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Vietnam climate Gemmes
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on October 29 marked the starting point of the GEMMES research program. In a country that is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, what are the expected outcomes of this partnership? The answers with Étienne Espagne, development economist with AFD.

Why Is the Gemmes Research Program Relevant to Vietnam?

Vietnam is one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, in particular to typhoons and coastal erosion. Its two large deltas and areas of intensive agricultural production have to deal with the rise in sea levels, which Vietnamese authorities recognize as having hit the highest level of emergency.  What’s more, its tropical location makes it vulnerable to changes in rainfall patterns and high temperatures. 

Editorial note:Gemmes” is General Monetary and Multisectoral Macrodynamics for the Ecological Shift. Its purpose is to help make informed macroeconomic decisions regarding development and environmental issues.

The Gemmes program will provide an assessment of the socioeconomic impact of climate change for Vietnam between now and 2050 and will draw up an overview of adaptation strategies. We have chosen this topic in coordination with our Vietnamese partners. This program is being developed in the wider context of climate cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and AFD.


What Are the Project’s Objectives?

We hope to open up dialog with the Vietnamese ministries—in particular with the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources—early on in the process of adopting climate policies on subjects such as adaptation and the advantages of adopting ambitious pathways for reducing the effects of climate change.

This project also aims to train Vietnamese PhD and postdoctoral students in disciplinary fields relating to climate change and climate policy to help the country’s future elites weigh in on the issues of their time. This training objective is twofold — it is also for French and foreign experts involved in the project, as we ourselves have so much to learn from a country that has proven a capacity for resilience.

Lastly, we aim to form a third circle of contacts, i.e. the general public in Vietnam and internationally, through an awareness effort on the question of climate change’s effects, notably through the Youth Union and media outlets.
 

What Is Original About This Research Program?

We plan to work with Vietnamese researchers, as well as with French and international players. The Research Institute for Development, with its expertise in higher education and French research, is our partner for part of the research and in managing the project. 

However, we also work with researchers at the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi, Vietnam National University, the University of Social Sciences, Can Tho University (notably for questions concerning the Mekong Delta), IRASEC – Research Institute of Contemporary Southeast Asia, the regional unit of the CNRS and the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs in Southeast Asia. 

Various institutes specializing in climate, farming, energy and macroeconomic issues will join us on a case-by-case basis as the project moves forward.

The objective is to build as complete a picture as possible of the damage created by climate change in Vietnam, and the solutions available to the country to deal with it. We hope to produce a comprehensive overview that can be used for consistent macroeconomic advocacy.

We will develop a web platform with dynamic mapping that integrates climate change scenarios as well as their socioeconomic effects. It will be both a scientific tool, with downloadable simulation data, but also a place of policy dialog, as it will visually summarize research results (which may appear daunting at first glance). Lastly, it is a wonderful advocacy tool for urgent action in favor of greenhouse gas reduction strategies in line with the Paris Agreement.

Further reading