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Integration in Agricultural Curricula of Climate Change concerns

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges for humanity. Climate change will seriously impact production, life, and the environment all over the world. Increasing temperatures and rising sea levels cause flooding and salt water intrusion, affecting agriculture and posing a major risk for industries as well as the socioeconomic system in the future. This issue has and will lead to comprehensive changes and in-depth growth and global security in the areas of energy, water, food, society, employment, diplomatic relations, culture, economy, and trade.

In fact, Vietnam has witnessed an increase of the average temperature by 0.5 - 0.7oC and the sea level rise almost 20 cm over the past 50 years. In addition, the El Nino and La Nina phenomena have had a strong impact. Climate change has caused disasters, especially storms, floods, and droughts, to be more and more violent, and thereby directly impacted the lives of people and caused serious consequences for agriculture in Vietnam.

Climate change poses serious threats to food security and agricultural development when it causes many serious problems, such as narrowing agricultural land, especially lowland areas of the coastal plains, submerging the Red River Delta and the Mekong Delta by the rising of sea levels, impacting the growth and yield of crops and the growing season, increasing the risks of spreading plant pests and diseases, expanding the adaptation period of tropical plants and narrowing that of subtropical crops, and affecting the reproduction, growth, and increasing infusion of cattle and poultry.

Being aware of the importance of climate change’s global threats, a Netherlands organization for international cooperation in higher education, NUFFIC, funded the project "Support the integration in Agricultural Curricula of Climate Change concerns at three Vietnamese Universities of Agriculture - ACCCU" undertaken from 2012 - 2016 with a total budget of 2.1 million EURO. The Netherlands has always supported Vietnam in the construction of agricultural training programs responding to and taking responsibilities to change of the world.

On the 25th of August, 2016, NUFFIC held a conference to review the project in Hanoi. Attending the conference were professors from Wageningen University and the Maastricht School of Management, Netherlands, the Agricultural Counsellor of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Hue University of Agriculture, Hong Duc University, Thanh Hoa province, and Prof. Dr. Tran Duc Vien, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at VNUA.

The ACCCU project brought opportunities for the 3 universities of agriculture, 8 start-up business projects, 27 studies, 54 training courses for teachers, and more than 22,000 students to take part in training courses with renovated agricultural curricula about climate change in Vietnam.

Participants at the conference in order from left to right: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Van An (Hue University of Agriculture), Prof. Dr. Tran Duc Vien (Vietnam National University of Agriculture), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Manh An (Hong Duc University), Prof. Dr. Arjen Wals (Wageningen University), Prof. Vin Morar (Maastricht School of Management), Mr. Arie Veldhuizen (Agriculture Counsellor of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands), Dr. Roel Bosma (Wageningen University), Prof. Johan Verreth (Wageningen University)