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Adaptation Vietnam AFD
While no country is spared the effects of climate change, some are more vulnerable than others. Vietnam, Senegal and Costa Rica are among the countries most exposed, and which AFD is supporting in their adaptation strategies.


© François Carlet-Soulages / AFD

With over 3,200 km of coastline, Vietnam’s coasts are in danger of erosion.  If the scenario of a one-meter sea level rise materializes, 5% of the country’s land could disappear, particular affecting the Mekong River Delta. This would jeopardize the country’s food and economic security.

Rising temperatures, leading to increased droughts, more frequent typhoons and river and coastal erosion are also of great concern. The country’s tropical location makes it vulnerable to changes in rainfall patterns and very high temperatures. Vietnam has also experienced rapid urbanization over the last 30 years: 60% of Vietnam’s population will be urban by 2050. It is therefore essential for cities to improve their responses to climate change. 

Further reading: The Impact of Climate Change on Lives and Livelihoods in Vietnam

Thankfully, the Vietnamese Government has made climate change adaptation a key focus of its development strategy. Back in 2008, it adopted a National Target Program (NTP-RCC), which targets responses to climate change. This is now a priority issue for the country’s development policies, in particular for agriculture.

AFD is lending its support to this adaptation strategy in a variety of ways, having allocated €200 million of multi-year budget support between 2010 and 2020 in the form of a loan via the SP-RCC program. At the same time, AFD has financed studies to assess the impacts of climate change on the country and solutions to address them. They include the Gemmes Vietnam program, as well as more targeted research projects aiming, for example, at gaining a better understanding of the pattern of floods and lower flow rates of the Mekong. The Group has also supported a project to help officials learn more about resilience to climate change in several vulnerable cities.

In a more visible way, AFD has also helped provide Vietnam with new equipment. In the province of Ninh Binh, since March 2022, a new dam has been slowing the salinization of fresh water caused by the increase in the sea level. In Diên Biên Phu, a program is financing the construction and operation of hydraulic structures along the river in order to reduce the erosion of its banks and urban flooding. In Lào Cai, AFD has partnered with the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region to support a project set up by the NGO Agrisud. It aims to develop sustainable agricultural practices and thereby strengthen food security and improve the quality of life of residents in the province.

Between 2006 and 2020, a total of €1.1 billion was devoted to the fight against climate change and adaptation to its effects in Vietnam, through 31 development projects and programs. 

SENEGAL protects itself from FLOODING

© Clément Tardif / AFD

Projections on the impact of climate change in Senegal highlight an increase in high-intensity rainfall events, causing extensive material and human destruction in the country’s dense urban areas. The capital Dakar is one of the cities facing the greatest challenges: its suburban areas are already affected by floods almost every year. But other urban centers such as Kaolack, Saint-Louis, Diourbel and Bakel are also affected.

The investments needed to tackle this are estimated at over $2 billion (€2.04 billion) for 2016-2035, to reinforce drainage infrastructure and improve planning for the country’s urban ecosystems.

Senegal also aims to protect 500,000 hectares of forests, plant an equivalent area and reduce its areas vulnerable to bushfires by 90%. A National Climate Change Adaptation Plan is currently being prepared with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

AFD is supporting this adaptation policy by financing flood control projects. In the suburbs of Dakar, it has supported the construction of a system of ten stormwater ponds and gravity sewers to drain rainwater, as well as the creation of a wastewater collection network with a loan and a grant totaling €65 million.

Further reading: AFD and the Energy Transition in Africa

AFD is also assisting the Ministry of Urban Renewal, Housing and Living Environment with the production of a national mapping system of flood risk, the identification of appropriate measures to reduce the vulnerability of urban areas, and the acquisition of real-time risk monitoring tools.
In addition, it is providing special support for rural communities through the dissemination of an effective and sustainable family farming model.

The objective is to strengthen their resilience in terms of rainfall variations, difficulties in accessing inputs and inefficient and environmentally damaging practices.

Senegal is also a partner of the Adapt'Action program. This program is assisting 15 countries particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change with the implementation of their adaptation strategies, through technical assistance and capacity building activities. For example, Adapt’Action is supporting the integration of climate change adaptation into the education system, in primary, lower secondary and secondary schools, vocational training institutes, universities and higher education institutions. The objective is to help future citizens cope with the effects of climate change.


© Jean-François Renaud / Flickr

Costa Rica is a member of the V20 Group, which gathers 20 countries highly vulnerable to climate change. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, the country is faced with both rising water levels and drought, in particular in the north-west. It is also threatened by increasingly heavy rains which can cause flooding, as has been the case this year with roads cut off, infrastructure destroyed and people left helpless with no electricity or water.

Further reading: Confronting Coastal Erosion in the Caribbean

“Alongside its action to decarbonize its economy, Costa Rica has also developed a national climate change adaptation strategy. Since April 2022, it has also been able to build on its first National Adaptation Plan for 2022-2026,” says Matthieu Robin, Director of AFD’s office in Costa Rica. The document serves as a roadmap to improve the country’s resilience to the impacts of climate change. It has been prepared in a participatory manner, through 40 assemblies and 30 bilateral meetings involving over 150 institutions representing the public and private sectors and civil society across the country.

This plan defines six priority focuses: the raising and dissemination of knowledge about the effects of climate change, spatial planning, the management of ecosystems, public services and infrastructure, agriculture and finance.

AFD has implemented several activities that have contributed to the country’s adaptation. One has involved helping the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) to develop a system to monitor the condition of mangroves, which are crucial allies for tackling coastal erosion and coastal flooding. Through its Mangroves Initiative, the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) is implementing a pilot mangrove restoration project in the north of the country.

A study has also been financed to identify “green and blue” infrastructure, which serves both to preserve ecosystems and limit the negative impacts of climate change. A pilot project to restore a forest located by a river has been supported in order to better protect water resources. In fact, in the coming years, the drinking water supply is expected to fall by between 50% and 85% in seven areas of the country.

In 2021, a three-year exchange program between the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and Costa Rica, Duo-Diversité, was formalized at the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It will promote the sharing of expertise, experiences and operational solutions covering eco-tourism, biodiversity conservation, the management of protected areas and water resources. AFD is supporting this €2.2 million project with over €1 million of financing.