CLIMATE CHANGE COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION
2. Climate change education and training in the country
3. Climate change communication in the country
i. Climate change context
Viet Nam is a Southeast Asian country with a population of approximately 96.4 million people, most of whom reside in the country’s two mega-cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The World Bank reports that Viet Nam is at high risk from climate change and faces extreme vulnerability to natural disasters such as flooding and cyclones. The mega-cities are also at threat from high rates of chronic heat due to increasing temperatures. The vulnerability toward climate change remains high, given the country’s status as a middle-income country.
Viet Nam’s 3rd National Communication (2019) reports that sectors such as water, agriculture, and fisheries are most affected by disaster phenomena related to climate change. As one of the major rice exporters globally, Viet Nam is vulnerable to climate change’s impacts on its prominent agricultural sector.
According to the Global Carbon Atlas, Viet Nam is a country with low emissions, approximately 2.6 t CO2 per person in 2020. The 3rd National Communication (2019) identifies the biggest polluting industries as the energy sector (primarily public electricity), heat production, manufacturing industries, rice cultivation, and cement production. According to the Communication, in 2014 the energy sector alone contributed around 31% of greenhouse gas emissions.
Viet Nam, a Non-Annex I Country to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,. (UNFCCC) signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1998 and ratified it in 2002. Viet Nam accepted the Doha Agreement to the Kyoto Protocol in June 2015. The Paris Agreement was signed and ratified in 2016.
ii. Relevant government agencies
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is primarily responsible for implementing climate change agreements, including the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement. The Ministry houses the Department of Climate Change, which manages the National Committee on Climate Change. The Committee is an advisory agency to the Prime Minister to propose strategic solutions and coordinate resources for climate change response. At the time of this review, Viet Nam had no designated Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) Focal Point.
Various ministries are involved in Viet Nam’s response to climate change. The Ministry of Industry and Trade integrates climate change in plans and strategies that focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The Ministry of Transport established an Action Plan to respond to climate change and green growth for 2016 to 2020 under Decision No. 1456/QD-BGTVT of the Minister of Transport. The Ministry aims to reduce emissions and conform to a transportation sector that is uniform and sustainable as well as environmentally-friendly.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had a significant role in conducting surveys that calculated livestock emissions in Viet Nam, which helped establish priority measures to reduce national methane emissions. This was done with the help of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition‘s Solution Center, a not-for-profit organization. The Coalition is a partnership of governments, businesses, and civil society organizations, mainly funded by the governments and a multi-donor trust fund through UN Environment.
In accordance with fulfilling the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the Ministry of Finance allocates budgets to ministries, agencies, and localities for activities that comply with requirements and schedule stated in plans and policies. The Ministry is one of many to assess climate risk and vulnerability and participate in defining needs for climate change adaptation in Viet Nam.
The Ministry of Construction integrates climate change in capacity building workshops and participated in a project with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility that increases the energy efficiency of residential buildings.
Education and communication
The Ministry of Education and Training is responsible for general education and higher education training. The Ministry is involved in several initiatives that further climate change education and education for sustainable development in Viet Nam’s education system.
The Ministry of Information and Communication facilitates information and communication in Viet Nam. Some of its aims are activities related to advocacy and education on sustainable development and progress made in implementing Viet Nam’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, information on climate change education is not available under this Ministry.
The Ministry of Science and Technology has integrated climate change into state-level programs and national strategies, such as the national science and technology strategy.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment is in the process of integrating SDGs in plans and strategies and focusing on developing monitoring indicators and frameworks for action plans that prioritize climate change response.
iii. Relevant laws, policies, and plans
Viet Nam’s Constitution (1992, amended 2013) includes a mandate for climate change and environmental protection. The Constitution states: “The State has a policy to protect the environment; manages, and effectively and stably use natural resources; protects the nature and biodiversity; takes initiative in prevention and resistance against natural calamities and response to climate change” (Article 63).
