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Socio-economic and environmental trends in 3S river basins discussed at regional meeting

What have we learned so far? What are the gaps to be highlighted? And what are the inter-relationships of the issues concerned? These are the questions that were answered during the recent dialogue between government and NGO representatives of the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) countries and technical experts from regional organisations.

Project to demonstrate effective bioengineering application in northern Vietnam draws to a close

Hanoi, Vietnam – May 25, 2017: Project to demonstrate effective bioengineering application in northern Vietnam draws to a close

After over four years, the ADB Capacity Development Technical Assistance project Promoting Climate Resilient Rural Infrastructure in Northern Vietnam has drawn to a close. The recent final workshop was used as an opportunity to review the project outputs and explore a way forward, including the identification of entry points and next steps for using the project outputs to mainstream bioengineering in Vietnam.

The objective of the project is to increase resilience of infrastructure in the northern provinces of Vietnam. It has demonstrated how non-conventional engineering solutions can strengthen rural infrastructure, resist the hazards associated with climate changes and provide opportunities to enhance community livelihoods. The project focuses on bioengineering as a low-cost alternative to conventional slope stabilization and protection techniques.

The project has centred on testing various measures and tools for assessment, design, construction and monitoring of cost-effective climate resilient bioengineering-focused works at five locations in four sites, across three provinces in northern Vietnam (Bac Kan, Son La and Thai Nguyen). Two of the demonstration sites focus on riverbank slope protection, while the remaining two focus on roadside slope protection.

The final workshop took place in Hanoi on 5 May, and brought together project team members, representatives from the target provinces and communes across the four project sites, and national government representatives.

“It is imperative that climate change adaptive action is a key component of development going forward,” said UNDP Project Advisor, Ms. Jenty Kirsch-Wood. “The cost of adaptation will be huge, and the numbers are staggering. Without effective action, sustainable development will be more difficult. This project is about methods of mainstreaming effective adaptation into government cycles, focusing on low-cost, low-regret […]

  • 3S basins nexus assessment workshop

Trade-offs in 3S river basins deliberated

The Sekong, Sesan and Sre Pok basins are richly endowed with natural resources and support the livelihoods of an estimated 3.5 million people living in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam.  In early-March, potential trade-offs among development decisions in the 3S basins, and their social, economic and environmental risks were the topic of a dialogue involving government representatives of the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) countries and technical experts from regional organisations.

ICEM Director General published in handbook of significant scholarly debates

ICEM Director General, Dr Jeremy Carew-Reid contributed a chapter on strategic environmental assessment of mainstream hydropower development in the Mekong to the recently published Routledge Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia.

Valuable lessons captured in climate resilience films

Vietnam’s northern mountainous provinces are particularly vulnerable to intense storms which may become more frequent and intense due to the impact of climate change. The area is already prone to landslides and floods, but these could become more severe, damaging infrastructure and livelihoods and leaving the provinces with irreplaceable losses. To help the Vietnamese government and communities to protect rural infrastructure from the impacts of climate change, the GEF-funded project Promoting Climate Resilient Rural Infrastructure in Northern Vietnam was implemented in 2012.

ADB releases publication on green infrastructure

Rapid and unplanned urbanization leave cities and towns across the world vulnerable to environmental challenges, including the impact of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts and slow onset changes such as sea level rise. This impact is likely to become more severe due to climate change, threatening infrastructure and sustainability. Nature-based solutions, or green infrastructure, can play a significant role in building urban resilience to these challenges through the rehabilitation and expansion of natural ecosystems within built areas. It provides a foundation strategy to sustainable urban development.

Urban planners introduced to disaster risk screening tools

With natural hazards such as flooding, drought and storms set to increase, and urban populations and infrastructure to expand rapidly, urban planners must be able to assess disaster risk and threats associated with climate change in a holistic and integrated manner.

Download reports: New low-cost mechanism for investing in mangrove protection and restoration

Mangroves for the Future (MFF) and FAO have designed a new low-cost mechanism that enables investors to promote mangrove conservation and restoration through provision of funding to local communities.

