Dien Bien, 28 August 2018 – The inception workshop of Information for adaptation in Vietnam (InfoAct) project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), is held today in Dien Bien and Lai Chau provinces.

Vietnam is among the few countries that are  most prone to climate change and natural disasters. This is why increased adaptation of local people to climate change is an essential and important issue.

However, due to the lack of capacities, tools and knowledge to cope with climate risks and climate shocks, farmers – especially, poor ethnic minority people in rural and remote areas, suffer the most.

Through InfoAct projects, CARE  hopes to  strengthen the livelihood and resilience of  poor ethnic minority women and men to climate change by improving their access to and use of climate information and resources such as insurance.

Inception workshop of project Information for adaptation in Vietnam (InfoAct) in Dien Bien – Photo: Tam Nguyen/CARE

Based on the basis, experience and success from a previous project – Agro-climate Information Services (ACIS) for Women and Ethnic Minority farmers in South-East Asia, InfoAct project drew a lot of attention from the inception workshop’s participants.

A staff of Than Uyen district (Lai Chau province), for example, raised the question of which basis that CARE uses to develop understandable, down-scaled climate information and advisories for people. To this, Ms. Xuan, an agriculture extension staff who also participated in ACIS project, explained that such information is based both from meteorological forecasts and local people’s experience of how the weather changes. 

Another official from Lai Chau province also raised the issue of high illiteracy rate in the region, which makes it harder for people to read and understand advisories. To this, Mr. Le Xuan Hieu, CARE’s portfolio manager, said: “InfoAct will use a combination of channels to disseminate the information, from communal loudspeakers to radio and mobile phone messages.”

The project will be implemented from 2018 to 2021. At least 2,000 Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) will be set up with roughly 5,000 female members who will directly produce and apply climate change advisories with the guidance and support from local extension officers. About 2,000 women will join a pilot insurance model. Implementing partners include the Dien Bien Center for Community Development, Lai Chau Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Lai Chau Women’s Union.