GENEVA – A mangrove restoration project in Vietnam which combines building the resilience of a disaster-prone coastal community with risk-themed theatre was announced today as the winner of the 2021 Risk Award.
The €100,000 award funded by the Munich Re Foundation went to “Strong roots, strong women: empowering women for community and coastal eco-system resilience in Central Vietnam” co-managed by the Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD), Vietnam, and the University of Potsdam, Germany.
The project builds on the success of the ResilNam Coastal Project which has already planted more than 12,000 mangrove seedlings through local communities, Disaster Management Committees and the Women’s Union in Thua Thien Hue province around Tam Giang Lagoon, the largest lagoon in south-east Asia.
CSRD Director, Pham Thi Dieu My, explained: “Our goal is to empower women in disaster risk management in this highly flood-prone area. The Risk Award will help set up a community-run mangrove nursery with the local Women’s Union in Hai Duong commune. It will have an income generation component and we will also engage with local women through theatre about gender, flood preparedness, climate change and disaster risk reduction.”
Dr. Philip Bubeck who represents the University of Potsdam on the implementation team, said: “Vietnam is suffering disproportionately from climate-related impacts and mangrove restoration is a very practical way of reducing the risk of flooding and coastal erosion while also supporting local livelihoods. Mangroves can reduce wave and tidal energy by up to 50%.”
The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, congratulated the winners and said: “This is a great example of how international cooperation can assist developing countries to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. It empowers women who are on the front line of climate change and demonstrates how important nature-based solutions are to building resilience.”
Dirk Reinhard, Vice-Chairman of Munich Re Foundation, said: “The Risk Award is intended to showcase innovative projects which can inspire others to replicate them. This year’s winners have shown that understanding risks and the commitment to mitigate them are important elements in community efforts to achieve sustainable development and mitigate the impacts of climate change.”
The RISK Award, endowed with €100,000, is assigned to operational projects in the field of risk reduction and disaster management. The prize is awarded every two years. The endowment for the RISK Award is provided by the Munich Re Foundation.
About UNDRR: UNDRR (formerly UNISDR) is the UN office dedicated to disaster risk reduction. It is led by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and supports implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015- 2030 which seeks “the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses, in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.”