Living Delta Hub’s Launch Events 2020

It all seems a bit strange now in a now Covid-19 affected world, but January 2020 saw Libby Wood (Hub Manager), Andy Henderson (Hub Deputy Director) and Andy Large (Hub Director) head to South and SE Asia visiting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Dhaka and Kolkata in the space of ten days. The reason for the trips was to formally launch the UKRI GCRF Living Deltas Hub in each delta, facilitated by our friends and colleagues in the British Foreign and Commonwealth, UKRI, the British Council and the Government of West Bengal.  The events had their origin in summer 2019, when our Hub colleagues in Vietnam and especially the Red River highlighted the importance of launch events in reaching out to key stakeholders, Government ministries and other VIPs in Vietnam.  We were lucky to at the same time to strike up a working relationship with Gareth Ward, British Ambassador to Vietnam. Gareth was most happy to offer the Hub the use of the Ambassador’s Residence in Hanoi for a January 2020 launch and even better, within 15 minutes of our introductory phone teleconference, had procured similar invitations from Ian Gibbons, the British Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City, Robert Chatterton Dickson, the High Commissioner to Bangladesh (based in Dhaka) and the Nick Low the incoming Deputy High Commissioner to India, based in Kolkata.   During our scoping visits to Bangladesh and India in September and November we were able to meet with Robert and Nick and discuss plans.  A quite frantic period of organisation ensued either side of the UK Christmas break in terms of production of nice glossy documents in both Vietnamese and English, designing banners, books and badges, invitations to VIPs, Hub ROs and much, much more.  On the eve of the fist launch, Hue Le and Nga Dao made Andy Large a very kind and generous offer to gift him a traditional áo dài – ‘the dress of the deltas’ to wear at the Vietnamese launches.  Being Irish, Andy requested a green áo dài – a colour that Hue found was virtually impossible to procure throughout Hanoi.  It was fortunate she did manage it in the end, as the ten flights started to go wrong from the beginning, resulting in all our luggage not arriving in Hanoi for the first launch.  While Libby and Andy Henderson’s arrived in Ho Chi Minh City just in time for the second launch, Andy Large was lucky he still had the áo dàito wear as his bag only arrived after the second of the four launches (memo-to-self: always pack emergency change of clothes in hand luggage…).

 

All four launches were unique in their setting.  The Hanoi launch was held indoors in the informal setting of the Ambassador’s Residence, the Ho Chi Minh City launch took place outside in the garden of the Consulate General in beautiful warm sunshine.  Dhaka was a Sunday evening launch in the High Commissioner’s Residence and the Kolkata launch event took the form of a Science Workshop hosted by the Department of the Environment of the Government of West Bengal and held in the ITC Hotel Kolkata.  All four launches were very useful indeed, as they allowed us to meet and make contact with a number of new stakeholders and stakeholder organisations, as well as allowing us to meet up with many of our friends in the partner organisations who graciously wrote the Hub important letters of support in the application bid to UKRI in 2018.  In the coming months we plan to engage much more with our partners, especially as fieldwork belatedly commences. This Newsletter will be one way of encouraging two-way interaction, and we also hope our project partners will feel encouraged to contribute short articles to the Hub News as we go.

 

Finally, while ‘thank you’ is due to Libby, Tamara Gilbert (Hub Coordinator) and Iain Garrett (Communications Manager) for all their hard pre-launch work in Newcastle, the Hub launch events could not have taken place without the huge input from a number of people across all three countries in South and Southeast Asia.

 

