THE GENERAL STRATEGY AND COMMITMENT IN CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION BY 2030, WITH A VISION TO 2045 OF THE UNIVERSITY OF DANANG

THE GENERAL STRATEGY AND COMMITMENT IN CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION BY 2030, WITH A VISION TO 2045 OF THE UNIVERSITY OF DANANG

 

INTRODUCTION

          Climate change is a global challenge. Vietnam is a heavily affected country by climate change, particularly the Central Region (which is one of the most vulnerable to climate change in Vietnam). In 2020, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 1055/QD-TTg on promulgating the National Action Plan to adapt to climate change for the period 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050.

          On November 1, 2021, at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (known as COP26) organized in Glasgow, Scotland, the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh announced Vietnam's strong commitments in responding to climate change. Despite being a developing country and just starting to industrialize for more than 3 decades, Vietnam will develop and implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, utilize the country’s resources (such as advantages in renewable energy). Vietnam will enlist support from the international community, especially developed countries, in finance and technology to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 under the Paris Agreement.

The University of Danang has defined its mission as: Training human resources with creative thinking, startup determination; having the bravery and ability to work in the international and domestic environment; pioneering in preserving national identity, spreading scientific knowledge, contributing into building a peaceful and prosperous Vietnam”.

UD will be one of three biggest educational centers; a training, research and technology transfer center; a multi-disciplinary, multi-level university with high quality training to reach the domestic and international standards. UD aims to become one of the top universities in Vietnam and be ranked among the top 50 universities in Southeast Asia with many key training fields in Technology, Economics, Natural Sciences, Society and Humanities, Medicine; a cooperation center in research and application deployment at domestic and international level.

The strategic objective of UD is to build a unified regional university comprising of many universities and affiliated units basing on an advanced university governance model; a multi-level, multi-disciplinary university with a dynamic and creative learning and research environment in order to train highly qualified human resources for the socio-economic development of the Central Region and the whole country; a scientific research and technology transfer center for solving all professional and multidisciplinary issues, creating a motivation for sustainable development of the region; an important bridge in international cooperation to support the regional comprehensive integration in the globalization process; join in the accreditation and ranking systems of domestic and international universities so that UD is always in the top domestic and regional universities.

          In order to contribute to the sustainable development of the Central Region in particular and the country in general, the University of Danang develops a general strategy and commitment to climate change mitigation by 2030, with a vision to 2045.

I. CONTEXT

          Climate change is seen as an important challenge of the 21st century on a global, regional and local scale. Manifestations of climate change include changes in air temperature, quantity and seasonality of rainfall, and intensity and frequency of extreme weather events such as droughts, storms, heat waves and cold spells, changing sea levels, ocean acidity and changes in the structure and function of ecosystems and so on.

Vietnam is one of the world's most the most vulnerable countries to climate change. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) announced the Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Scenario for Vietnam in 2016. According to the scenario, by the end of the 21st century, the average annual temperature will increase by about 1.9 – 40C, the total annual rainfall and the rainy season rainfall increase by 5-20%, while the dry season rainfall decreases, the sea level may rise from 53-75 cm. In recent years, under the impact of climate change, the frequency and intensity of natural disasters has increased, causing great loss of life, property, economic, cultural and social infrastructure and adverse impact on the environment. It is estimated that about 60% of the total land area and 71% of the population of Vietnam are at risk of storms and floods. Annually, the average direct economic loss due to storms and floods is estimated at about 0.8% of gross domestic product (GDP), ranking third (after Myanmar and the Philippines) among member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Climate change will pose economic, social, and political predicaments that will challenge the successful implementation of the sustainable development at all levels and sectors. The Vietnamese government is well aware of the impacts of climate change and considers climate change response an issue of urgent significance. On July 20, 2020, the Prime Minister issued the National Action Plan on Climate Change for the period of 2021 - 2030, with a vision to 2050. At the COP26, in Glasgow (Scotland, UK), the Government of Vietnam showed strong commitment and determination in climate change response including natural recovery efforts to climate change impacts, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Promoting climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building are very important for climate change response in order to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement.

Higher education has played a pioneering role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the climate through research and training. The University of Danang is a multidisciplinary university, performing the tasks of (1) research and knowledge creation; (2) teaching, spreading knowledge and; (3) serving the community. In the context of climate change and its challenges for sustainable development, UD identifies an overall strategy and commits to taking urgent actions to respond to climate change.

