Durban, South Africa - On 7 December 2011, the Government of Vietnam, represented by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MONRE), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) to launch Phase 1 of a Legal Preparedness for Climate Change Initiative (LPCCI) in Vietnam, heralding a new and promising collaboration. The MOU was signed during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP17 in Durban, South Africa.
At the UNFCCC COP13, Vietnam was recognized as one of five countries most affected by climate change globally. The effects of climate change have already begun to take a serious toll on Vietnam’s development, its forestry and agricultural sectors, and its water resources. Climate change also threatens the country’s recent economic gains, as demonstrated by its achievement of middle-income status in 2009, which have resulted from the Vietnamese Government’s “DoiMoi” economic policy. Changes in basic climatic factors, as well as other extreme weather phenomena such as storms, heavy rains and drought, are already being felt in the country. The frequency of tropical cyclones has increased by a factor of 2.15 and the sea level has risen by about 20 cm. Climate change also threatens biodiversity, particularly native plants and species with high economic value.
In this context, in response to the complex legal questions raised by Vietnamese efforts to address climate change, Vietnam and IDLO have launched the Vietnam Legal Preparedness for Climate Change Initiative (LPCCI) to ensure the meaningful participation of Vietnam in the international climate change regime, while also preparing institutions for domestic adaptation.
"This Memorandum of Understanding will promote closer cooperation between IDLO and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in Vietnam on key issues in the field of climate change and the law. It provides a basis for the Legal Preparedness for Climate Change Initiative (LPCCI) in Vietnam and allow us to advance our common objectives in climate change prevention," confirmed Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, Head of Economic Growth and Trade Law at IDLO.
The Vietnam LPCCI provides a cross-sectoral approach to legal reform that responds to emerging climate policy, while giving priority to strategies that are built from existing laws regulations and strategies rather than solutions that require new resources. This LPCCI will assist Vietnam through tailored legal services to overcome legal and institutional barriers to adaptation and mitigation, including through participation in international climate finance. The MOU between Vietnam and IDLO will guide and support the development of the LPCCI Program by outlining steps and collaborative measures for the launch and implementation of effective and efficient projects of legal development assistance.