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Ho Chi Minh City, Rotterdam shake hands on climate change response

Vietnamese and Dutch experts discussed measures to cope with climate change at a seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday.

Vietnamese and Dutch experts discussed measures to cope with climate change at a seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday.
Vietnamese and Dutch experts discussed measures to cope with climate change at a seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday.

The seminar was held as part of a cooperation program on climate change run by the Dutch city of Rotterdam and the Vietnamese city.

At the event, Dutch experts highlighted many similarities between the two cities, which are both located in delta areas.

Therefore, they said, the Netherlands’ experience in addressing climate change impacts will be very useful for Vietnam.

The two sides reviewed phase 1 of the bilateral cooperation program in this field, from 2011 to 2013, during which Dutch specialists set up a strategy to deal with climate change for Ho Chi Minh City based on six principles: soil and water conditions; step-by-step combating of flooding; re-establishing drainage systems and creating spaces for water storage; eliminating salinity intrusion; reducing soil subsidence; and strengthening green spaces.

Based on these principles, the guest experts suggested that Ho Chi Minh City authorities ban random building activities to ensure that construction works are allowed only when they satisfy requirements for water and soil conditions.

Dutch specialists also proposed that the Vietnamese city install sewers that drain rising river water to prevent flooding.

In phase 2 of the cooperation program, from April 2014 to September 2015, both sides will focus on improving capacities to cope with climate change and piloting a plan to respond to climatic changes in District 4, with the participation of six governmental departments of the city.

The seminar took place on the same day as the visit by a delegation from Rotterdam, headed by Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, to Ho Chi Minh City.

The delegation was received by Ho Chi Minh City Party Secretary Le Thanh Hai, who thanked the mayor and Rotterdam authorities for their help in studying and implementing solutions for climate change, as well as in the fields of economy, trade, investment, tourism, and education over the past time, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

Ho Chi Minh City is facing challenges caused by climate change so it wishes to promote cooperation with Rotterdam in the field, Hai said.

The Rotterdam mayor stressed the significance of the two cities’ ongoing cooperation in the fields of mutual interest, particularly climate change adaptation.

He affirmed that the Netherlands is willing to share experience and help Ho Chi Minh City as well as Vietnam when it comes to the sphere.