In Vietnam we would particularly like to thank the Ambassador, Gareth Ward and his team including Phan Huong and Linh Dieu Nguyen who also travelled to Ho Chi Minh City to host us, together with the Consul General Ian Gibbons.  In Dhaka, we were kindly hosted by the High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson and his partner Teresa Albor, aided by Mundy Bowers (Second Secretary, Political Section, BHC) and Sandra Rozario.  In Kolkata, a particular thank you must go to the Principal Secretary to the Department of the Environment of the Government of West Bengal, Prabhat Mishra and his Dipanjana Maulik his Senior Environment Officer. We must also thank the Deputy High Commissioner, Nick Low and Haimanti Poddar (Senior Regional Advisor on Climate Change and Energy, BHC) and Amit Sengupta (Head of Media and Communications, BHC) for their help over some week preparing a science workshop to underpin the launch itself.  From UKRI and the British Council in the region, we must thank Nicki Willey (Regional Director Science and Innovation), Camilla Fenning (Director SE Asia UK Climate/Energy Network) , Rebecca Fairbairn (Director, UKRI India) and Geeny George ( Partnership Engagement Manager, UKRI India).  Finally sincere thanks go to the members of the Expert Panel at the Kolkata Science Workshop, Professor Kalyan Rudra, Dr Amalesh Choudhury, Mr Prabhat Mishra, Prof Tuhin Ghosh and Prof Souvanic Roy. Without all these friends’ inputs, the launches simply would not have been the success they were.

 

 

 

 

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It all seems a bit strange now in a now Covid-19 affected world, but January 2020 saw Libby Wood (Hub Manager), Andy Henderson (Hub Deputy Director) and Andy Large (Hub Director) head to South and SE Asia visiting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Dhaka and Kolkata in the space of ten days. The reason for the trips was to formally launch the UKRI GCRF Living Deltas Hub in each delta, facilitated by our friends and colleagues in the British Foreign and Commonwealth, UKRI, the British Council and the Government of West Bengal.  The events had their origin in summer 2019, when our Hub colleagues in Vietnam and especially the Red River highlighted the importance of launch events in reaching out to key stakeholders, Government ministries and other VIPs in Vietnam.  We were lucky to at the same time to strike up a working relationship with Gareth Ward, British Ambassador to Vietnam. Gareth was most happy to offer the Hub the use of the Ambassador’s Residence in Hanoi for a January 2020 launch and even better, within 15 minutes of our introductory phone teleconference, had procured similar invitations from Ian Gibbons, the British Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City, Robert Chatterton Dickson, the High Commissioner to Bangladesh (based in Dhaka) and the Nick Low the incoming Deputy High Commissioner to India, based in Kolkata.   During our scoping visits to Bangladesh and India in September and November we were able to meet with Robert and Nick and discuss plans.  A quite frantic period of organisation ensued either side of the UK Christmas break in terms of production of nice glossy documents in both Vietnamese and English, designing banners, books and badges, invitations to VIPs, Hub ROs and much, much more.  On the eve of the fist launch, Hue Le and Nga Dao made Andy Large a very kind and generous offer to gift him a traditional áo dài – ‘the dress of the deltas’ to wear at the Vietnamese launches.  Being Irish, Andy requested a green áo dài – a colour that Hue found was virtually impossible to procure throughout Hanoi.  It was fortunate she did manage it in the end, as the ten flights started to go wrong from the beginning, resulting in all our luggage not arriving in Hanoi for the first launch.  While Libby and Andy Henderson’s arrived in Ho Chi Minh City just in time for the second launch, Andy Large was lucky he still had the áo dàito wear as his bag only arrived after the second of the four launches (memo-to-self: always pack emergency change of clothes in hand luggage…).

 

All four launches were unique in their setting.  The Hanoi launch was held indoors in the informal setting of the Ambassador’s Residence, the Ho Chi Minh City launch took place outside in the garden of the Consulate General in beautiful warm sunshine.  Dhaka was a Sunday evening launch in the High Commissioner’s Residence and the Kolkata launch event took the form of a Science Workshop hosted by the Department of the Environment of the Government of West Bengal and held in the ITC Hotel Kolkata.  All four launches were very useful indeed, as they allowed us to meet and make contact with a number of new stakeholders and stakeholder organisations, as well as allowing us to meet up with many of our friends in the partner organisations who graciously wrote the Hub important letters of support in the application bid to UKRI in 2018.  In the coming months we plan to engage much more with our partners, especially as fieldwork belatedly commences. This Newsletter will be one way of encouraging two-way interaction, and we also hope our project partners will feel encouraged to contribute short articles to the Hub News as we go.