II. VIEWPOINTS & OBJECTIVES

1. Viewpoints

- Climate change is a major challenge of the 21st century, affecting all regions and fields, threatening the goal of sustainable development.

- Responding to climate change requires a long-term approach through strategic goals and persistent implementation, including two overall contents: adaptation and mitigation.

- Mitigating climate change is an important task and requires strong commitment at the macro and micro level, including 2 main tasks (1) reducing greenhouse gas emissions and (2) increasing carbon sequestration

- The University of Danang will strengthen international cooperation, mobilize all resources to invest in scientific research, training and implements interdisciplinary cooperation activities contributing to climate change mitigation and supporting localities to proactively respond to climate change.

2. Objectives

a) General aim

Focusing on scientific research, international cooperation and training high-quality human resources, contributing to global climate change mitigation, transforming a green, circular economy to ensure sustainable development.

b) Objectives

 - 100% of UD officials – employees and learners increase their awareness of climate change.

 - To developed and successfully implement a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 - To improve research capacity, especially international cooperation in implementing climate change mitigation projects in priority areas such as: energy saving, environmental protection, resource protection and biodiversity, etc..

 - To promote investment, international cooperation in development and training of human resources involved in green economy, circular economy, renewable energy, biotechnology, management of natural resources and environment; train teachers at all levels to participate in educational activities in the national education system and raise public awareness about climate change response.

 - To strengthen social criticism, consulting development programs and projects to respond to climate change and sustainable development.

III. MAIN TASKS

1. Develop mechanisms and policies on climate change response in UD

- Establish a climate change advisory group in UD.

- Develop a plan to reduce GHG emissions in all UD's activities.

- Develop and integrate emulation criteria on GHG reduction and climate change adaptation at UD’s administration office.

- Develop policies to support funding for climate change response activities in UD such as research, training, start-up and community service.

2. Conduct propaganda and awareness raising for officials, employees and learners

a) For officials, employees:

 - Develop periodic training documents for officials, employees

- Organize training for all staffs and employees on climate change issues.

- Design a section on Commitment to climate change mitigation on UD's website and link with other units.

b) For learners (undergraduate, master and doctoral students):

- Research and integrate climate change contents into training programs.

- Compile training materials on climate change for learners.

- Digitize documents on climate change and promote online education on climate change for learners.

- Integrate climate change-related topics into extracurricular activities and movements of the Youth Union and Student Union such as " Earth Hour", "World Environment Day", "Green Living Week"...

- Build a network of agencies, units, businesses and communities to share information, mobilize participation in climate change response activities and events.

- Commend and reward individuals and organizations that take the lead in management, offer initiatives and models on GHG emission reduction and climate change adaptation.

3. Reduce GHG emissions in UD's activities

- Develop a strategy to reduce GHG emissions through activities such as reducing annual procurement, promoting public transport among all staff, lecturers, employees and learners, reducing consumption and reducing emissions.

 - Increase green space on campus of member universities and at UD’s campus.

4. Promote climate change response research

- Search for initiatives and research to develop clean energy, technological solutions that contribute to reducing fossil fuel consumption.

- Pilot implementation of models/initiatives on climate change adaptation     - Strengthen research and technology transfer in the fields of clean energy, green economy, circular economy and sustainability science.

- Building a research group on climate change.

5. Strengthen regional and local cooperation in climate change response

- Preside over and organize forums, conferences, and seminars on policy and technical advices related to climate change.

- Coordinate with localities to advise and share research results to improve capacity to respond to climate change.

- Collaborate with businesses in research and development of products to respond to climate change in the fields of medicine, biotechnology, environment, construction, disaster risk warning.

- Coordinate with localities to develop training programs to improve capacity to respond to climate change and natural disasters.

- Participate in the development and criticism of climate policies in localities.

6. Promote international cooperation in climate change response

 - Participate in the network and forums of universities in the region and the world on climate change and sustainable development.

 - Cooperate and share research experiences in climate change with international organizations.

IV. IMPLEMENTATION

1. Department of Science, Technology and Environment: act as the focal point, advise and assist the Board of Directors in formulating and implementing the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy; assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with relevant agencies and units, organize the implementation of climate change response activities as well as guide, monitor, inspect and urge the implementation of the quality assurance strategy.

2. Member universities, research centres and training units: coordinate with the Univeristy of Danang and relevant units to implement the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy in accordance with the conditions of their units and make annual reports.

 

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