Climate Change MOU Signing Ceremony a Milestone
Updated at: 12/31/2011 11:36:33 AM

Mr. Truong Duc Tri, Deputy Director of the DMHCC, Mr. Peter Newsum, Country Director of CARE International in Vietnam, and Mrs. Vu Thi Bich Hop, Executive Director of Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) sign the MOU, with key stakeholders witnessing the milestone event.

On 18 November, 2011, a ceremony was held to witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change (DMHCC), and the Vietnamese NGO and Climate Change working group (VNGO&CC) and the Climate Change Working Group (CCWG), two strong climate change networking agencies in Vietnam.

The ceremony was held at Hoa Binh hotel, Hanoi, and attended by approximately 100 stakeholders and journalists.

A panel was chaired by Mr. Truong Duc Tri, Deputy Director of the DMHCC, Mr. Peter Newsum, Country Director of CARE International in Vietnam, representative of CCWG, and Mrs. Vu Thi Bich Hop, Executive Director of Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD), chair of VNGO&CC.

Mr. Truong Duc Tri on behalf of Government Agencies, presented some of the key achievements and work plan of the National Target Program Responding to Climate Change (NTP RCC) and Support Program Responding to Climate Change (SP RCC), including a new national strategy which will be announced shortly. "We have also been working at the province level", he stated. "Eleven out of 63 provinces have developed and begun implementing their climate change actions plans. We hope to work more closely with these NGO networks to ensure the remaining provinces are supported to also implement their climate change plans."

Mrs. Pham Thi Bich Ngoc, SRD's Climate Change Manager, on behalf of Non Government Organizations working on climate change, introduced the work of the NGOs, VNGO&CC, CCWG, their achievements, and their expectations in collaborating with Government Agencies.

Other speakers at the ceremony included representatives from the Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry for Education and Training, the Embassy of Finland, JICA, and WWF. All speakers offered their congratulations to the Government and the VNGO&CC and CCWG for taking this positive and important step, though it was acknowledged that this was just the beginning.

Throughout the event, there was a strong sense of recognition of the important role that NGOs play and the strengths that they have to offer. Vu Thi Bich Hop, Executive Director of SRD commented that "NGOs have significant experience, and a depth of local expertise. This MOU is a positive step and will help to enhance strengths of both agencies."

Ms Nguyen Thi Yen from CARE, and the CCWG Chairperson, presented the upcoming plans for the MOU, including assisting the process of mainstreaming climate change concerns, a national dialogue workshop on climate change, a new roundtable forum on technical issues, and strong communications mechanisms. "This MOU will assist a more fruitful, frequent and systematic cooperation," she said. "New ways for the agencies to work together have been identified. This is the first time and MOU has been signed between the Government and NGOs, and we feel very grateful to receive this appreciation and support."

The signing ceremony was a significant milestone in Vietnam, and good cooperation between different agencies was evident. There was a call for action not words, and a strong commitment that the MOU is not the end result, but the beginning of a process where government and non-government agencies work together more effectively in an urgent response to climate change.

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