Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Vietnamese city probes climate risks to development plan

Thin Lei Win in AlertNet: Like many coastal cities in Vietnam, Quy Nhon is gearing up for development. It has big plans to become a trading and seaport hub, thanks to its strategic location connecting important transport routes. It also wants to develop snazzy accommodation for its population of 260,000 residents, and attract more tourists to its beautiful beachfront.

The city in central Binh Dinh province has also taken the novel – and, to climate experts, welcome – step of looking at the risk of disasters and potential effects of climate change before embarking on its major development programme.

With $300,000 funding from the U.S.-based Rockefeller Foundation, Quy Nhon is conducting a hydrology study that will explore the impact of infrastructure development in a flood-prone district, taking into consideration future weather patterns likely to be associated with climate change.

"I think it's a tribute to the Binh Dinh People's Committee that they're willing to step back and say, 'Wait, we know climate change is an issue, we know sea level is rising and storms are likely to intensify, what's likely to happen here?'" said Karen MacClune, a scientist with the U.S.-based Institute for Social and Environmental Transition which is providing technical support for the project.

Vietnam, with a coastline more than 3,200 km long, has been cited as one of the countries that will be most affected by global warming, which scientists warn could lead to sea-level rises and more extreme weather….

View of Quy Nhon from Ghenh Rang Recreation Area. Shot by Dragfyre, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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