3S River Basins Study set to begin

The Sekong, Sesan and Sre Pok are transboundary tributaries of the Mekong River. The 3S basins, as they are collectively known, are richly endowed with natural resources and make an important contribution to national and regional development while supporting the livelihoods of 3.5 million people living in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. However, there is a critical need to understand and respond to the risks inherent in the current "growth at all costs" paradigm.

Workshop delivers crucial lessons on bioengineering

What have we learned about bioengineering and its potential to increase infrastructure resilience to the impacts of climate change? From the 4th to the 6th of October, ICEM - International Centre for Environmental Management, together with Asian Development Bank (ADB), Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP), hosted a workshop to review the results of four bioengineering demonstration sites, summarize the lessons learned, and discuss the way forward.

Seven towns set to integrate disaster risk management in planning

In order to gather necessary information to build a broad understanding of urban development challenges, in particular natural hazards and climate-related threats, ICEM technical specialists recently carried out a series of roundtable meetings and site visits in seven towns across three countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

Green engineering methods introduced to a new generation of engineers

A new generation of Vietnamese engineers are being introduced to the concept of green infrastructure and bioengineering that can be used to reduce the vulnerability of infrastructure to climate change. This September, ICEM team led a group of professors and students from University of Transport and Communications (UTC) on a field visit to a bioengineering demonstration site in Thai Nguyen.

ICEM Hosted Bioengineering Workshop: Design & Construction (Roads)

On the 13th and 14th of June, 2016, together with ADB and MARD, ICEM hosted the Bioengineering Workshop: Design & Construction (Roads) in Thai Nguyen. The workshop is the latest development of the ADB project Promoting Climate Resilience in Rural Infrastructure in Northern Vietnam.

Bioengineering Project in Bac Kan, Vietnam Sees Early Success

Bioengineering Project in Bac Kan, Vietnam Sees Early Success ICEM's first bioengineered slope project in Bac Kan Province is showing early signs of success. The test site is divided into four sections, with each section testing and showcasing a different green infrastructure technique. The sections showing the most growth thus far are sections 1 and 4, Brush Layering and Vetiver Grass.

ICEM Holds Workshop on Bioengineering Riverbank Design and Construction in Bac Kan.

ICEM, ADB and MARD hold a workshop on Bioengineering: Design and Construction for Riverbanks. The workshop covered the various stages of riverbank protection: objectives, planning, site investigation, selection of options, design, and also included a site visit to the demonstration site at SP4 in Thanh Mai Commune, where construction is now complete.

Construction commences on Sub-Project 4 at the Cau River, Cho Moi District, Bac Kan, Vietnam

Construction has commenced on Sub-Project 4 at the Cau River, Cho Moi District, Bac Kan with a launching ceremony attended by CPMU, DARD, PPMU Bac Kan, Thanh Mai CPC, Cung Kieu Construction Company and ICEM. The project is part of the ICEM-implemented TA 8102-VIE: Promoting climate resilient rural infrastructure in Northern Vietnam.

Biochar Project Begins with Rapid Tour of GMS Countries

Biochar Project Begins with Rapid Tour of GMS Countries ICEM's Biochar team has kicked off the project with a tour of the region's six participating countries to perform the project's rapid fire assessment of biochar potential in the GMS.

ICEM Participates in the Workshop on Climate Risk Management in Planning and Investment Projects

MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES – 9-10 February 2015: ICEM Participates in the Workshop on Climate Risk Management in Planning and Investment Projects

APAN and the Asia Development Bank (ADB) co-organised the “Climate Risk Management in Planning and Investment Projects” workshop in February 2015 in Manila, the Philippines.

Aimed at building capacity amongst government officials on climate risk assessment and management, the workshop provided participants with a comprehensive two-day training on climate risk management approaches, climate data utilisation for impact and vulnerability assessment, economic and technical analysis in adaptation assessment and planning, and financial architecture on climate change adaptation initiatives in partnership with the private sector.