Viet Nam’s legislative landscape contains laws that focus on environmental protection and natural disaster prevention. One example is the Law on Environmental Protection (2014, amended in 2020). The amended version officially took effect on January 1st, 2022. The amendment added provisions on climate change, greenhouse gas reduction, and ozone layer protection. The provisions assign state agencies responsibility for improving climate change adaptation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Additional provisions include integrating climate change response into a strategic planning system and implementing international commitments on climate change and ozone layer protection. The Law promotes the reduction of greenhouse gases by implementing a carbon market that helps fulfill Viet Nam’s commitment to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
The Prime Minister approved the National Climate Change Strategy (2011) to ensure strategic objectives strengthening Viet Nam’s climate change response. One relevant goal includes improving public awareness of climate-friendly ways of living and consumption. Under the strategic tasks of “building communities to effectively respond to climate change” (p. 74), raising awareness about climate change and strengthening education on climate change are stated.
To implement the National Climate Change Strategy (2011), the Prime Minister issued the National Action Plan on Climate Change 2012-2020 in 2012. Objectives include enforcing regulations on building climate change response. Climate change communication and education are addressed. The Plan includes tasks and objectives to prioritize climate resilience in all sectors and natural systems. The list of projects and tasks that must be implemented from 2013 to 2020 notes “developing and implementing educational and training programs on disaster and climate change prevention” (n.p.). The coordinating agency is the Ministry of Education and Training, along with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Viet Nam’s National Green Growth Strategy (2012) provides a vision to promote green practices, prioritizing actions such as reducing consumption, increasing sustainable production, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 2011 to 2020. Organization of communication and education-based activities is listed as a solution to advocate for green growth in the economy and encourage raising awareness of green growth.
In 2016, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development approved the Action Plan to Respond to Climate Change of Agriculture and Rural Development 2016–2020, with a vision to 2050.
The National Action Plan for the Implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (2017) highlights Viet Nam’s SDGs and categorizes them as targets to be achieved by specific implementation periods. One of the Plan’s many goals is to improve the system of laws and policies to implement the National Action Plan successfully.
Viet Nam’s National Adaptation Plan for 2021-2030, with a vision by 2050 was adopted in 2020. The Plan’s objective is to increase Viet Nam’s climate resilience and adaptive capacity in domains such as economic sectors and ecosystems. Examples of sectoral development include agriculture, forestry, water, and various industrial and energy sectors. The Plan includes climate-based solutions for such sectors and heavily emphasizes protection of urban and residential infrastructure and commercial and energy industries against climate change. Integrating climate change adaptation into the national strategy and planning domain is also an objective of the Plan. The Plan lists raising awareness and adaptive capacity to prepare for climate change.
The Government of Viet Nam authorized a newer version called Viet Nam’s Green Growth Strategy for 2021-2030, Vision Towards 2050 in 2021. The Strategy targets the development of green growth and sustainable development in Viet Nam and aims to integrate the area in education and communication.
Education and communication
The Ministry of Education and Training published the General Education Curriculum in 2017, which presents the government’s rules and regulations on general education objectives, content, assessment, and guidance of general education quality. Terms related to the environment, sustainability, and climate change are included.
In 2008, Viet Nam adopted the National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change. The Programme’s main objective is to establish an effective response to climate change to ensure sustainable development and a low-carbon economy and guarantee international efforts to mitigate climate change. During the implementation period of 2009 to 2015, the tasks and objectives included formulating a climate change education and training program on all education levels. The agency in charge was the Ministry of Education and Training. Communication programs via newspapers, televisions, and websites are listed as ways to raise awareness about climate change and are assigned to the Ministry of Information and Communication.
The Teacher Manual on Climate Change Education (2012) addresses climate change responses. The Manual aims to contextualize climate change and its causes and impacts on students by providing teaching and lesson materials for teachers on how to guide such topics in classrooms.
iv. Terminology used for Climate Change Education and Communication
The National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change (2008), implemented from 2009 to 2015, provides an outline of tasks and projects under which climate change communication and education are prioritized. The Programme emphasizes climate change mitigation and adaptation. It stipulates integration of climate change education on all education levels, with the Ministry of Education and Training as the responsible agency. Education is referenced to “raise awareness and responsibility of the entire society for climate change; to boost the training of human resources, especially highly qualified one” (p. 5). The Programme emphasizes boosting climate change response by proposing various tasks that enhance climate change communication and education within the education system and the training domain.
