Blog Post

Press Release

Can Tho, Vietnam, 21th November, 2016

Under the sponsorship of the Asian-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN), the Asian Institute of Technology in Vietnam (AIT-VN) in cooperation with the United Nations University, Institute of Water Environment and Health, (UNU-INWEH), Canada, Annamalai University, India and hosts of international and regional partners is implementing the ENGAGE Program (Ecosystem Based Adaptation Management and Governance for Sustainable approach of Coastal Ecosystems) from 21 to 24 November 2016 in Can Tho, VIET NAM. International experts in the field of climate change & coastal ecosystems in South East Asian region (SEAR), government officials working in the coastal regions of SEAR; representatives of stakeholders, ministries, departments of the regional Mekong Delta are participating in the discussions.

Coastal ecosystems bordering the tropical coastlines play an important role in maintaining holistic environmental conditions for the coastal communities. These ecosystems mainly comprise of mangrove forest, swamps, marine tidal forests and play a key role in sheltering the shoreline between freshwater and the saline. South East Asian region [SEAR] countries constitute the largest habitat for coastal diversity, including mangroves. Indonesia alone houses more than twenty per cent of the world’s mangroves. Recent debates in sustainability science endorses the need of ecosystem based framework for resource management and planning as it appropriates various ecological services and benefits received by the social capital.

In order to create an enabling environment for sustainable management of coastal ecosystems in SEAR, the regional training cum workshop will discuss and debate host of issues relevant for Ecosystem Based Adaptation approach for Sustainable Management and Governance of Coastal Ecosystems including; biodiversity and ecosystem profiling of coastal ecosystems and mangroves; impact of changing climate coastal ecosystems; impacts of climate change and sea level rise on hydrological dynamics in land and aquatic ecosystems, natural disasters and mangroves; disaster risk reduction based on ecosystems, strategic risk assessment and vulnerable adaptation, nature based soloution of coastal zone management, overview and analysis of vulnerabilities and policy barriers to sustainable management; the importance of policy reform as well as the formulation of a specific action to improve research, training and management of ecosystems area.

The twin-framework approach adopted in the ENGAGE program includes a 3-day training course and one day of multi-stakeholders dialogue workshop. 23 participants from 7 countries are partcipating in this program this week in Cantho,Vietnam. The aim of the program is to strengthen capacity of professionals; academics, managers and institutions while assessing needs and gaps analysis in capacity needs for ecosystem based adaptation approach for sustaianble costal zone management in the region. On the long term the aim is to create a discussion forum or a platform to facilitate open dialogue platform for experts, specialists and policy officials in addressing common inquiries on climate change impacts and ecosystems based approach aligning with coastal development planning and management; including emphasis on traditional practices and new methodologies for sustainable management of the coastal ecosystems and promote and encourage exchanges of knowledge between different stakeholders in the region.

The training course will focus on theoretical understanding and practical approaches to address and understand characteristics, ecology and functions of coastal ecosystems and ecosystem based adaptation as a management tool. Training will comprise a mix of lectures, seminars and field visits. The stakeholder workshop aim to bring together regional experts and key stakeholders to initiate a dialogue on barriers and opportunities for regional cooperation on Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Ecosystem based Management, Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Zones, Risk Assessment, Vulnerability Mapping and Disaster Risk Reduction. The dialogue will lead to setting priorities to address challenges of ecological conservation and sustainable management of coastal systems, with specific focus on mangrove ecosystems.

“This is a useful program for young researchers, the project staffs working in the field of development. This is also the meeting place of the international experts in the field of climate change & coastal ecosystems in South East Asian region, the dialogue on the barriers and opportunities for regional cooperation on integrated management of the coastal ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change in coastal areas …” (Dr Ngo Tho Hung – Head of Environment & Development, AIT in Vietnam)

“The ENGAGE program is providing a platform for participants to network and exchange experiences on best management practices for sustainable coastal zone management. UNU-INWEH strongly believes that data, information and knowledge sharing and alligning with regional partners is vital to implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDG’s) aiming to enhance the sustainability of coastal ecosystems (SDG 14) and also SDG 17 outlining a partnership based model for enactment of the SDG agenda.” (Dr Nidhi Nagabhatla – UNU-INWEH, Canada)

“As a young researcher based in the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam, a region where climate change adaptation is a burning issue, I find the ENGAGE training workshop very useful for my research. The training is really a fantastic opportunity for me to learn from senior researchers and scientists from the UK, U.S, India, Viet Nam, to name just a few. This is also a great chance for me to establish networks with peers from SEAR countries such as the Philippines, Myamar, Thailan, Indonesia, etc. which would facilitate future research collaboration between us.” (Mr Pham Vu Bang – Reseacher at School of Economics and Law, Tra Vinh University)

The collaborators of the ENGAGE program- APN project include:

AIT in Vietnam (Asian Institute of Technology in Vietnam)


DRAGON Institute – Mekong – Can Tho University, Vietnam

Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology & Oceanography (CASMB), Annamalai University, India

APEC Climate Center (APCC), Korea