 

Finally, while ‘thank you’ is due to Libby, Tamara Gilbert (Hub Coordinator) and Iain Garrett (Communications Manager) for all their hard pre-launch work in Newcastle, the Hub launch events could not have taken place without the huge input from a number of people across all three countries in South and Southeast Asia. In Vietnam we would particularly like to thank the Ambassador, Gareth Ward and his team including Phan Huong and Linh Dieu Nguyen who also travelled to Ho Chi Minh City to host us, together with the Consul General Ian Gibbons.  In Dhaka, we were kindly hosted by the High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson and his partner Teresa Albor, aided by Mundy Bowers (Second Secretary, Political Section, BHC) and Sandra Rozario.  In Kolkata, a particular thank you must go to the Principal Secretary to the Department of the Environment of the Government of West Bengal, Prabhat Mishra and his Dipanjana Maulik his Senior Environment Officer. We must also thank the Deputy High Commissioner, Nick Low and  Haimanti Poddar (Senior Regional Advisor on Climate Change and Energy, BHC) and Amit Sengupta (Head of Media and Communications, BHC) for their help over some week preparing a science workshop to underpin the launch itself.  From UKRI and the British Council in the region, we must thank Nicki Willey (Regional Director Science and Innovation), Camilla Fenning (Director SE Asia UK Climate/Energy Network) , Rebecca Fairbairn (Director, UKRI India) and Geeny George ( Partnership Engagement Manager, UKRI India).  Finally sincere thanks go to the members of the Expert Panel at the Kolkata Science Workshop, Professor Kalyan Rudra, Dr Amalesh Choudhury, Mr Prabhat Mishra, Prof Tuhin Ghosh and Prof Souvanic Roy. Without all these friends’ inputs, the launches simply would not have been the success they were.

It all seems a bit strange now in a now Covid-19 affected world, but January 2020 saw Libby Wood (Hub Manager), Andy Henderson (Hub Deputy Director) and Andy Large (Hub Director) head to South and SE Asia visiting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Dhaka and Kolkata in the space of ten days. The reason for the trips was to formally launch the UKRI GCRF Living Deltas Hub in each delta, facilitated by our friends and colleagues in the British Foreign and Commonwealth, UKRI, the British Council and the Government of West Bengal.  The events had their origin in summer 2019, when our Hub colleagues in Vietnam and especially the Red River highlighted the importance of launch events in reaching out to key stakeholders, Government ministries and other VIPs in Vietnam.  We were lucky to at the same time to strike up a working relationship with Gareth Ward, British Ambassador to Vietnam. Gareth was most happy to offer the Hub the use of the Ambassador’s Residence in Hanoi for a January 2020 launch and even better, within 15 minutes of our introductory phone teleconference, had procured similar invitations from Ian Gibbons, the British Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City, Robert Chatterton Dickson, the High Commissioner to Bangladesh (based in Dhaka) and the Nick Low the incoming Deputy High Commissioner to India, based in Kolkata.   During our scoping visits to Bangladesh and India in September and November we were able to meet with Robert and Nick and discuss plans.  A quite frantic period of organisation ensued either side of the UK Christmas break in terms of production of nice glossy documents in both Vietnamese and English, designing banners, books and badges, invitations to VIPs, Hub ROs and much, much more.  On the eve of the fist launch, Hue Le and Nga Dao made Andy Large a very kind and generous offer to gift him a traditional áo dài – ‘the dress of the deltas’ to wear at the Vietnamese launches.  Being Irish, Andy requested a green áo dài – a colour that Hue found was virtually impossible to procure throughout Hanoi.  It was fortunate she did manage it in the end, as the ten flights started to go wrong from the beginning, resulting in all our luggage not arriving in Hanoi for the first launch.  While Libby and Andy Henderson’s arrived in Ho Chi Minh City just in time for the second launch, Andy Large was lucky he still had the áo dàito wear as his bag only arrived after the second of the four launches (memo-to-self: always pack emergency change of clothes in hand luggage…).

