Biological solution in adapting to climate change for rural infrastructure

In recent years, influenced by climate change, floods and landslides are become an extreme threat for life and property of people in the Northern mountainous area of Vietnam. Without prompt action, infrastructure will be at risk of destruction and has negative impact to human as well as economic - social growth.

Highlight

  • In recent years, influenced by climate change, floods and landslides are become an extreme threat for life and property of people in the Northern mountainous area of Vietnam.
  • Biological solution is the solution that local society can maintain and sustain by themselves, this solution also create a natural habitat, clean water and enhance biodiversity; additionally, biological solution becomes more and more solid over time as well as adapting to climate change.

However, the investment on infrastructure such as traffic road, irrigation works, embankments of rivers, streams… usually expensive and requiring huge investment. How those structures can resist to climate change is the problem being faced by the government and relevant agencies of the provinces in this area, including Son La.

Mr Ha Quyet Nghi, Director of Agriculture and Rural Development Department – Son La Province said: “At Son La or poor provinces, the fund prescription is mainly depend on the basic construction capital from the Government and other national target programs or ODA, so raising fund to build constructions to resist climate change based on sustainability standards is very difficult”.

Response to local difficulties, Project: strengthen infrastructure resilience to climate change for Northern Mountainous Area of Vietnam (the Project) has been studied and implemented pilot models to apply biological technical to protect rural infrastructure that is river embankment at Thom Mon village, Thuan Chan district to demonstrate low-cost solution.

At Thon Mon embankment, the Project was planting grasses to protect and enhance endurance for embankment such as planting May Chay tree in layer, gabion block with May Chay tree piles, making barriers by May Chay trees and Vetiver grass …

Since the pilot model is implemented, undergoing 2 rainy seasons, the embankment system remained stable, protect farmer’s crop in the downstream. Moreover, the plant in here also has many other effects. Ms Lo Thi Dieu, Thom Mom Village, Thuan Chau district said: “This is native plant to apply biological technical. Since the project implementation, we get to know to its effect. It protects embankment, brings high economic benefit and it is also food for cattle”.

Mr Ha Quyet Nghi mentioned: “Biological solutions ensure the sustainability of constructions such as traffic, irrigation…it means a lot. On the mountainous area, building normal constructions will have large talus, and are vulnerable to landslides, if invest in the solution using concrete embankment… is not enough, extraordinary investment cost, therefore, biological solution need to be utilize and replicate”.

Apart from pilot model in Son La, the project also implement pilot application of biological technical for traffic road, 180m road length of Trang Xa – Deo Nhau, Vo Nhai district, Thai Nguyen province; and embankment of 106m length of Cau river, Thanh Mai commune, Cho Moi district, Bac Can.

The pilot models of the Project implementation above takes effect in practice. Mr Duong Van Dac, Thanh Mai Commune Chairman, Cho Moi district, Bac Kan Province said: “Over 2 flood seasons, until this time, with the flood level at the local for several years, it determines as safe. Plants and trees grow as expected”. Mr Nguyen Dinh Ninh, Vice-leader of Consultant of the Project comments “Biological technology solution has advantage such as “low-cost because of using trees and grasses, especially native plants, equally to 1/10 to 1/20 comparing with traditional solution; environment friendly, does not have negative impact to environment; bring profit to people; Maintenance and sustainable cost is low and community can do it themselves.”

Record from fact also shows, beside those advantages above, biological solution is the solution that local society can maintain and sustain by themselves, this solution also create a natural habitat, clean water and enhance biodiversity; additionally, biological solution becomes more and more solid over time as well as adapting to climate change.

Evaluation on the pilot models, Mr Le Van Hien, Head of Agriculture Project Manage Department – Ministry of Agriculture and Rural said that “In term of climate change is so fierce nowadays, Northern Mountainousous Area always suffer from natural disasters such as flood, flash flood, landslides, seriously affecting the sustainability of infrastructures. Those test models will be evaluated and disseminated to apply”.

Hopefully, with proven results from the pilot projects, low-cost biological solution in adaptation to climate change will soon to be replicated to many areas of Northern Mountainousous in Vietnam.

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