WFP uses satellites and climate modelling to boost resilience to climate change in Viet Nam

Published on 04 December 2018

Hanoi – A report launched today by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Viet Nam found that rural livelihoods in Viet Nam are highly sensitive to climate change, especially in the northern mountainous regions and the central highlands. The report also found that resilience must be boosted to safeguard food security and nutrition progress made in recent years.

WFP launched the Consolidated Livelihood Exercise for Analysing Resilience (CLEAR) report (https://docs.wfp.org/api/documents/WFP-0000100377/download/) jointly with the Viet Nam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Despite not having an operational presence in Viet Nam, in 2018 WFP has been using innovative technologies to analyse the resilience of Vietnamese communities to climate hazards.

“We cross-referenced satellite imagery and climate modelling with what we found on our joint field assessments,” said Justin Dittmeier, WFP’s Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Officer who co-authored the report. “Through a consultative analysis, we then mapped how resilient different livelihoods are to climate stresses,” he added.

The report details how among the 80 unique livelihood zones identified in Viet Nam, zones with upland paddy farmers were among the least resilient to climate change. The report urges that these areas, which are particularly vulnerable to climate change, continue to be targeted by government and partners, through their programmes and adaptation plans.

The CLEAR is an analytical approach developed by WFP to better understand how food security is affected by climate risks – whether they be related to extreme events (such as droughts, floods and cyclones), or to long-term gradual changes (such as shifting rainfall patterns, rising temperatures, or rising sea levels). WFP has conducted similar CLEAR analyses across Asia, including in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste.

“The objective of the CLEAR is to inform the design and targeting of development programmes and policies related to climate change adaptation, by shedding light on how both current and future climate risks affect the most vulnerable people,” said Siemon Hollema, Senior Programme Advisor with WFP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific.

“We welcome the news that our joint livelihood analysis will be used as part of the national climate change adaptation plan in Viet Nam – this demonstrates the added value of our work,” he added.

Viet Nam is one of the countries most prone to natural disasters according to the 2019 INFORM index for risk management. Typhoons, floods, droughts and landslides are recurrent and were responsible for losses equal to 1.5 percent of annual GDP between 2001 and 2010. Climate projections for Viet Nam include an increase in temperatures, increased intensity of extreme weather events and a rise in sea levels. This could in turn lower agricultural productivity and affect future yields of paddy rice, a main staple in Viet Nam.

WFP operations in Viet Nam ended in 2000 after 25 years that saw the economic and social transformation of the country. WFP, the world's largest humanitarian agency, played a major role in Viet Nam's protracted post-war rehabilitation, feeding tens of millions of people. At that time, the agency was Viet Nam's largest grant donor of the entire UN system, investing approximately $500 million of food and non-food assistance in the country between 1974 and 2000. Since then, WFP has continued to monitor food security and disaster preparedness in the country.

At the request of the government, in March 2018 a team of WFP experts were deployed to Viet Nam on a two-week mission. The team provided technical assistance to the Government on livelihoods analysis, and provided expertise in analysis and mapping.

Next year, WFP plans to further boost analytical capacity in the country, and bring additional global expertise in livelihood and vulnerability analysis and mapping, supporting the government’s food security monitoring and early warning actions.

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For more information on the Consolidated Livelihood Exercise for Analysing Resilience (CLEAR) please visit: https://www.wfp.org/wfp.org/CLEAR and read the report here: https://docs.wfp.org/api/documents/WFP-0000100377/download/

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media @wfp_asiapacific @wfpvam

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
James Belgrave, WFP/Bangkok, Tel. +66 2655 4115
Jess Lawson, WFP/Bangkok, Tel. +66 2655 4115