Australia and Vietnam working together to protect vulnerable communities

Media release

27 March 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Australia will support a partnership between Australian and Vietnamese climate scientists to better understand and plan for the impacts of climate change. The announcement was made at the opening of the new Australian Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City.

Senator Carr said Australia will contribute $2.03 million to the project, building on the existing partnership between the CSIRO and scientists from Vietnam's Ministry for Natural Resource and Environment and the Hanoi University of Science.

"Having more localised projections will help identify the people and sectors at risk and support Vietnam in the challenging task of prioritising its climate change response," Senator Carr said.

"The fundamental goal of the aid program is overcoming poverty and addressing climate change is critical to protecting and improving the lives of those who depend on the natural environment for their income, food and water.

"Vietnam is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, particularly in the Mekong Delta where rising sea levels, salt water intrusion and flooding are already impacting on vulnerable coastal communities.

"The partnership will build capacity in Vietnam to analyse, understand and undertake future climate change projections. This will include hosting Vietnamese PhD students who will help analyse data and climate modelling at the CSIRO in Australia."

Localised climate change projections will help target Australia's climate change assistance, including through our partnership with Germany where Australian funds are contributing to climate change adaptation and coastal protection in three vulnerable provinces in Vietnam's Mekong Delta region.

CSIRO is internationally recognised for its climate change modelling and has undertaken similar downscaled projections to support climate change planning in the Pacific and in Indonesia.

Media enquiries