 

All four launches were unique in their setting.  The Hanoi launch was held indoors in the informal setting of the Ambassador’s Residence, the Ho Chi Minh City launch took place outside in the garden of the Consulate General in beautiful warm sunshine.  Dhaka was a Sunday evening launch in the High Commissioner’s Residence and the Kolkata launch event took the form of a Science Workshop hosted by the Department of the Environment of the Government of West Bengal and held in the ITC Hotel Kolkata.  All four launches were very useful indeed, as they allowed us to meet and make contact with a number of new stakeholders and stakeholder organisations, as well as allowing us to meet up with many of our friends in the partner organisations who graciously wrote the Hub important letters of support in the application bid to UKRI in 2018.  In the coming months we plan to engage much more with our partners, especially as fieldwork belatedly commences. This Newsletter will be one way of encouraging two-way interaction, and we also hope our project partners will feel encouraged to contribute short articles to the Hub News as we go.

 

Finally, while ‘thank you’ is due to Libby, Tamara Gilbert (Hub Coordinator) and Iain Garrett (Communications Manager) for all their hard pre-launch work in Newcastle, the Hub launch events could not have taken place without the huge input from a number of people across all three countries in South and Southeast Asia. In Vietnam we would particularly like to thank the Ambassador, Gareth Ward and his team including Phan Huong and Linh Dieu Nguyen who also travelled to Ho Chi Minh City to host us, together with the Consul General Ian Gibbons.  In Dhaka, we were kindly hosted by the High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson and his partner Teresa Albor, aided by Mundy Bowers (Second Secretary, Political Section, BHC) and Sandra Rozario.  In Kolkata, a particular thank you must go to the Principal Secretary to the Department of the Environment of the Government of West Bengal, Prabhat Mishra and his Dipanjana Maulik his Senior Environment Officer. We must also thank the Deputy High Commissioner, Nick Low and Haimanti Poddar (Senior Regional Advisor on Climate Change and Energy, BHC) and Amit Sengupta (Head of Media and Communications, BHC) for their help over some week preparing a science workshop to underpin the launch itself.  From UKRI and the British Council in the region, we must thank Nicki Willey (Regional Director Science and Innovation), Camilla Fenning (Director SE Asia UK Climate/Energy Network) , Rebecca Fairbairn (Director, UKRI India) and Geeny George ( Partnership Engagement Manager, UKRI India).  Finally sincere thanks go to the members of the Expert Panel at the Kolkata Science Workshop, Professor Kalyan Rudra, Dr Amalesh Choudhury, Mr Prabhat Mishra, Prof Tuhin Ghosh and Prof Souvanic Roy. Without all these friends’ inputs, the launches simply would not have been the success they were.

 

 

 

 

Living Delta Hub’s Launch Events 2020

It all seems a bit strange now in a now Covid-19 affected world, but January 2020 saw Libby Wood (Hub Manager), Andy Henderson (Hub Deputy Director) and Andy Large (Hub Director) head to South and SE Asia visiting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Dhaka and Kolkata in the space of ten days. The reason for the trips was to formally launch the UKRI GCRF Living Deltas Hub in each delta, facilitated by our friends and colleagues in the British Foreign and Commonwealth, UKRI, the British Council and the Government of West Bengal.  The events had their origin in summer 2019, when our Hub colleagues in Vietnam and especially the Red River highlighted the importance of launch events in reaching out to key stakeholders, Government ministries and other VIPs in Vietnam.  We were lucky to at the same time to strike up a working relationship with Gareth Ward, British Ambassador to Vietnam. Gareth was most happy to offer the Hub the use of the Ambassador’s Residence in Hanoi for a January 2020 launch and even better, within 15 minutes of our introductory phone teleconference, had procured similar invitations from Ian Gibbons, the British Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City, Robert Chatterton Dickson, the High Commissioner to Bangladesh (based in Dhaka) and the Nick Low the incoming Deputy High Commissioner to India, based in Kolkata.   During our scoping visits to Bangladesh and India in September and November we were able to meet with Robert and Nick and discuss plans.  A quite frantic period of organisation ensued either side of the UK Christmas break in terms of production of nice glossy documents in both Vietnamese and English, designing banners, books and badges, invitations to VIPs, Hub ROs and much, much more.  On the eve of the fist launch, Hue Le and Nga Dao made Andy Large a very kind and generous offer to gift him a traditional áo dài – ‘the dress of the deltas’ to wear at the Vietnamese launches.  Being Irish, Andy requested a green áo dài – a colour that Hue found was virtually impossible to procure throughout Hanoi.  It was fortunate she did manage it in the end, as the ten flights started to go wrong from the beginning, resulting in all our luggage not arriving in Hanoi for the first launch.  While Libby and Andy Henderson’s arrived in Ho Chi Minh City just in time for the second launch, Andy Large was lucky he still had the áo dàito wear as his bag only arrived after the second of the four launches (memo-to-self: always pack emergency change of clothes in hand luggage…).

