National Ceremony of World Water Day, World Meterological Day and Earth Hour Campaign 2023

Opening Remarks by Ms. Ramla Khalidi, UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam

March 23, 2023

UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Ramla Khalidi speaks at the ceremony

• H.E Vo Tuan Nhan, Vice Minister for Natural Resources and Environment 
• Mr Quach Tat Liem, Vice/Chairman, People’s Committee of Hoa Binh Province 
• Representatives from line ministries, provincial authorities, mass organizations, development partners, and media agencies; 
• Distinguished guests; 
• Ladies and gentlemen;

I am delighted to attend the National Ceremony for World Water Day, World Meteorological Day, and the Earth Hour Campaign for 2023. On behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), I like to express our appreciation to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for inviting me to speak at this important event.

UNDP is proud to be a strategic partner of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, provincial authorities, and other actors in environmental protection.We collaborate on a wide range of initiatives on climate information, water resources management, and energy.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Water is life: Every drop of water is precious, and we share a responsibility to use it efficiently and to avoid pollution of water sources, including surface water and groundwater. Conclusion No. 36 from the Viet Nam Potlibureau dated June 23, 2022, notes Vietnam’s  dependence on water sources from upstream countries and calls for greater  responsibility for the management and use of water.

The theme of this year's World Water Day is Accelerating Change: As a member of the water global task force, UNDP is coordinating with partners to help Viet Nam respond to drought and water insecurity. For example, UNDP is implementing a $30 million project in five South Central provinces- Highlands to support smallholder farmers cope with climate-induced droughts and lack of water for their livelihoods.

In these projects, we see nature as our ally against the climate crisis: Nature based solutions are how wee can simultaneously protect our natural resources while addressing the challenges of climate water and food security.

At this important forum, I would like to share three key suggestions: 

  1. Promote Climate-resilient and climate smart agricultural models that consume less water: In arid regions, such as the Mekong River Delta, the South Central Coast, the Central Highlands, and Northern Mountainous provinces, water is scarce.  This makes it necessary to apply transformative resilient crop models, and deploy innovative water efficiency technologies such as drip irrigation.
  2. Prioritize the Deployment of Climate services that meet the requirements of each sector : Early warning services and  accurate information can support different sectors avoid damage and loss, and at the same time put in place a more robust production plan.  
  3. Invest in Green energy transition: Viet Nam has huge potential for solar and wind power. In particular, offshore wind power has advantages that need to be well assessed, deployed and increased in the energy mix. UNDP is proud to work closely with Viet Nam Meteorology and Hydrology Authority (VNMHA) to formulate projects and assess the potential to accelerate the deployment of off-shore wind power in Viet Nam.

Vice Minister Nhan, distinguished guests,

Today's ceremony has strong significance in the work of protecting the environment and adapting to climate change.

UNDP is strongly committed to continuing our fruitful partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, ministries, sectors, local authorities, media agencies, and development partners to promote and implement necessary actions, contributing to a prosperous country where no one is left behind!

Thank you for inviting me to join today’s celebration and I wish all of you a very successful ceremony that can energize all of us to continue this common journey together.