On 27 Jan 2009, East Asian cities declared that they will form a network to prepare for the impacts of climate change with initial funding of $50 million from the U.S.-based Rockefeller Foundation.
Vietnam (Danang and Quy Nhon in the centre and Can Tho in the southern Mekong Delta) is a pilot area for this project with the aim of aiding the poor and vulnerable to be more resilient to extreme weather and rising seas.
For this purpose, 70 percent of the $70 million the philanthropic foundation is committed to Vietnam’s five-year programme on climate change. If successful, Thailand and Indonesia could be next.
The ultimate aim is to manage coastal storms in Vietnam and establish climate-sensitive disease surveillance systems in Thailand.
Environmental projects are likely to be a lot easier in Thailand as Vietnam is less developed and thus it is easier to avoid the need to retrofit existing infrastructure as in mega-cities like Bangkok.
Government officials, climate scientists, technical experts and civic groups will be involved in analyzing risk factors for climate change.
By mid-century, climate change may cause 132 million people in Southeast Asia to experience hunger and poverty and another billion Asian people may struggle to find fresh water.
The hope is that the network can be a first line of defence against climate change in Asia by 2012 if the pilot projects work out well.
Eventually, after the pilot projects, the hope is that other partners, including the World Bank can join in.
International Business Times, "The Rockefeller Foundation Announces Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network" dated 29 Jan 2009 in the IB Times website [downloaded on 16 Feb 2009], available at http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20090129/rockefeller-foundation-announce...
Thin, Lei Win, "Asian cities team up to prepare for climate change" dated 27 Jan 2009 in the Reuters website [downloaded on 16 Feb 2009], available athttp://www.alertnet.org/db/an_art/20316/2009/00/27-124406-1.htm