The Teacher Manual on Climate Change Education (2012) defines climate change responses in the context of imparting knowledge of climate change and its causes and impacts on a global level, to increase students’ understanding. The Manual also includes climate change adaptation and mitigation under knowledge to further climate change response.
The General Education Curriculum (2017) incorporates ‘climate change’ and ‘environmental protection’ in general education objectives. The Curriculum emphasizes the development of attitudes and skills in education, asking students to learn about “awareness of the natural world” (p. 42). The Curriculum states the importance of “raising awareness and willingness to participate in advocacy activities on climate change and response to climate change” (p. 42). Under the Nature Study Competency for students, the objectives for developing scientific knowledge state “the need to protect the environment and respond to climate change.”
In 2017, the Ministry of Education and Training published an Education Sector Analysis that recommends technological enhancement in climate change communication. Raising climate change awareness among students, teachers, and managers would be connected to increasing the use of information technology applications. The Analysis emphasizes integrating climate change knowledge that is rooted in learning about its impacts and appropriate responses. Current education curricula are also recommended. Thus, the government encourages implementing climate change communication and education in strategies and plans. The Analysis also advocates mainstreaming climate change and gender equality in education, which would enhance inclusiveness within the education domain.
In recent years, climate change communication and education have been increasingly incorporated into disaster preparedness education. Viet Nam launched a 5-year plan to integrate disaster education into school curricula.
v. Budget for climate change education and communication
Viet Nam has received increased funding from international parties that allow allocations for climate change-related initiatives.
In 2011, the Asian Development Bank and the Nordic Development Fund supported Viet Nam in implementation of climate change action plans for key cities and government departments. The project aimed to fund assessment of risks to sectors and communities from climate change and identification of adaptation and mitigation responses. The project targeted agencies’ capacity, leading to an increase in climate change community awareness campaigns. Viet Nam provided over US$ 250,000 of the total US$ 2.75 million allocated, and the project ran from 2011 to 2013.
The Prime Minister approved the National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change in 2008 and allocated US$ 93.5 million (VND 1.9 billion) toward its implementation. Awareness raising activities and formulation of education are assigned under tasks with set targets and specific timelines. To mobilize further resources from international donors for implementing the program, the Support Program to Respond to Climate Change was launched in 2014. The Prime Minister proposed to allocate US$ 46.9 million from the Support Program to assist in implementing climate change response projects, specifically 16 projects related to coastal and afforestation measures. However, whether climate change communication and education are included is unknown.
The Ministry of Education and Training proposed to allocate around US$ 2 million (VND 52.3 billion) toward the project titled Bringing knowledge, skills, prevention and mitigation of natural disasters into schools from 2011-2020. The Ministry’s central budget contribution was estimated to be US$ 1.5 million (VND 35 billion). The project’s aims include increasing knowledge on disaster prevention, reduction, and mitigation in formal education curricula at all levels and training in the national education system.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment prepared the Climate Change and Green Growth Development Policy Financing (2020) and allocated Special Drawing Rights of 61.5 million, equivalent to US$ 84.4 million. This instrument aims to consolidate and expand on the government’s Support Program to Respond to Climate Change (2014) and prioritize climate action.
