A new monthly series of adventurous spoken word monologues and more in both English and Vietnamese will descend on Hanoi on Sunday Nov. 27 at Canopee Cafe.
It is no longer the alleviation of poverty that is the major concern in Vietnam. Now, classified as a lower middle-income country, the focus has moved to climate change. The stats don’t read well. Vietnam is the 11th most vulnerable nation to suffer the effects of extreme weather conditions and it is the seventh most-at-threat country from rising sea levels with the livelihood of 5.7 million people at risk.
More than any other region in Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is the most in need of green development to mitigate the effects of climate change and upstream damming. Despite its relatively small size — it covers 12 percent of the country — the region is responsible for the production of almost 50 percent of the country’s rice and 90 percent of Vietnam’s rice exports. However, according to projections, 19 to 38 percent of The Delta’s land mass could become submerged if predicted rises in the sea level become reality.
The past 20 years in Vietnam have been remarkable. The economy has expanded by an average of 7 percent annually since the mid-1990s and according to the Vietnam Development Report 2011, “poverty has fallen drastically from 60 percent in 1993 to 14 percent in 2008”. In 2009, Vietnam was reclassified as a “lower-middle-income country”. But much of the economic expansion and inertia has been fueled by the use of domestic natural resources.