Addressing Climate Change

Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. Over 30 global UNESCO programmes in the sciences, education, culture and communication sectors contribute to creating knowledge, educating and communicating about climate change, and to understanding the ethical implications for present and future generations.

Climate change is increasingly recognized as the driver of change to the world’s biodiversity, ecosystems and oceans. As a country rich in forests and farmlands and with over 2000 miles of coastline, Viet Nam is considered a high-risk country to the impacts of climate change. Each year 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) is lost due to extreme weather and natural disasters. Rising sea levels in southern areas pose a major threat to national agricultural production, as over half of Viet Nam’s food is produced in the Mekong River Delta. As well as this, 22 per cent of the national population live in the Delta region and are at risk of poverty and displacement due to climate change.

With this, the UNESCO Climate Change Initiative aims to help countries to adapt to issues regarding climate change and to incorporate it into the wider goal of sustainable development. The initiative also helps to monitor the effects of climate change on World Heritage Sites for promoting low carbon economies through the use of sustainable energy sources.

The Vietnamese Government and UNESCO recognize the severity of Viet Nam’s position and the potential devastating consequences climate change could have on its people and the environment. In 2010 the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) developed an Action Plan on Education Sector Response to Climate Change. As part of the action plan development process, UNESCO Viet Nam commissioned a study to better inform MOET and partners working in the sector.

UNESCO and the Government of Viet Nam are taking the issue of climate change seriously. With this, UNESCO supports and works closely with MOET to help equip the people of Viet Nam with the knowledge and tools needed to mitigate the long-term effects of climate change and to develop sustainably. This includes the 2013 MOET, UNESCO and Samsung ESD Initiative focusing on climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster risk reduction and biodiversity conservation as well as the 2017 Global Action Programme on ESD in Viet Nam.

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