Study visit Vietnam
Through the project Youth PURPOSE: Preparedness of YoUngsters, ResPonse, RecOvery, Solidarity, and VoluntEering in Times of Crises, together with partner organizations from North Macedonia, Italy, Namibia, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Indonesia, Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation supports the work of youth and youth organizations. Through education and empowerment, we aim to increase the capacities of young people on the prevention, response and recovery of natural disasters and encourage the use of digital tools and new technologies for disaster management. A very important role in the times of disaster play volunteers and management of volunteers as well as aid efforts, as demonstrated by the example of the floods in the city of Obrenovac, Serbia.
The mission of Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation is to provide support in the exchange of knowledge and skills when it comes to responding in crisis situations. During the period from the 3 rd to the 8 th of October 2022, Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation representatives had the opportunity to visit Vietnam with partners from Italy and North Macedonia and exchange experiences with local Vietnamese youth organizations, as well as to assess the regional risks of landslides in the mountainous areas of Vietnam. Workshops and discussions Vietnamese youth organizations prepared workshops on different subjects, updated us on progress and key achievements of youth-led groups for climate actions in recent period especially in the pandemic situation. Many ideas about youth in climate policy and decision-making processes were discussed. It was agreed that it is very important and useful to have an overall look about the climate change policies in Vietnam, and to be involved in climate policy making and implementation processes. Here, what the youths do in the climate change aspects are not only for the sake of their own future but also motivated by certain youth opportunities in the near future.
The partner delegates in the RESPONSE Project also actively shared the pictures of youth movements and relations between youth and the government in their own country and locations together with what was discussed in Vietnam case, making the important discussions over the existing gaps and proposed opportunities for cooperation in the future.
All of the invited youth-led organizations in the study exchange have the outstanding grassroots projects in Vietnam, which enabled the multi-faucet discussions over how the youth can recognize, affirm and call for practical campaigns. Vietnamese youth had recommendations with the focus on the net zero emissions and on educational trainings, necessary support for the youth to participate in the policy and decision making processes in Vietnam.
The visit to landslides Landslides are one of the most serious problems in the mountains regions of the northern part of Vietnam due to the special topographic and geological conditions associated with the occurrence of tropical storms, steep slopes on hillsides, and human activities, making the disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities are crucially important. As one typical area of such typology, Da Bac District in Hoa Binh Province in Vietnam use to ramp up a lot of efforts to address its landslide-prone areas and also subjected to several funded projects for disaster management with a focus on building capacity to response to DDR.
On the 6-7 th of October in 2022, we had the chance to assess the regional landslide hazards in this mountainous in Sung and Da Bia Village.
On the first day, we visited Sung village where is the living place of Dao Tien people in Cao Son commune, Da Bac district. It is located at an altitude of about 530m above the sea, behind is the mighty Bieu mountain range, at the foot, there is winding terraces stretching along the hillside.
We visited other parts of the community in order to observe the area with land slide erosion and learn about the culture of the local community.
We stayed at tourism-based homestay business in the region which is said to be efficiently to bringing sustainable livelihood for residents in those naturally disadvantaged area due to damaging landslides which most affected agricultural sector.
After that, we had a discussion with the village authorities to find out:
– What are the risks of natural disaster to the local communities?
– What is the response process? Government support on disaster mitigation and response?
– What is the roles of young people in the mitigation and response
After the discussion, we learned that the landslide site is expanding day by day, worrying nearby locals. Landslide affects peoples lives and properties.
Many houses had been damaged and many roads blocked by the erosion and village was isolated. Local authorities expect that central government will provide guidelines, and that donors’ agencies will supply technical assistance.
The local people have learned how to recognize the signs of a landslide appearing such as the appearance of cracks, bulges on slopes, unusual downhill water flows, sudden changes in the water flow, and small rocks falling. The suggestion was that people should avoid activities that may increase ground instability. For example, avoid digging a steep hill, building houses on the top or bottom of a steep slope, cutting down the forest indiscriminately. In addition, some agreed effective actions for natural disaster hazard reduction and management in the region include the application of GIS, enhancement of sustainable livelihoods such as: to monitor storm water runoff on slopes near homes, especially where water collects, solutions to prevent landslides in Vietnam with PVC coated galvanized gabions, as well as the mobilization, inspection and supervision of the authorities.
On the second day, we visited Da Bia villages where similar phenomena had occurred, which are mainly on a high and divided terrain, and due to topographic features, during thunderstorms, there is a possibility of tornadoes, lightning, hail and strong, very high risk of flash floods, landslides and flooding in low-lying areas. The conversation with the local community about their ways of dealing with this issues showed how deep rooted this challenges are and that they need immediate reaction and long term solutions.
After the exchange of experiences, it was concluded that it is necessary to provide more support to young people so that they can improve the effectiveness of the response in the fight against climate change and natural disasters in the future.