Tag Archives: Vietnam

Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Asia: Vietnam

28 Sep


By PISA Program Assistant, Dr. Miriam Grinberg

As one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, Vietnam – with a growth rate of about 7 percent this past year – has witnessed remarkable improvements in its total gross domestic product (GDP), industrial output, and per capita income (from $260 in 1995 to $1685 in 2015) in the last few decades. Moreover, where Vietnam had previously been a net importer of rice, it is now the second largest exporter in the world after Thailand, with two-thirds of its rural labor employed in rice production.

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Legacies of the Cold War in Asia: Laos

19 Sep


By PISA Staff Assistant, Leeann Ji

As the battle against communism raged in Vietnam, a lesser-known civil war between the Pathet Lao – a communist movement – and the Royal Lao Government ravaged Laos. The conflict in Vietnam spilled over into Laos as a result of the establishment of the Ho Chi Minh Trail in 1959 and the partnership between the Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese soldiers. In Northern Laos, North Vietnamese forces established a military effort in order to support the Pathet Lao in their attempts to ignite internal rebellion. Seeing the North Vietnamese forces supporting the proliferation of communism into Laos, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) decided to take action by training Laotian tribesmen to create a guerilla force to fight back against the Pathet Lao.

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A PisaSPEAK Interview with Bui Duc Kinh

29 Oct

PISA was delighted this week to welcome Mr. Bui Duc Kinh for a visit at our Washington, DC office. Mr. Kinh is an alumnus of the 2008 LIGCC in Vietnam and works at the Southern Institute of Sustainable Development at the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences. He is currently a Humphrey fellow at Cornell University. We are pleased to excerpt some of his thoughts on climate change, adaptation and the role of the social sciences.

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The Payoffs of Disaster Preparedness

8 Oct

Last week’s cluster of disasters – typhoons Ketsana, Parma and Ondoy and the 7.6 temblor that rocked Padang, Indonesia – reinforced the need for robust disaster preparedness and mitigation programs for the world’s densest locations. The focus of disaster preparedness has largely been on Asia.

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Urban Resilience

30 Sep
Flooding in Quezon City

Flooding in Quezon City

This week’s horrifying news of the flooding that has inundated the Quezon City area of Manila brings to the fore the increasingly relevant discussion of how best to prepare urban areas for changing climates. By the year 2050, 70% of the Earth’s inhabitants will live in cities, up from 50% today. Much of this growth will occur in Asian cities that already struggle with overpopulation, poor sanitation and access to clean water. If the unique hazards of climate change are to be successfully mitigated, a frank conversation is needed about how to make urban areas adaptable and resilient.

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Beyond the Hotspot – What Vietnam Can Teach Us About Biodiversity

16 Sep
Central Annamites Mountains, courtesy of Indochina Legend

Central Annamites Mountains, courtesy of Indochina Legend

Biodiversity hotspots, according to Conservation International, are, “the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on earth.” These islands of natural abundance cover less than 3% of the Earth’s surface yet host a stunning array of plant and animal life. Imperiled by the twin threats of habitat loss and climate change, hotspots may be ground zero for the jump in extinctions that is widely believed to be looming.  Amid the busy schedule of upcoming summits such as COP-15, the best hope for prioritizing the preservation of biodiversity may hinge upon adoption of a more pragmatic approach to negotiation.  Stressing the favorable impact of forested land on reducing temperatures and providing food and economic security to the broader community, may prove a more persuasive argument than preservation for the sake of exotic plant and animal life.

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Kyoto to Copenhagen: The UN Climate Meetings

16 Mar

Twelve years ago the Conferences of the Parties (COP-3) met in December 1997 to hash out the details of the Kyoto Protocol. A watershed moment in the global recognition of and fight against climate change, the Kyoto Protocol introduced many of the tools in use today for emissions reductions: emissions trading markets, Clean Development Mechanisms (CDMS) for developing countries and joint implementation provisions. However, as much promise as the Protocol showed, it is widely viewed as a failed effort. No doubt, the United States’ refusal to ratify the treaty did, to a great extent seal its fate, with both Clinton and G.W. Bush administrations and congressional counterparts opting out of the treaty, citing harm to business interests and dismay over lack of emissions goals for developing countries. Since 1992 global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have risen by 38%, U.S. emissions by 20% and Chinese by 150%; the EU’s have fallen by only 0.8%. (See shared folder for an in-depth analysis of GHG trends.)

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