Hanoi, Vietnam: The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DONRE) of Hanoi gathered key non-government organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations (CSOs), and other relevant stakeholders to streamline programs and strategies towards climate change and environmental sustainability in a consultation workshop last 21 March 2019. The event aimed to communicate city-led plans and strategies to address climate change and to identify points of cooperation with various stakeholders within the city.
Deputy Head of Division of Hydrometereology and Climate Change of DONRE, Do Vu Khiem presented Hanoi’s current approach and strategies to address climate change. He shared that as a response to the impacts and challenges brought about by climate change, the People’s Committee of Hanoi released Decision No. 1745 on 26 April 2012. Strategies under this decision include awareness raising regarding climate change, particularly its impacts on people’s daily lives, increasing the investments on green and smart infrastructure, and improving the people’s capacity to adapt to the changing climate.
Hanoi’s plan identifies 79 tasks to be completed in 11 areas of the city with 12 main programs and 82 specific projects. These tasks are implemented in short term (2012-2015), medium term (2015-2020), and long term (beyond 2020) phases.
Ambitious promises in Hanoi
ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SEAS) participated in this activity and shared its work with Hanoi as the model city of Ambitious City Promises in Vietnam. Regional Program Manager Ranell Martin Dedicatoria shared that the project is also working with Soc Son and Son Tay as satellite cities and the Vietnam Institute of Urban Planning as a political partner.
Based on the assessment of Plan 63 (Plan for Energy Conservation and Efficiency), Plan 150 (Strategies to Respond to Climate Change and to Strengthen Environment and Natural Resource Management and Protection), and Plan 91 (Strengthening Protection, Care, and Improvement of People’s Health in New Era), the city’s priority urban sectors are air quality, transport, energy, and solid waste. ICLEI SEAS also noted that the city should adopt a people-centric approach to urban planning to ensure that citizens and stakeholders remain at the core of Hanoi’s local climate action activities.
For its part, ICLEI SEAS will coordinate with the city in facilitating in-country consultations, policy advice, and technology transfer. Realizing the integral role that citizens play in ensuring environmental sustainability, ICLEI SEAS will also support Hanoi in the conduct of citizen engagement activities such as public hearings, awareness-raising campaigns in online and offline channels, and workshops with relevant stakeholders.
Through its funding agency, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Hanoi and ICLEI SEAS will also put together pilot projects on infrastructure and behavioral change.
Ultimately, Hanoi, as the model city of ACP, shall be able to formulate its City Promise; an integrated and multi[-stakeholder approach to local climate action supporting Hanoi’s programs and strategies to address climate change.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Phuong Nam City Advisor of C40 for Hanoi, also shared their collaboration with the city under the Climate Action Planning Technical Assistance Programme (CAPTAP). Through this initiative, C40 will assist Hanoi in realigning its development plans as a response to the Paris Agreement and reach net zero emissions by 2050.
A call for cooperation
During the second half of the workshop, DONRE opened the floor for other organizations in attendance to share their existing programs and strategies which could support the city’s local climate action plan.
Several organizations including GreenID, GIZ, and ISET-Vietnam shared their existing strategies that support local climate action and potential entry points for collaboration with DONRE, ICLEI, and C40 activities. For instance, GreenID noted that they are in the process of putting together a consultation workshop on transportation with concerned stakeholders in Hanoi. The said consultation can support DONRE in soliciting feedback and insights from the citizens regarding their issues, concerns, and solutions to forward sustainable transport options.
In closing, Ms. Luu Thanh Chi, Vice Director of DONRE’s Environmental Protection Agency, highlighted that this consultation is an integral step in streamlining efforts to promote local climate action in Hanoi. She noted that the city shares its vision with its citizens to become a resilient and sustainable city and that the local government agencies are always finding opportunities to collaborate with interested stakeholders in achieving this goal.
Funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) through the International Climate Initiative (IKI), the ACP is a 3.5-year international project which aims to support selected large cities in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam to establish strong GHG reduction commitments, local climate action plans directed by concrete targets, enhanced multi-stakeholder engagement, and integrated strategies.