The Climate Public Expenditure and Investment Review of Viet Nam (2022) provides an overview of climate change expenditures and budgets for six ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Ministry of Transport as well as 28 provinces and one nationally managed city (Can Tho). In addition, the report reviews ministry allocations to climate change policies. The National Climate Change Strategy (2011) was allocated around US$ 324,23I million (VND 7.6 billion) annually for 2016 to 2020. This was 77% of the total ministry climate-related budget.
i. Climate change in pre-primary, primary, and secondary education
The General Education Curriculum (2017) presents the qualities desired in students. Under the quality of ‘responsibility,’ for upper secondary students, the Curriculum states that they should develop awareness and mobilization on climate change, which is seen as a climate change response. The response includes activities based on “propaganda, care and protection of nature, response to climate change and sustainable development” (p. 42). Under the development of specific professional competencies for primary level students, understanding of basic science includes response to climate change, protection of the environment, and knowing the diversity of nature. Under the subject Social Sciences for the primary level, issues such as climate change are identified and addressed under “society study competency” (p. 52). For the primary level, identification and response to issues such as climate change, environmental protection, and resource conservation are listed as qualities to develop in students. A description of the types of climate change-related keywords discussed in the curricula may be found in the MECCE Project Monitoring section of this profile.
Viet Nam’s Green Growth Strategy for 2021-2030, Vision Towards 2050 (2021) aims to integrate materials related to green growth into the formal curriculum and education activities at various levels of education across Viet Nam.
The National Action Plan for implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (2017) reports that the Ministry of Education and Training is assigned the lead on targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4.7 and 13.3. Tasks are set to ensure implementation of the SDGs. Viet Nam uses the wording of SDG 4.7 to include education for sustainable development in the education system. Another relevant task is evolving teaching methods to become more participatory and to ensure that sustainable development is integrated.
As a part of a regional project, Child-Centered Climate Change Adaptation was launched in 2011 in Thai Nguyen Province and Hanoi’s Soc Son Province, in one rural and one urban part of each province. This project aims to develop climate change resilience in participating children. Raising awareness and improving climate change understanding is the project’s primary aim. The project assesses child-led hazards, capacity, and vulnerabilities, and assessments remain accessible to the communities. Children and communities develop action plans and can request grant funding. The project lead provides funding to address concerns in assessments, mainly through specific activities such as mass awareness raising events, producing films on climate change, climate change education, and adaptation classes. The project has since expanded to other countries in the Pacific region. However, information on its ongoing status is not available at the time of this review.
A report called Act to Adapt: The Next Generation Leads the Way (2015) looks at the implementation of Plan International‘s Child-Centered Climate Change Adaptation program from 2011 to 2014. The report states that a nationwide competition was held that allowed children and youth to participate in developing child-centered climate change adaptation projects. More than 180 proposals were submitted, and several participants were awarded small grants to help implement their projects at schools and communities. Project activities ranged from organizing climate change education campaigns, school festivals, and awareness raising events to setting up water filter tanks and bio-fertilizers.
In 2012, the Ministry of Education and Training, in collaboration with Live&Learn and Plan Viet Nam, published a climate change manual called the ABC Education Book on Climate Change. The manual is intended for all audiences, from children to adults, as a guide to learning about climate change. The first two sections of the manual are education content that helps teach what climate change is and its impacts. The third section teaches students about national and international efforts to address climate change and offers solutions.
In 2012, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Danish Embassy collaborated to develop an education program involving puppetry to help children learn about climate change and lessen negative environmental impacts. The program was to be implemented in 10 primary schools in Hanoi and was proposed to be applied across Viet Nam, given its feasibility. It is unclear if the program is ongoing. However, Viet Nam discussed climate change at the fifth International Puppet Festival in 2018. Many Southeast Asian countries attended the festival, which occurred in Viet Nam, and Viet Nam focused on climate change.
In 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Education and Training launched a 5-year plan (2018–2023) to increase schools’ multi-hazard preparedness and disaster prevention program. A government official stated that disaster prevention education will be a part of the formal curriculum and extracurricular activities for high school students. Teachers and students will access knowledge and skills needed for climate change responses and natural disasters. In 2017, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organized disaster awareness activities and emergency drills for students in cooperation with the Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority and the Government of Japan. The campaign was called the Schools of Son Tinh, and it equipped more than 5000 students in areas vulnerable to natural disasters with skills and knowledge to combat such disasters.
