Vietnam is a country especially vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. Communities are vulnerable to climate change as well and the negative impacts on them are exacerbated due to the combination of hydropower development and climate change. Many Vietnamese people, including men, women, and children, are vulnerable and affected by extreme climatic phenomena such as storms, floods, and its consequences such as riverbank erosion and mudslides. The challenge of climate change is increasing; therefore, climate change adaptation plays a critical role in both short and long term.
In fact, poor rural people in Vietnam are particularly vulnerable because their livelihoods depend on agricultural disasters impacted by natural disasters, they lack the assets and capital to be able to acquire a climate change resistance and adaptation strategy as well as to establish a disaster management system. And the clear evidence of environmental degradation in some areas also shows the impact of the environment and climate on changing people’s habitat. In the resettlement areas and downstream areas of A Vuong hydropower, people are also choosing their own solutions to improving their livelihoods due to the local economic and environmental pressures. Some of these pressures are increasing as a result of climate change.
In 2019-2020, CSRD will implement the research “Climate Change: Enhancing Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Quang Nam Province – Vietnam“, funded by APWLD. This study used FPAR’s approach. FPAR is a research approach focused on justice for women undertaken by feminist. FPAR methodology involves the researcher and the community women participating dicrectly in the research process. This research method allows women who are the focus of the research to participate actively in the research.
According to CSRD’s many years of experience working with hydropower resettlement communities, communities need to promote women’s capabilities and initiatives in preventing, mitigating natural disaster risks and responding to climate change. This project will promote the participation of women’s groups in Dong Giang, Tay Giang, and Dai Hong district in accessing their rights and support them to access and control local land and natural resources.
We also want to offer solutions on how to replicate project results, transform experiences from grassroots to policy, propose solutions to improve women’s capacities, so that they can become the people who promote the sustainable development in the local. The implementation of the project will enhance the capacity and create conditions for local women to have a sustainable and on-site solution to handle their problems, contributing to building a resilient community; at the same time improve access to public services in terms of access to finance and use of clean water resources through policy dialogue. The process of planning for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation will be difficult to succeed without the participation and contribution of women.
On the one hand, we will be building livelihood development groups based on local strengths for women in resettlement and downstream areas of A Vuong hydropower. This research wants to promote the rights of the people and nature as their own subject. It needs to address strategic environmental issues and sustainable development. In addition, we want to support they are more confident in expressing their opinions at meetings with project officers as well as at workshops with the participation of many stakeholders.