ICEM’s Tarek Ketelsen, Director – Technical Programs, presented on the Climate Risk & Vulnerability Assessment (CRVA): Central Mekong Delta Connectivity Project. The aims of the CRVA were to integrate climate change risk management into the detailed design of roads and bridges associated with the Central Mekong Delta Connectivity Project, and to pilot-test a rapid climate change vulnerability and adaptation methodology for transport infrastructure projects.

View the presentation here.

 Read the CRVA final report here.

ICEM Brings Spatial Expertise to Mekong Delta Forum

ICEM Brings Spatial Expertise to Mekong Delta Forum The Mekong Delta Forum, co-hosted by MARD, MONRE, World Bank, Australian Aid, Kingdom of the Netherlands, was held in Ho Chi Minh City over February 2 & 3, 2015. The Forum brought together experts, dignitaries, and professionals to address the "what" and "why" of:

ICEM wins USAID and UN Urban Resilience Competition

ICEM has been awarded an Asia wide Urban Resilience prize for its work on “Green Infrastructure as a Foundation for Resilience in Mekong Towns.” In October, the U.S. Global Development Lab, USAID's Regional Development Mission for Asia, UN Habitat and UNDP hosted the Asia Urban Futures Workshop, a two-day international meeting to address climate-related issues and opportunities facing rapidly urbanising Asian cities. The meeting brought science and technology together with the development community to discuss these rising challenges and share solutions.

Workshop Examines Climate Change and Development Implications for Protected Areas and Species in the Mekong Region

BANGKOK, THAILAND – 8 – 10 October, 2014: Workshop Examines Climate Change and Development Implications for Protected Areas and Species in the Mekong Region

Written by Robert Mather, Head, Southeast Asia Group, IUCN Asia

Over 60 participants from the 6 countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)  came together in a workshop that examined ‘Mekong Protected Areas and Climate Change – Implications for Livelihoods and Development” The workshop was held from 8-10 October 2014, in Bangkok, Thailand, and was organized by the International Centre for Environmental Management (ICEM) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) GMS Environment Operations Center (GMS-EOC). Environmental policy makers, international and national conservation organizations and protected area managers attended the event.

In kicking off the event,  ICEM’s Jeremy Carew-Reid said that “We are members of the protected area family, a family with a Mission. We are starting on a journey and the destination of that journey  is to put protected areas and biodiversity back where they belong – centre stage in the discussions on sustainable development”

Protected areas in the Mekong Region are still largely set within landscapes and seascapes of small-scale fishers and farmers although over the last 20 years the GMS Region has developed rapidly, regional integration of transport infrastructure and markets has progressed significantly, and large-scale commercial agriculture and industrial-scale plantations have grown in importance. With the imminent arrival of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 this transformation of the region is set to continue.

“Now more than ever, protected areas are vitally important, not just for biodiversity conservation, but for the water food and energy security underpinning all of this economic activity” said Robert Mather, Head of IUCN Southeast Asia group, adding that “ The […]

DELTA Tools Team visits Mekong Delta

DELTA Tools Project Team visits Mekong Delta The DELTA Tools project aims to bring climate modeling, hydropower development projections, and land use change together with data on infrastructure investments to facilitate high quality decision making in the Mekong Delta.
  • SONY DSC

GMS Corridor towns enthusiastic about adapting to climate change

Government officials in towns along the Greater Mekong Sub-region East-West Economic Corridor have enthusiastically taken up the challenge of boosting their capacity to deal with climate change and formulate innovative adaptation solutions. Over the past few months, ICEM has been working with the towns of Kaysone Phomvihane (Lao PDR) and Dong Ha (Vietnam), to strengthen their capacity to manage climate change.

ICEM study identifies climate change vulnerability in Viet Nam’s transport network

A recent ICEM study has shown that climate change influenced landslides and flooding poses a serious threat to major National transport arteries in Viet Nam, such as the north-south National Road 14 and Ha Noi to HCMC Railway Line.

Viet Nam has invested heavily in transport infrastructure over the past decade. This has led to significant improvements to the road network in particular, with a five-fold increase in paved surface over the past seven years and a 30,000km increase in total length. However, the potential threat from climate change to the network was until now, not well understood.