In 2021, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the Department of Education and Training signed a cooperation agreement on environmental education and communications for 2021 to 2025. Communication materials and videos have been developed on the ‘green schools’ model, which contains activities on environmental awareness and protection at schools, including tree planting, recycling, and water and electricity savings for young people. A Viet Nam News article also reports that environmental education is part of public school curricula for all levels. The initiatives organized aim to strengthen environmental education and communication.
The 3rd National Communication (2019) reports that many activities to raise climate change awareness, education, and training have been successfully implemented in Viet Nam. The Communication reports that seminars and extracurricular contests in elementary and secondary schools have been organized on topics related to climate change and ozone layer protection and continue to be organized through the leadership of various organizations.
ii. Climate change in teacher training and teaching resources
Viet Nam’s Green Growth Strategy for 2021-2030, Vision Towards 2050 (2021) reports that the Ministry of Education and Training aims to raise awareness of teachers and education management personnel on the significance of green growth through implementation of activities.The Green Growth Strategy predicts that by 2020, more than 80% of staff, teachers, lecturers, and students will have gained knowledge and skills on climate change and disaster prevention. The main goal is to assist professionals in the education sector and students in learning about natural disasters, their causes, and prevention, in the training period of 2011–2020. However, information is not available on outcomes or current status.
The Teacher Manual on Climate Change Education was drafted in 2012 by the Ministry of Education and Training, in cooperation with the organization Live & Learn for Environment and Community and Plan in Viet Nam. The Manual was developed for the project Child-Centered Climate Change Adaptation, and its publication was funded by the Australian Government’s Aid program. The Manual has three parts: 1) activities and lesson plans through which climate change can be integrated into the classroom, 2) information for teachers on climate change, and 3) handouts to support the information provided to students through activities and lessons. The Manual’s objectives include assisting teachers in developing a student-centered teaching approach that integrates climate change into subjects and extracurricular activities. Activities such as group discussions, creating mind maps, games, and showing films on climate change-related concepts are some ways to foster a participatory approach to learning about climate change for students. Another objective is promoting and applying climate change education by sharing educational materials, ideas, and activities.
The Teacher Manual on Climate Change Education intends to train teachers by helping students develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes for climate change response. The Manual guides teachers to pass on to students attributes such as learning about the impacts of climate change, how to respond through gaining knowledge in adaptation and mitigation, and building green lifestyles. A report called Act to Adapt: The Next Generation Leads the Way (2015) reviews Plan International’s Child-Centered Climate Change Adaptation program from 2011 to 2014. That program aimed to increase children’s awareness of climate change and encourage adaptation efforts. The report states that Viet Nam’s Ministry of Education approved the Teacher Manual and over 1380 teachers have trained in climate change education through interactive teaching methods.
In 2013, the Ministry organized a 2-day training session for lecturers and key staff on incorporating elements of climate change into the education and training curriculum. From a list of training institution, two officers were appointed by each institution: a department leader and a lecturer who worked to combine teaching materials in schools and knowledge of climate change and its prevention, mitigation, and adaptation.
iii. Climate change in higher education
Viet Nam’s universities and colleges provide a range of climate change-related courses and degrees. Climate change research is also actively pursued in higher education academic institutions.
The United States Agency for International Development: Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (USAID-LEAF) and the United States Forest Service worked with 14 universities and training institutions from countries in the Asia-Pacific region to launch the USAID-LEAF Climate Change Education Curriculum in 13 universities. The Curriculum was developed using participatory approaches, through the process of:
- assessing training needs
- outlining the curriculum modules
- developing curriculum materials
- training the professors, testing
- revising Curriculum before rolling it out in country members for further implementation
In 2014, the Curriculum was established in three participating institutions, Da Lat University, Viet Nam Forestry University, and Vinh University. Over 245 professors and governmental officers, 13 universities, and schools in 5 locations in Viet Nam participated in the Curriculum rollout. The Curriculum has diverse dimensions and can be shaped to fit the needs of target groups such as policy makers or professionals in environmental resource management, making it accessible to everyone. The Curriculum holds the potential to be developed as a full-semester course for students and as a 3-day or 5-day training course for industry professionals. Testimonials of professors teaching the Curriculum state that it is highly interactive and that students showed high interest. Information on its expansion and current status is not available.
