“There is no dearth for climate related research in Can Tho, but what glaring is the gap between the knowledge and practice” said Dr. Assela Pathirana, the convener of the workshop that set the context for the workshop. This has been the motivation behind organising the workshop which aims at bridging the adaptation knowledge gap between the researchers and stakeholders in Can Tho. The workshop is a part of ongoing effort in transferring knowledge and promoting understanding between the various stakeholders and researchers. The workshop also strive to promote sustainable in a long run over short term benefits.
“Hard and soft measures are equally important when it comes to climate adaptation” said Mr. Ky Qqan Vinh, Head of Climate Coordination Office in Can Tho as he welcomed the delegates and participants in the workshop in his city Can Tho. Mr. Vinh stressed upon the importance of adaption measures for adaptation as Can Tho is highly vulnerable to the changing climate. Further, Mr. Vinh also stressed upon the importance of adaption measures that not only address adaptation but also have ecological and recreational benefits.
The distinguished guests of honor for the workshop are Her Excellency Ms. Hasanthi Dissanayake, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Vietnam and Mr. Tom Kompier, First Secretary Water sector and Climate, Embassy of The Netherlands, Hanoi. The speakers comprise researchers, water companies, implementation and regulatory authorities. The participants represented various stakeholders such as Climate change Coordination office, Can Tho University, Utility agencies and People’s Committee.
Addressing the gathering Her Excellency Ms. Hasanthi Dissanayake (Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Vietnam) reminded the participants about the impact of Climate Change on life on earth. Her Excellency stated that this singled out environment issue has forced the world leaders to come together and discuss about mitigating the same. Although the advancement of science in form of industrial revolution in the past has lead to pollution, it has also lead to increased understanding of the natural process. This enables us the understand the climate change process and act accordingly. Her Excellency also drew parallels to the ongoing changes in climate in Vietnam and Sir Lanka. The aspiration of countries of the global south for development is leading to pollution. The Trans Pacific Partnership will would lead to the economic development of Vietnam also present us with an opportunity to place adaptation in the center stage of Urban development. Models applied to tackle Climate Change and adaptation in Vietnam could be replicated in South and in Sri Lanka leading to spread of good practices.
Mr. Tom Kompier (First Secretary Water sector and Climate, Embassy of The Netherlands, Hanoi) reiterated that the urgency with which the world leaders are trying to agree upon to limit the increase in the temperature by 20C in future. In COP21, Vietnam organised a dialogue on sustainable development in Mekong Delta with the help of Dutch government. As infrastructure is expensive and long lasting, climate adaptation and urban development should be seen an opportunity for Vietnam to build and adapt better. He suggested that the learning from cities such as Ho Chi Minh City could be applied to cities of Global South. Adaptation of Urbanized area in the delta is an integral part of delta development. The Dutch expertise on Delta management is being passed on to the Delta cities in Vietnam. Further, there is cooperation between cities such as Hanoi – Amsterdam on the basis of city to city learning. In his opinion adaptation should be guided on the principals of water storage and effectively utilizing the green space. There must be prioritization of investments and effective pooling of resources. The emphasis should be extended to policy domains related to domains as well in addition to infrastructure improvements.