Vietnam and Netherlands Enhance Collaboration on Climate Change Adaptation

On Tuesday, Vietnam and the Netherlands had a strategic policy dialogue about their response to climate change and water management. During the dialogue, they discussed the most recent policies and activities concerning these topics from both countries.

Deputy PM Ha meets with Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme, Climate Envoy of the Netherlands. Source: VOV
Deputy PM Ha meets with Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme, Climate Envoy of the Netherlands. Source: VOV

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha and Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Mark Harbers recently co-chaired the eighth meeting of the Vietnam-Netherlands Inter-Governmental Committee on climate change adaptation and water management in The Hague, as reported by VOV. The meeting aimed to address the pressing issues regarding climate change and water management, emphasizing the importance of collaboration between Vietnam and the Netherlands. This joint effort signifies the commitment of both nations to find innovative solutions and implement effective measures in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and managing water resources.

Deputy Prime Minister Ha expressed his happiness at the encouraging progress achieved in the bilateral relations, particularly in the strategic partnership focused on climate change adaptation and water management.

Since the seventh meeting held back in March 2019, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, both sides have actively carried out 19 bilateral cooperation initiatives, of which 10 have been successfully completed.

This article discusses the Mekong River Delta Planning for the 2021 to 2030 period, with a vision towards 2050. It also highlights the Mekong River Basin general planning for the same time frame and vision. Additionally, the establishment of a Regional Coordinating Council based on the recommendations of the Mekong Delta Plan is addressed. The Mekong River Delta Planning includes initiatives and strategies aimed at managing and developing the region’s resources and addressing environmental and socio-economic challenges. The plan takes into account the unique characteristics of the Mekong River Delta and aims to ensure long-term sustainability and resilience. The Mekong River Basin general planning, on the other hand, focuses on broader development goals and strategies for the entire Mekong River Basin, taking into account the interconnectedness of the region’s countries and their shared water resources. The establishment of a Regional Coordinating Council is a key step towards improving coordination and cooperation among the countries within the Mekong River Basin, facilitating joint decision-making and implementation of shared initiatives. Overall, these planning efforts and the establishment of the Regional Coordinating Council reflect a commitment to sustainable development and the protection of the Mekong River ecosystem for future generations.

The Vietnamese Deputy PM expressed gratitude to the Netherlands for its active and effective contributions to Vietnam’s sustainable socio-economic development. Furthermore, he hoped to receive support from the Netherlands in the areas of green transition, renewable energy, water resource management, and climate change response.

The two sides conducted a strategic policy dialogue relating to climate change response and water management and updated each other on their respective related policies and priority activities.

The two officials exchange the minutes of the 8th meeting. Photo: VNA
The two officials exchange the minutes of the 8th meeting. Photo: VNA

The Vietnamese side has put forward specific cooperation proposals in priority areas such as climate change response, water management, green agriculture, circular economy, flood management, seaports, digital transformation, and human resources training. The Dutch side has acknowledged these proposals and affirmed its commitment to continue working alongside relevant Vietnamese agencies.

During their meeting, they discussed various areas of potential collaboration and decided to focus on sustainable offshore sand mining. As a result, they signed a Joint Cooperation Plan to outline their future plans in this field.

The two sides then signed the Minutes of the eighth meeting and agreed that the next one will be held in Vietnam with a specific date to be decided through diplomatic channels.

The same day, Deputy PM Ha held a meeting with Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme, Climate Envoy of the Netherlands. During the meeting, he emphasized Vietnam’s recognition of the significance of strengthening its comprehensive partnership with the Netherlands.

He also expressed his desire to collaborate with the country in order to further strengthen the strategic partnership framework for climate change adaptation and sustainable agriculture.

Speaking glowingly of the Prince’s experience and role as the Climate Envoy, Deputy PM Ha expressed hope that the Prince will inspire Dutch businesses to share technology and invest in areas such as climate change adaptation, greenhouse gas emission reduction, energy transition, digital transformation, and smart infrastructure construction in Vietnam. In addition, the Prince is expected to contribute to the development of regulations and provide financial assistance to support the country’s climate change adaptation efforts.

The Netherlands’s Climate Envoy commended Vietnam for its strong commitment to climate change response and active participation in the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in France. He emphasized the importance of continuing support for Vietnam in carrying out the Mekong Delta Planning, as well as establishing a legal framework for water management and energy transition.

As part of this occasion, the two sides discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern. The Prince praised Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification, and multilateral relations, as well as its commitment to resolving disputes through peaceful means and in accordance with international law.

Also during his working visit to the Netherlands, Deputy PM Ha had the opportunity to visit several key organizations. One such organization was the Invest International Fund, an important institution that plays a vital role in facilitating investments and promoting economic growth. This visit was a valuable opportunity for Deputy PM Ha to gain insights and knowledge on the fund’s work and explore potential collaborations.

Deputy PM Ha also had the privilege of visiting the Green Hydrogen Centre, an innovative center dedicated to the research and development of green hydrogen technologies. This visit allowed Deputy PM Ha to witness firsthand the advancements being made in sustainable energy solutions and explore potential areas of cooperation in this field.

Additionally, Deputy PM Ha visited the Global Center on Adaptation in the Port of Rotterdam. This center serves as an important hub for fostering international collaboration and innovation in climate adaptation strategies. Deputy PM Ha’s visit to this center provided an opportunity to learn about effective approaches to addressing climate change and to exchange ideas and experiences with experts in this field.

Overall, Deputy PM Ha’s working visit to the Netherlands was a valuable opportunity to gain insights into the work of important organizations and explore potential areas of cooperation. This visit further strengthens the relationship between the two countries and paves the way for future collaborations in areas such as investment facilitation, sustainable energy, and climate adaptation.

Vietnam, Netherlands Strengthen Cooperation in Climate Change Adaptation
Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha and Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme opened a series of photo exhibitions and documentaries with the theme “Discovering Vietnam”.

Earlier, the Vietnamese Embassy in the Netherlands celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the Netherlands. This milestone event was marked with great enthusiasm and pride as it highlighted the strong and enduring friendship between the two nations. The celebration was attended by high-ranking officials from both countries, who emphasized the importance of the bilateral relationship and the shared values and goals that unite Vietnam and the Netherlands. The event also served as an opportunity to showcase the cultural and economic ties between the two countries, with a focus on the achievements and potential for further cooperation in various sectors. Overall, the anniversary celebration was a testament to the successful and mutually beneficial partnership between Vietnam and the Netherlands, and a reflection of the deep and long-lasting bonds that have been fostered between the two nations over the past five decades.

Attending the ceremony were Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha, Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme, the Climate Envoy of the Netherlands, leaders from various ministries and agencies, ambassadors, heads of diplomatic representation in The Hague, and representatives from many businesses of the two countries.

On this occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme inaugurated a series of photo exhibitions and documentaries with the theme “Discovering Vietnam” in the Netherlands. The exhibitions and documentaries will be held from now until the end of the 2023 anniversary year.

Guests, the diplomatic corps, the Vietnamese and Dutch communities were delighted as they indulged in a delectable array of Vietnamese and Dutch dishes. The event included immersive visuals depicting Vietnam’s hardworking and harmonious culture, along with captivating Vietnamese melodies performed by the talented band “Dat Viet”.

The national musical instruments of Vietnam have blended with the violin, creating an atmosphere of friendship and cooperation. It also brings back good memories of former ambassadors, experts, and officials who have contributed to building the relations between the two countries.

Hannah Nguyen