Vietnam - Netherlands: Comprehensive cooperation for addressing climate change adaptation and environmental challenges

19/03/2024

TN&MTMinister Dang Quoc Khanh and Minister Mark Harbers expressed optimism about the potential for Vietnam and the Netherlands to collaborate "wholeheartedly" to find nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and environmental issues.

Vietnam - Netherlands: Comprehensive cooperation for addressing climate change adaptation and environmental challenges

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Dang Quoc Khanh, recieved Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands, Mark Harbers, on March 18th.

On March 18, Party Central Committee Member, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) Dang Quoc Khanh had a bilateral meeting with Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands, Mark Harbers, to discuss upcoming collaboration programs.

Attending the working session were Vietnamese Ambassador to the Netherlands Ngo Huong Nam; leaders of the MONRE including: Director of The International Cooperation Department Le Ngoc Tuan; Director of The Climate Change Department Tang The Cuong; Director of The Water Resources Management Department Chau Tran Vinh; Director of The Vietnam Geological Department Tran Binh Trong; Director of The Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Agency Nguyen Van Tai; Director of The Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Dinh Tho; Director General of The Viet Nam National Mekong Committee Standing Office Nguyen Thi Thu Linh.

Accompanying Minister Mark Harbers were Directorate-General for Civil Aviation and Maritime Affairs Brigit Gijsbers; Director of Soil, Space and Climate Adaptation Rene Vrugt; Program Director and Vietnam Delta Coordinator, Sander Carpaij; Policy Officer International Cooperation and Biodiversity Gijs van den Berg; First Secretary Water and Climate Change Willem Timmerman; and Senior Policy Advisor at the Embassy of the Netherlands Pham Minh Uyen.

Vietnam - Netherlands: Comprehensive cooperation for addressing climate change adaptation and environmental challenges

Minister Dang Quoc Khanh discussed with Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands, Mark Harbers, on March 18th.

According Minister Dang Quoc Khanh, after the 8th meeting of the Vietnam-Netherlands Intergovernmental Committee on Climate Change Adaptation and Water Management, the MONRE has been actively implementing various activities such as: perfecting the legal framework for water resources management under the Water Resources Law 2023; implementing a joint cooperation plan for sustainable offshore sand mining; developing a cooperation program on education, training, and research on climate change and water resources management…

Acknowledging the swift implementation by the MoNRE, Minister Mark Harbers emphasized that following the 8th meeting of the Vietnam-Netherlands Inter-Governmental Committee, any remaining obstacles or difficulties need to be identified. Both sides should prioritize and take early actions to ensure successful cooperation which should then be shared with the members of International Partners for the Development of Deltas and Coastal Areas (IPDC) Commission, for consultation, learning, and the development of implementation programs for climate change adaptation, he added. 

Vietnam - Netherlands: Comprehensive cooperation for addressing climate change adaptation and environmental challenges

Minister Mark Harbers was impressed by Vietnam's "climate-friendly" policies aimed at adapting to climate change.

In addition, Minister Mark Harbers highly appreciated the proactive efforts of the MONRE in environmental protection, particularly in implementing climate change adaptation measures. To further enhance cooperation between Vietnam and the Netherlands, Minister Harbers discussed collaboration in sustainable offshore sand mining, sustainable groundwater management in the Mekong Delta, essential mineral extraction, activities within the International Panel for Deltas & Coastal Areas (IPDC)… These are strengths of the Netherlands and it is ready to assist and share its policies, experience, techniques, and financial solutions with Vietnam, Minister Mark Harbers said.

During the meeting, Minister Dang Quoc Khanh said that Vietnam is strongly committed to COP26 and has implemented numerous action programs to fulfill these commitments. These include developing plans, green circular economy development plans, and mobilizing resources to implement the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) political declaration. Therefore, there is a critical need for international partners to provide support through sharing experiences, scientific and technological advancements, as well as financial assistance.

Vietnam - Netherlands: Comprehensive cooperation for addressing climate change adaptation and environmental challenges

Minister Mark Harbers pledged to support, collaborate, and share with Vietnam policies, experiences, techniques, as well as financial solutions in the cooperative programs between the two parties.

Discussing about sustainable offshore sand mining, Minister Dang Quoc Khanh agreed that it is necessary to quickly provide guidance for projects seeking offshore sand supply sources. To strengthen management capacity in sand mining, the Vietnam Geological Department was tasked to closely coordinate with relevant agencies to focus on building legal corridors, planning policies, evaluating environmental and social impacts, etc.

With regard to sustainable groundwater management in the Mekong Delta, Minister Dang Quoc Khanh emphasized that the geopolitical location has made this region vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather phenomena. Currently, the MoNRE has been conducting various related studies, such as comprehensive water storage solutions to address water excess during the flood season and water shortage during the dry season in the Mekong Delta region. Vietnam hopes that the Netherlands can provide support and share experiences to help balance water resources and achieve sustainable development in the Mekong Delta.

Vietnam - Netherlands: Comprehensive cooperation for addressing climate change adaptation and environmental challenges

Minister Dang Quoc Khanh and Minister Mark Harbers exchanged souvenir gifts.

In terms of activities at the International Panel on Deltas, Coastal Areas and Islands (IPDC), Minister Dang Quoc Khanh recognized this platform as an excellent foundation for sharing knowledge on climate adaptation in delta regions. The Department of Climate Change, the department of Water Resources Management and the Viet Nam National Mekong Committee Standing Office were tasked to collaborate with the Netherlands to propose initiatives aimed at enhancing national capacity in water resource utilization amidst climate change, transforming challenges into opportunities, and providing economic support to the people in the Mekong Delta region.

Regarding essential mineral exploitation, the Viet Nam Geological Department has been assigned to coordinate with relevant parties in compiling a list of activities that can be implemented within this framework. Additionally, there is potential to launch a technology-sharing project in the domain of offshore sand mining and impact assessment between Vietnam and the Netherlands.

During the working session, the two Ministers also exchanged views on developing a program to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the framework for climate change adaptation and water resources management between the two countries. This is also an occasion to show both nation’s effort to international commitments on climate change respone.

Thu Huyen
 

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