnam’s national policies and strategies to promote low emission development to contextualize the implementation of the V-LED project in Vietnam.
In the subsequent discussions, participants affirmed the relevance of the V-LED project by pointing towards the many challenges to integrated climate action in Vietnam.
First, participants asserted that coordination between ministries and across government levels was weak. Top-down approaches often result into inapplicable policies at the local level while bottom up initiatives might not be centrally enforceable. Participants called for more balanced processes that result into practicable, enforceable and applicable local climate strategies.
Further, participants highlighted that in order to translate global climate commitment into specific activities at the local level, “leaders need to change their mind sets”, overcome silo thinking and strengthen the cooperation between relevant ministries.
Besides strengthening coordination across and within government levels, participants highlighted the importance of creating linkages to the private sector and involving communities and households in the discussion to build on local good practices. Involving different sectors such as transport, trade, agriculture and construction to achieve green growth was equally highlighted.
Second, participants agreed that capacities within national and subnational governments need to be strengthened in order to translate global climate agreements into national and local climate action and prevent a ‘copy and paste’ of international agreements that are poorly understood by national stakeholders. Especially at the local level, authorities need strategic support to understand, learn and develop practical climate mitigation and adaption strategies and indicators.
Building on the identified challenges, workshop participants agreed that the V-LED project should focus especially on knowledge building and developing practical tools and guides for subnational governments. Further strengthening cooperation for climate action across vertical lines should focus on creating linkages between the national and local government levels but also include the community and households. Horizontal cooperation and knowledge exchange was also deemed important, especially exchanging good practises between cities, regions and across sectors.
The event was convened by UN-Habitat Vietnam in partnership with adelphi, and supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).