08.09.2013 - UNESCO Office in Ha Noi

Climate change, biodiversity and disaster risk reduction activities organized in Hue


8 September, Hue City – This weekend, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and UNESCO held an awareness raising session on climate change and biodiversity conservation/environmental education and a training workshop on the development and use of school preparedness plans in Thua Thien – Hue Province. These activities are part of the implementation of the MOET, UNESCO and Samsung Initiative for Education for Sustainable Development in Viet Nam.

Following an awareness raising session on disaster risk reduction held last week, 105 participants, including teachers, school principal, local authorities, parents and community members and local media from five communes in Thua Thien – Hue Province,  attended the two trainings over the weekend.

The awareness raising session was facilitated by UNESCO international expert on climate change and biodiversity conservation, Robert Wild, and with the support of MOET, the Thua Thien - Hue Province Department of Education and Training, the Man and Biosphere Programme in Viet Nam (MAB), the Hue University of Sciences, the National Institute for Education Management, the Ministry of Information and Communications and Radio Voice of Viet Nam.

Le Trong Hung, Deputy Director General of the Department of Science, Technology and Environment of MOET, highlighted the importance of learning about climate change and biodiversity management. In his introductory remarks, he stated “Viet Nam is one of the five countries the most vulnerable to climate change. It is our responsibility to protect ourselves and our future. We should all focus and make efforts to adapt to and mitigate climate change and reduce biodiversity loss, with efforts at central and provincial levels. This is why MOET created a committee for climate change for the period 2012-2013 and already issued the Decision on Responsibility and Functions of the Committee of Natural Disaster Reduction and Prevention and Climate Change”.

Participants improved their knowledge of basic principles of climate change adaptation and solutions to reduce biodiversity loss. The awareness raising session highlighted the link between local nature (biodiversity and ecosystems), climate change and disaster risk reduction for better co-operation for initiating climate change and biodiversity conservation activities.

In the afternoon sessions, participants took part in a workshop on how to develop and use a school preparedness plan. These plans include actions in the areas of disaster risk reduction, climate change and biodiversity conservation to be taken by the schools to reduce risks and threats in the school building and the surrounding areas. Participants developed new knowledge and skills on how to develop a school preparedness plan using participatory methodology. They conducted some data collection exercises to feed into the school preparedness plans and took part in group work to identify practices they can apply in their schools, homes and communities to be better prepared for disasters and develop a first draft of the main components of the plans.

Dr. Pham Van Hung,  Director of the Department of Education and Training of Thua Thien – Hue Province, reinforced the support of the local authorities of Thua Thien - Hue Province to raise awareness on disaster risk reduction, climate change and biodiversity conservation. He highlighted that “there are more than 600 schools in Thua Thien – Hue Province and a lot of them are vulnerable to disasters such as floods and typhoons. The Department of Education and Training is committed to the implementation of the Education for Sustainable Development Initiative and intends to replicate the model developed in the Initiative in all the remaining schools of the Province, especially in those highly vulnerable to disasters”. He further remarked that local communities needed to change their attitude, raise their awareness and enhance their knowledge in order to improve their actions in relation to climate change, disaster risk reduction and biodiversity conservation.

For more information, please contact:

Vu Chien Thang, Assistant to the UNESCO Representative to Viet Nam, at vc.thang(at)unesco.org

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