Viet Nam’s Ministry of Construction collaborated with the Swiss government and the International Finance Corporation to launch a Curriculum on Green Building. The courses within the Curriculum are designed to help college students develop green models such as solar power, natural ventilation, and buildings that save electricity and water. Innovation is encouraged in methods, and students can test out building designs. The Curriculum was launched to fill the gap in green design in Viet Nam’s real-estate development and architecture by targeting students on college campuses. The concepts lie within the context of green building to help students become future teachers and teach further students about resource efficiency principles.
Viet Nam’s Green Growth Strategy for 2021-2030, Vision Towards 2050 (2021) targets higher education through programs and provision of specific program codes to ensure access to training for human resources in green sectors.
iv. Climate change in training and adult learning
Technical and vocational education is prominent in Viet Nam. Some programs support training that includes concepts related to sustainable development, environmental protection, and climate change.
In 2012, Viet Nam’s National Green Growth Strategy 2011–2020 was published, focusing on implementing a vision for 2050. Relevant strategic tasks include providing training and knowledge on green economy and production. S strategic task of the Strategy is development of human resources for “green growth based on research to identify and select the contents of green growth, green technologies, sustainable exploitation of natural resources [...] and mainstream these into education and vocational training at all levels” (p. 12). Viet Nam’s Green Growth Strategy for 2021-2030, Vision Towards 2050 (2021) assigns the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to organize training of technical human resources in fields related to green economic sectors and implement policies that facilitate creation and access to green jobs. The Strategy aims to popularize and provide information about the green job market in order to broaden the ability to supply human resources in green sectors.
The German Agency for International Cooperation and the National Institute for Vocational Training of Viet Nam produced the report titled Greening TVET in Viet Nam: Sustainable Development, Green Economy and the Role of Greening TVET (2016). This report gives insight into Viet Nam’s implementation of the process of greening technical and vocational education, with international examples given for context and to help policy makers improve the quality of technical and vocational education by incorporating green practices. The report states that technical and vocational education can contribute to fulfilling goals of the Green Growth Strategy by transforming Viet Nam’s economy into one with a green workforce. The report proposes vocational colleges, especially the Centres of Excellence for TVET, as potential “role models for eco-friendliness and play an active role in awareness raising campaigns” (p. 19). However, direct incorporation of climate change in technical and vocational education is not addressed.
The Ministry of Education and Training, the Japanese Embassy, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency collaborated on the Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship. The Project offers a full scholarship for a 2-year Master’s course in English in Japan, including climate change adaptation and environment and urban development. The application for the Project remains accessible to Viet Namese personnel and civil servants who are active contributors to broadening the socio-economic development of Viet Nam. The Program runs from 2021-to 2024.
i. Climate change and public awareness
Various parties, including the government and non-government organizations, raise public awareness of climate change in Viet Nam.
The National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change (2008) recommends strengthening and renewal of awareness raising and climate change education through organization of communication activities for communities at the provincial level and management at all levels.
In 2013, the Asian Development Bank published an Environment and Climate Change Assessment of Viet Nam. The Assessement proposes that the Asian Development Bank use media campaigns to implement community education plans to raise environmental health and hygiene awareness in the context of climate change impacts, in collaboration with an international non-governmental organization such as the International Federation of Red Cross.
The report titled Act to Adapt: The Next Generation Leads the Way (2015) notes that in Quang Tri province in Viet Nam, a group of children called the Climate Change Communicators are trained in climate change adaptation and mitigation. The group aims to do the same for other children through games, films, and other communication activities.
In March 2019, two climate change working groups, the Climate Change Working Group and the Network of Viet Namese NGOs and Climate Change, developed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Climate Change. The Memorandum solidifies the cooperation of the two networks in Viet Nam with government agencies in applying climate change models and policy discourse. The Memorandum seeks cooperation in four main areas:
- Increasing cooperation for knowledge and capacity building on climate change communication through the promotion of programs, policies, and international agreements in which Viet Nam partakes.
