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By: Ngo Phuong Thanh, Program Assistant/Communication Officer, ISET-Vietnam Contributing Authors: Sarah Orleans Reed, Research Associate ISET-Vietnam; Tuyen Nghiem, Technical Staff; ISET-Vietnam

“This is the first time that participants have learned about vulnerability assessments in a systematic way,” said one participant of the Second Shared Learning Dialogue Workshop (SLD 2) in Lao Cai, organized by ISET-Vietnam, NISTPASS and Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE) on March 15, 2013.

According to the report, the city is already facing risks from flooding and extreme weather events, which tend to occur more randomly and away from historical patterns. There are major impacts of natural disaster not only on the communities (human loss, physical loss, production loss, etc.) but also to the infrastructure system.

Participants argued that there is still need for further analysis on financial capacity, mechanisms to implement and monitor the implementation of urban planning, and make planning more participatory in order to better adapt to climate change.

In addition, the role of leadership in planning and enforcement of planning policies are also important factors.

The issue of infrastructure was also raised during the SLD: in particular, the dike system on the banks of the Red River, which was built to prepare for a 4–7% frequency flood. However, the city has historically experienced 1–2% floods. ISET’s technical staff and working group members thus pointed to a less costly, urban planning solution, providing a flood buffer zone between the river and urban areas.