In late August 2014, the Center for Water Resources Conservation and Development (WARECOD) organized a series of community activities in Cao Bang province, within the project “Promoting local participation into decision making process related to climate and environmental change in the Lo-Gam river basin” (2014 – 2015) supported by Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung.
The direct target group of the project is the local communities who live along the Gam River in Bao Lam, Bao Lac and Nguyen Binh districts, Cao Bang province. 99% of them are ethnic minority groups who are adversely affected by climate change.
Based on the former local research groups in Che Pen and Pac Pha village, Bao Lam district, two clubs aiming at implementing activities for Climate Change adaption such as communication, events were formed in March 2014. Through 6 months, the club of Pac Pha had organized several activities to communicate climate change issues to vulnerable groups, and meetings to share responsive skills to local people, namely: Training on prevention of animal diseases; planting trees in watershed areas; communication on drowning prevention for the community; training on technique of livestock for sub-families. The clubs’ activities had received active participation of the residents as they were derived from the results of the local knowledge research on the community’s demand before. In the self-assessment by the members of the clubs, it could be seen that: Although the farmers are struggling to make a living, they all voluntarily and enthusiastically participate in the clubs. However, most of them were still hesitating to express their ideas, especially in Vietnamese (Kinh language), which is not their mother tongue.
At the same time, in Bao Toan commune, Bao Lac district, a training of trainers (TOT) on communication skills took place with practical exercises for local researchers after six months conducting Thai Baan research. 12 local researchers then all received basic knowledge about climate change, its impacts and the importance of adaptation. The TOT lasted 3 days, in which the trainer with simple and creative teaching method helped the trainees easily understand and created an exciting atmosphere by games, group activities etc. After each section, the trainer explained to students the skills they had learned, as: listening skills, questioning skills, teamwork skills, presentation skills. Especially, “interactive drama” – a very new form of communication was introduced. This method aims to enhance the interaction with the audience, hence trigger communication, exchange and feedback through emotional expression, speech, body language in order to raise awareness, change attitudes and behavior of people in a positive trend. The training is supposed to beas followed by communication activities to neighboring villages related to climate change issues.
To ensure that all results and achievements from the 2014 project will reach and benefit all stakeholders, a sharing workshop will be implemented in October 2014. Apart from stakeholders in the three districts (Bao Lam, Bao Lac and Nguyen Binh ), there will be representatives of Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Tuyen Quang, Ha Giang and some other provinces, as well as those of the Monistiry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and other NGOs working on climate issues. This workshop also aims at promoting linkage between local communities and authorities in a common action plan for climate change adaptation at basin scale to pursue WARECOD’s strategy of river basin approach.