This study is part of a two year (2012 to 2014) Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded technical assistance project to support the Government’s National Target Programme to respond to climate change (NTP-RCC), with one of the main aims being to develop a better understanding of the potential impact from climate change to the transport sector. The work has included a rigorous consultative process with ministerial and provincial transport stakeholders, field visits to major assets, detailed modelling to determine current and 2050 climate conditions, and GIS spatial analysis.

The study found that of the various climate threats that could impact transport assets, landslides have the most potential to cause catastrophic damage, followed by floods.

Results also showed that National Road 14 (known as HCM Highway), which is a critical artery from Ha Noi to HCMC, is the transport asset that will experience the greatest exposure to landslides in Viet Nam in future climate. Compared to current climate conditions, the length at the highest risk will increase by 50% to 200km by 2050. In addition, approximately 120km of this road that was previously only at moderately exposed will, due to climate change, […]

Water shortage in Vietnam’s Central Highlands could be mitigated by utilising the Yali Reservoir

An ICEM study has revealed that the drought suffered by some communities in the Central Highlands of Vietnam could be substantially avoided, if they are given access to the vast resources of the Yali Reservoir.

People living in the Central Highlands of Vietnam are increasingly facing the challenges of  drought and extreme water shortage.  Many rivers and streams, which are used for agricultural,  irrigation and domestic consumption, often completely dry out  in the dry season. Worsening droughts threaten agriculture production, which not only affects community life, but also weakens the provincial economy. 

This is a particular challenge in the Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces – which is where the vast  Yali Reservoir is located. The Yali Reservoir is one of Vietnam’s largest, at 65 square km. Currently this reservoir supplies the hydropower dam, producing approximately 3,680 gigawatt hours (GWh) of power to the national grid system. Since commissioning in 2001, the reservoir has not been utilised by the communities of the Central Highlands. Instead, it has been solely used for the generation of electricity.

ICEM conducted a study as part of the Mekong Challenge Program on Water and Food  to assess whether water from this reservoir could be used to provide the water needs of local communities, and to analyse the  potential trade-offs in terms of energy production. The study investigated community water resource needs in the Yali catchment and found that livelihoods of communities here  – approximately 33, 200 people – rely heavily on water resources for their livelihoods. ICEM researchers considered whether the Yali Reservoir could be used to provide a steady water source for these communities, particularly in the dry season […]

By |September 24th, 2013|Mekong news, News, Vietnam news|0 Comments
  • Bioengineering project in Northern Vietnam

Tropical storms demonstrate the need for bioengineered solutions to climate change impacts in rural Vietnam

Heavy rains and flash floods caused by tropical storms this month are causing considerable damage to rural infrastructure in northern Vietnam. Projected impacts from climate change threaten to make conditions in poor mountainous areas even worse in the near future.
By |August 5th, 2013|Bioengineering project, Climate change news, News, Vietnam news|Comments Off on Tropical storms demonstrate the need for bioengineered solutions to climate change impacts in rural Vietnam

Workshops held for the ADB Bioengineering project in Northern Vietnam

A Launch Workshop was held for the project Promoting Climate Resilient Rural Infrastructure in Northern Vietnam. The Launch Workshop was held on 30 January 2013 at the Agricultural Projects Management Board (APMB) offices in Hanoi with 28 participants including representatives of Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the APMB, Bac Kan and Son La Provincial Project Management Units (PPMU), ADB and UNDP, and the ICEM team and support staff.
By |April 25th, 2013|Bioengineering project, News, Vietnam news|0 Comments

ICEM wins ADB project to promote climate resilient infrastructure in northern Vietnam

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has contracted ICEM to provide technical assistance to the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to implement the project to Promote Climate Resilient Rural Infrastructure in Northern Vietnam. The objective of the overall project is to reduce vulnerability of local infrastructure in the northern mountain areas of Vietnam to the adverse impacts of climate change, and also to create a policy framework conducive to promoting resilient development in the northern mountains zone.
By |January 30th, 2013|Bioengineering project, News, Vietnam news|0 Comments