FLC 13-01 Project

Project: Enhancing capacity in environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation in Thanh Son district, Phu Tho province.

Funding agency: Fund for Local Cooperation – The Embassy of Finland in Vietnam.

Duration: 10/1/2013 – 31/12/2014.

Project site: Tat Thang and Thang Son communes, Thanh Son district, Phu Tho province.

Tat Thang and Thang Son are the two mountainous ethnic communes with total population of 3,384 and4,489 respectively. They are located in the East of Thanh Son district, Phu Tho Province, about 80km far from Hanoi city (Figure 2). These two communes has high rate of Muong ethnic residents with 72% in Tat Thang and 75% in Thang Son. They are among the poorest communes of the district with high concentration of rural poverty. The Report on communal socio economic condition in 2011 shows that the poverty rate in Tat Thang is 56.19% and in Thang Son 45.88%.

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Figure 2 . Map of Thanh Son districts and study communes, Thang Son and Tat Thang

Local residents are highly relying on agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry. In Thang Son, The rate of labor in agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry is 89% while it is 88% in Tat Thang. Both communes have high rate of untrained labors of more than 80% of total labor.

In recent years, the local people in the two communes have been experiencing serious impact of climate change for instance prolonged heat, drought, severe cold spells, irrigation water shortage even shortage of water for domestic use, widespread outbreak of pest diseases, etc which have occurred more and more frequently, unpredictably and with higher intense. As consequences, these adverse impacts of climate change have strong affected local people’s livelihoods which are based mainly on agriculture, forestry, and animal husbandry. In specifics, these impacts have lead to the reduction and instability of productivity and yield of crops and animals; the decline in the adaptive capacity of crops and animals. Erratic weathers have caused some illness for local people especially for children, women.

Traditional customs and long lasting production practices have additionally contributed to environmental pollution in the areas and to larger extend to climate change. About environment, waste from animal husbandry has been released into public drains, streams, and rivers without any treatment which strongly contributes to high emission of CH4, the determinant factor of green house effect. The reports for the New Rural Development Programme show that the rate of animal production households and small farms which meet standard hygiene is only 15% in Tat Thang and 13% in Thang Son. It also figures out that the key issue of the environmental pollution in the areas is the topsy-turvy domestic waste disposal. Some local people burn household waste, some throw into ponds, streams, along the roads etc. Other urgent environmental issues are the disposal of animal production waste such as animal manure without treatment into public drains and the topsy-turvy discard of pesticide packs after use. The habit of using nylon packs and throwing into public environment is also recorded in the areas.

In agriculture production, the increasing use of pesticides, fertilizers to improve productivity of crops and against widespread of pest diseases has caused pollution and increase of CH4 emission. In addition, that rice straw burning and using woods as fuel have contributed to the increase the emission of CO2, CH4, N2O into the atmosphere and deforestation which have great impact on climate change. Meanwhile, local people are not aware of climate change impacts, and their activities that contribute to environmental and climate change issues. They have limited access to related information to understand the impacts, and change their behavior of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Given anticipated impacts of environment pollution, and climate change, there exists no comprehensive research on environment, climate change especially their impacts on local agriculture production in specific and their livelihoods in general.

Thus, the urgent environment related issues, foreseen climate change impacts especially on human health, livelihoods, and factors that increase climate change are all demanding a mentioned research and an intervention to improve current conditions towards sustainable development and environmental protection for local areas and further for national and global goals as indicated in the National Target Programme on Climate Change and the Millennium Development Goals.

Currently, there is no project or supportive activities in Tat Thang and Thang Son in terms of environment protection and climate change. Moreover, the annual plan for socio economic development as well as the plan for construction of new rural area towards 2020 under the New Rural Development Program  initiated by MARD show that environmental protection related activities are not given priority especially the activities to enhance awareness and actions of local communities in environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation. These plans focus mainly on physical constructions or infrastructure improvement. Thus, at local level, supportive activities to protect environment is essential to build the local areas quickly become “new rural areas”.

Overall, there is an urgent need to enhance local capacity in terms of awareness, actions in environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation towards sustainable development.

The target groups

The main direct beneficiaries of the project will be the poor ethnic minority group and women who have been documented most at risk to climate change impacts due to their heavy reliance on climate-vulnerable natural resources, limited asset base, and reduced access to adaptive measures. The local governmental officials of related agencies in Tat Thang and Thang Son communes and Thanh Son district will also the direct target groups.

The project will also reach beyond the direct target groups through dissemination of project training materials/manuals, documents, lessons learned, experiences and feedbacks for potential replications in other districts, provinces and policy advocacy purposes respectively.

  1.     Objectives

Overall objective: To enhance capacity for local communities in environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation in the mountainous ethnic district of Phu Tho province.

Specific objectives:

  1. Awareness: To raise awareness of local authority and communities in environmental protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
  2. Action: To identify and establish demonstration models of sustainable agricultural and animal husbandry production for environmental protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
  3. Advocacy: To support the development of local annual socio economic development plan integrated with environmental protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation