Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, June 08, 2007

Melting ice caps could spell ecological crisis in Viet Nam

According to Setsuko Yamazaki, the United Nations Development Programme country director in Viet Nam, over 12 percent of the country will be underwater if sea levels continue to rise due to melting polar ice, Viet Nam News reported Wednesday. Viet Nam stands to be among the countries at greatest risk and its most fertile land could be lost if current trends continue.

“If sea levels rose by one meter, the consequences for Viet Nam would be devastating,” Yamazaki said. “The country would face losses totaling US$17 billion per year; 17 million people would lose their homes; ... and 40,000sq.km of plains and 17sq.km of coastal areas in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces would be subject to unprecedented levels of flooding.”

“The most dramatic evidence of climate change is found in the polar regions. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average,” said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his global World Environment Day message. “However, this is not just a polar issue... As sea levels rise, inhabitants of low-lying islands and coastal cities throughout the world face inundation.”

Recent recognition of global warming and its effect on Vietnamese society has led Hanoi to focus more closely on deforestation and emissions.

For the full article, click here.

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