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July 7, 2009     

Media Contact: Nick Massella
202-994-3087; massella@gwu.edu
 
GW's Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia
Suzanne Kelly-Lyall, deputy director
415-602-4846; sklyall@gwu.edu
Helen Gineris, program manager
202-994-2694; davisson@gwmail.gwu.edu

VIETNAMESE OFFICIALS EXPLORE GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE SOLUTIONS AT GW

In recognition of the importance of global climate change for Vietnam's future, the Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia at GW's Elliott School of International Affairs will host a Summer Institute on Global Climate Change, July 6 - July 28, 2009 in Washington, D.C. The interactive training will include senior representatives of Vietnam's key ministries, research institutes and universities responsible for developing and researching Vietnam's national environmental policy.

Over a three-week period, participants will explore a wide range of issues related to global climate change and its anticipated impact on Vietnam within the context of social justice. International and local experts in geography, population and migration, human security, disaster preparedness, public health and international governance will address the twelve participants.

Linda Yarr, director of Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia, underscores the significance of the institute when she states, "Although Vietnam's geography places it among the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, the country can also position itself as a source for innovative solutions for measures of mitigation and adaptation in the region. We expect that the institute will offer opportunities for creative thinking on these issues."
 
The Summer Institute on Global Climate Change will highlight the use of state-of-the-art geospatial technology tools to anticipate and better plan for the effects of climate change on Vietnam. Participants will use Geographic Information System software and explore how best to use this technology for developing effective adaptation strategies.

Dr. Ryan Engstrom, GW assistant professor of geography, regards the use of geospatial technology as a significant tool for anticipating the impact of climate change on the geography of Vietnam. Dr. Engstrom said, "With Vietnam's long coastline and large number of islands, projected sea-level rise may have a substantial impact on food production and population distribution in a changing climate."

The summer institute will use a unique format that combines seminars, interactive sessions and site visits to the Shenandoah National Park and the Chesapeake Bay. The program will enable participants to engage in consultative dialogue with key policy and funding organizations such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the United States Department of State and the American Red Cross. Vietnamese participants will also meet with U.S. Representative Ahn "Joseph" Cao to discuss environmental issues and the needs of vulnerable communities. Teams of participants will compete for a mini-grant to fund a climate change project to be implemented in Vietnam by the winning team.

The Ford Foundation (Hanoi) and the Chino Cienega Foundation have generously provided support for the Summer Institute on Global Climate Change. 

The George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs is one of the world's leading schools of international affairs. Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., its mission is to educate the next generation of international leaders, conduct research that advances understanding of important global issues and engage the policy community in the United States and around the world.

For more news about The George Washington University, visit www.gwnewscenter.org.

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