- Sharing information on climate change-related projects.
- Mobilization of international cooperation in increasing climate adaptive capacity.
- Development of climate change projects at the local level with a focus on mitigation, adaptation, knowledge, and capacity building under community approaches that lie in accordance with all the signed parties of the Memorandum.
The VUFO-NGO Resource Centre is a non-governmental organization that assists the community of international non-governmental organizations based in Viet Nam. The Centre aims to enhance the public’s knowledge, ensuring that the needs of marginalized and poor people are met in Viet Nam. Awareness raising activities include inventorying research accumulated on existing knowledge, raising awareness through media on climate change, encouraging ‘green actions’ by non-governmental organizations and youth through initiatives such as youth outreach and camps, and providing help to schools to integrate climate change in education curricula. A thematic group called Awareness and Behaviour Change aims to raise climate change awareness “throughout society, the state, as well as within our organizations, on the basis that an informed public will make wiser decisions on the response to climate change” (n.p.).
Viet Nam’s Nationally Determined Contributions (2020) lists adaptation efforts that Viet Nam aims to achieve, including raising awareness through education and information dissemination about climate change. A measure included in the Contributions to implement include dissemination of information and communication on mass media to raise climate change awareness for the general public, specifically adaptation and mitigation. The Contributions also outlines strategic objectives to further Viet Nam’s goals toward sustainable development and reducing greenhouse gases. One focus is on climate change adaptation and improving efficiency of adaptation through state and management resources through “raising awareness for communities and developing education and training programmes on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction” (p. 20). The updated Contributions identifies strategic tasks for climate change adaptation to improve Viet Nam’s overall adaptive capacity and increase climate resilience. The strategy to improve adaptation efficiency lists raising awareness for communities and furthering education and training programmes on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. The Contributions also lists the advantages of implementation by acknowledging that people’s awareness and adaptive capacity to climate change have increased as improvements have been made in education and social services.
The National Communication (2019) lists activities such as mainstreaming climate awareness through training courses, seminars, public forums, and events that further Viet Nam’s climate change communication and education. Raising awareness of climate change and responsibility for addressing climate change through personal and community aspects is included under activities. Many such initiatives have been implemented nationwide, with the collaboration of non-governmental organizations.
ii. Climate change and public access to information
The Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment is the focal point for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Ministry has established a website for the Department of Climate Change that provides updated information on policies and responses to climate change, including activities at national and international conferences.
The Department disseminates climate change information from a different database called the National Climate Change Database System. The System website provides concepts and definitions for climate change and the international climate agreements that Viet Nam has signed. The System website also includes data on climate change trends, scenarios, sea levels, and national and global climate change policies. Information on local, central, and international projects, policies, and the greenhouse gas emissions inventory for Viet Nam for the public to access. In addition, a newsletter published twice a year on response to climate change is made available to relevant agencies, organizations, and experts.
In 2022, the Prime Minister of Viet Nam requested that the Ministry of Information and Communications initiate a communications project that provides information about green growth, climate change, and digital transformation through websites.
The National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change (2008) aimed to disseminate knowledge and skills on climate change adaptation and disaster prevention through the implementation of a community education program from 2012 to 2015.
In 2020, the United Nations Development Programme Viet Nam (UNDP Viet Nam) launched the Youth4Climate Initiative to increase youth understanding of climate change impacts and increase capacity for climate action. In May 2021, the UNDP Viet Nam and the Youth4Climate cohort came together to produce a Special Report: Youth for Climate Action in Viet Nam. The Report lists youth perspectives on what to prioritize for climate action. One relevant accelerator objective is the Youth4Climate Learning Hub. In November 2021, the United Nations University in Hanoi published a news release that confirmed the launch of the Youth4Climate Learning Hub. The Hub is developed under the initiative with youth participation from various parts of Viet Nam. The Hub also develops knowledge modules, with review from science and policy experts and from policies and climate change information available online. The Hub has five knowledge modules: Climate Science, Ecosystems and Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF), Energy, Materials and Waste, and Climate Policy. Youth who complete each module are awarded a certificate from the UNDP. The Hub is designed primarily for Viet Namese youth and aims to impart climate knowledge for solutions.
