Innovative ideas to compete against climate change

The World Bank (WB) on January 5 launched the Vietnam Innovation Day programme with a mission seeking innovative ideas from local communities to deal with climate change.

Under the theme of climate change, this year’s VID programme has two main parts. The first part will be a contest through which 20 most innovative ideas of mitigating and adapting to climate change will be honoured and awarded US$15,000 each.

The second part of the programme is a forum designed to exchange knowledge and experience among stakeholders, thereby improving people’s knowledge of the legal framework and policies concerning climate change and increasing the private sector’s involvement in addressing climate change.

According to climate change expert, Professor Nguyen Duc Ngu, the temperature in Vietnam o­n average increased 0.1 degree Celsius every ten years over the last 70 years. Different changes in rainfall have brought about droughts in several southern central provinces.

Vietnam tends to be hit by damaging floods more frequently, Ngu said. Surveys at several observation stations showed that the average sea level rose from between 2.5-3 cm every decade over the last 50 years.

Addressing the launching ceremony, WB Acting Country Director Alain Barbu said that together with other partners, the bank would continue to increase support for Vietnam to help the country improve forecast capacity and increase research o­n measures to address the climate change issues.

Other partners that pledged support VID 2010 include the embassies of Denmark and Finland, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the USAID.

Since inception in 2003, the VID has become an annual event. It has so far granted around US$2 million to more than 200 innovative projects of different areas, including traffic safety, food safety, HIV/AIDS prevention and control, and fight against corruption.