Hanoi, Vietnam –  August 7, 2017: Series of publications on the promotion of bioengineering in Vietnam now available

The impact of natural events such as floods, droughts and coastal storms will become more severe as populations grow and the landscape is increasingly modified. Northern Vietnam is one area at risk, as climate change is projected to increase the severity of extreme events in the region. This change puts infrastructure like roads and irrigation schemes at greater risks from impacts of flash floods and landslides. The cost of building new infrastructure and repairing existing infrastructure will be high.

In many parts of the world, vegetation has been incorporated in engineering design to protect natural terrain and man-made structures from the problems associated with land degradation, but bioengineering has seen little uptake in Vietnam.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Capacity Development Technical Assistance project Promoting Climate Resilient Rural Infrastructure in Northern Vietnam demonstrated how non-conventional engineering solutions can strengthen rural infrastructure, resisting the hazards associated with climate change and providing opportunities to enhance community livelihoods.

Objectives included the promotion of effective bioengineering measures in road and riverbank slope protection, and initiating the development of a relevant policy framework so that the techniques employed in these bioengineering demonstrations can be replicated elsewhere in the country. A grant for the project was provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the ADB. The project was carried out by ICEM in association with Philkoei, working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The project focused on rural irrigation, slope stability for roads, riverbank protection, and flood protection works. Lessons learned from the project provided the basis for capacity building activities with local community members, contractors and government staff at local, provincial and national levels.

Recently completed, various reports and publications were published as part of the project outputs. These include a field guide for slope protection with guidance on the selection of appropriate bioengineering and associated engineering options for the surface protection of roadside slopes and riverbanks, slope protection designs and specifications, and training material.

In addition to the reports, ICEM has produced the publication Natural solutions to erosion control in Viet Nam: Case studies from the Northern mountainous region. The book documents work carried out at four demonstration sites, lessons learned and the way forward. It was written with the layman in mind as target audience, and aims to communicate key project activities and results to a broader audience beyond technical experts.

For any enquiries, contact petro.kotze@icem.com.au