The National Communication (2019) states that social networks are an “effective channel for public information” (p. 91). Mass media have successfully implemented public information and activities related to mobilization on climate change.
iii. Climate change and public participation
The Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry collaborated with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in 2021 to host a public consultative webinar on drafting the Governmental Decree on Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Ozone Layer Protection. The public consultation lasted for 1 day, with discussions on various topics and a question-and-answer session. The draft decree presents Viet Nam’s first official set of comprehensive rules on greenhouse gas reduction by focusing on inspection to establish a domestic carbon market. Another main concern addressed in the webinar was management of ozone-depleting materials. Experts, business organizations, and representatives of many companies attended the webinar. The participants were requested to provide explicit details on technical terms, specifically climate change.
The National Communication (2019) states that individuals, agencies, and organizations have participated in broadening networks to share information on “specialized activities on climate change response” (p. 92). For instance, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City joined the Cities Climate Leadership Group, which focuses on addressing climate change and promoting urban action for climate change mitigation, specifically, greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks. Various non-governmental organizations have joined the Climate Change Action Network Southeast Asia, supporting government actions and pushing the private sector to contribute to climate change response and sustainable development.
The Nationally Determined Contributions (2020) included consultations in its review and update process. Members of parties such as ministries, agencies, non-governmental organizations, research institutes, scientists, international organizations, and development partners participated actively in reviewing and updating the Contributions. Various sectors and areas arranged consultation workshops that extensively reviewed their tasks and methods for implementation. Workshops were organized to analyze the implementation of the Contributions. Results of research and experience in climate change response were recorded and reviewed in the updated Contributions.
i. Country monitoring
In 2016, the Prime Minister approved a Master Plan for Natural Resources and Environment Monitoring Networks for 2016-2026 with a Vision to 2030. The Plan established a target of constructing appropriate monitoring networks to effectively respond to climate change. The Plan states that over 24 climate change monitoring stations are to be constructed and maintained.
The Education Sector Analysis (2017) recommends that “educational planning, as well as Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of the plan’s implementation, should shift toward results‐based planning, M&E with gender equality, inclusive education and climate change response aspects mainstreamed for sustainable development” (p. xvii).
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for coordinating the national monitoring and evaluation system for aspects related to land use and the environment. The Ministry leads in developing results-based indicators for projects related to land use and national-level planning. In 2013, the Asian Development Bank published an Environment and Climate Change Assessment of Viet Nam, which indicates the Ministry’s role in assessing Viet Nam’s limits and constraints in climate change adaptation. The Assessment reported that climate change education, training, and awareness raising programs are unavailable at the national level.
Around 5,300 students from 151 schools in Viet Nam took part in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2018. Students scored high in reading, mathematics, and science knowledge. However, a 2019 news article on the progress of Viet Nam in the international assessment reports that Viet Nam’s results were not ranked in 2018. Viet Nam did not participate in the Global Competency study for PISA in 2018.
Viet Nam’s Voluntary National Review (2018) presents every sustainable development with a review of its policies and results. Climate change communication and education are not addressed in the Review.
ii. MECCE Project Monitoring
The Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education (MECCE) Project examined Viet Nam’s General Education Curriculum (2017) for references to ‘climate change,’ ‘environment,’ ‘sustainability,’ and ‘biodiversity.’ Viet Nam does not have an Education Sector Plan.
The General Education Curriculum (2017) includes environment and climate change terms. The Curriculum uses the term ‘climate change’ 6 times, ‘sustainability’ 11 times and the term ‘environment’ 5 times in the context of the physical environment. However, ‘biodiversity’ is not referenced.
This section will be updated as the MECCE Project develops.