Monday, February 28, 2011

Adapting to global warming the key to Vietnam's sustainable development

VietNam Net Bridge: Urban development must develop in a manner that takes climate change into account, including more green building, experts said at an international conference held in HCM City yesterday, Feb 27. Speaking at the conference, Olavo Rasquinho, secretary of the Typhoon Committee, an intergovernmental body based in Macau, said ineffective land-use planning, waste management and infrastructure construction would make cities more vulnerable to climate change.

If governments do not take climate-change adaptation seriously, flooding in particular would increase in frequency and intensity, causing damage to property, livelihoods, human health and economies. Rasquinho pointed to the example of downtown Beijing, where more rain is falling compared to suburban areas because of the number of tall buildings affecting the formation of clouds.

"Urban flooding is not an isolated issue and it should be integrated with urban system or planning," he said, suggesting that cities should engage in international cooperation to increase the managerial capacity of urban planners.

Melissa Susan Merryweather, coordinator of Viet Nam Green Building Council, told the conference attendees that architectural models should be chosen according to the kind of climate zone. "Western architectural prototypes are suitable for northern climates, but are less appropriate in a hot tropical climate," she said. She urged builders and investors to follow Viet Nam's new LOTUS system, somewhat similar to the LEED standard in the US, which awards points to green construction…

1 comment:

Monica Thompson said...

Sounds like a very good meeting addressing climate change in Vietnam. Tropical climates need different building practices, and whether tropical or cold as can be, our climates are likely to continue to change and also to show more extreme events.

Coastal nations such as Vietnam need to be especially mindful of the likely impacts of more frequent flooding.

Adaptation is part of the solution, but so is prevention through limiting our own carbon footprint. National governments can assist businesses and citizens in figuring out how to do just that.