 

All four launches were unique in their setting.  The Hanoi launch was held indoors in the informal setting of the Ambassador’s Residence, the Ho Chi Minh City launch took place outside in the garden of the Consulate General in beautiful warm sunshine.  Dhaka was a Sunday evening launch in the High Commissioner’s Residence and the Kolkata launch event took the form of a Science Workshop hosted by the Department of the Environment of the Government of West Bengal and held in the ITC Hotel Kolkata.  All four launches were very useful indeed, as they allowed us to meet and make contact with a number of new stakeholders and stakeholder organisations, as well as allowing us to meet up with many of our friends in the partner organisations who graciously wrote the Hub important letters of support in the application bid to UKRI in 2018.  In the coming months we plan to engage much more with our partners, especially as fieldwork belatedly commences. This Newsletter will be one way of encouraging two-way interaction, and we also hope our project partners will feel encouraged to contribute short articles to the Hub News as we go.

 

Finally, while ‘thank you’ is due to Libby, Tamara Gilbert (Hub Coordinator) and Iain Garrett (Communications Manager) for all their hard pre-launch work in Newcastle, the Hub launch events could not have taken place without the huge input from a number of people across all three countries in South and Southeast Asia. In Vietnam we would particularly like to thank the Ambassador, Gareth Ward and his team including Phan Huong and Linh Dieu Nguyen who also travelled to Ho Chi Minh City to host us, together with the Consul General Ian Gibbons.  In Dhaka, we were kindly hosted by the High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson and his partner Teresa Albor, aided by Mundy Bowers (Second Secretary, Political Section, BHC) and Sandra Rozario.  In Kolkata, a particular thank you must go to the Principal Secretary to the Department of the Environment of the Government of West Bengal, Prabhat Mishra and his Dipanjana Maulik his Senior Environment Officer. We must also thank the Deputy High Commissioner, Nick Low and Haimanti Poddar (Senior Regional Advisor on Climate Change and Energy, BHC) and Amit Sengupta (Head of Media and Communications, BHC) for their help over some week preparing a science workshop to underpin the launch itself.  From UKRI and the British Council in the region, we must thank Nicki Willey (Regional Director Science and Innovation), Camilla Fenning (Director SE Asia UK Climate/Energy Network) , Rebecca Fairbairn (Director, UKRI India) and Geeny George ( Partnership Engagement Manager, UKRI India).  Finally sincere thanks go to the members of the Expert Panel at the Kolkata Science Workshop, Professor Kalyan Rudra, Dr Amalesh Choudhury, Mr Prabhat Mishra, Prof Tuhin Ghosh and Prof Souvanic Roy. Without all these friends’ inputs, the launches simply would not have been the success they were.

 

 

 

 

Living Delta Hub’s Launch Events 2020

It all seems a bit strange now in a now Covid-19 affected world, but January 2020 saw Libby Wood (Hub Manager), Andy Henderson (Hub Deputy Director) and Andy Large (Hub Director) head to South and SE Asia visiting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Dhaka and Kolkata in the space of ten days. The reason for the trips was to formally launch the UKRI GCRF Living Deltas Hub in each delta, facilitated by our friends and colleagues in the British diplomatic service, UKRI, the British Foreign and Commonwealth, and the Government of West Bengal.  The events had their origin in summer 2019, when our Hub colleagues in Vietnam and especially the Red River highlighted the importance of launch events in reaching out to key stakeholders, Government ministries and other VIPs in Vietnam.  We were lucky to at the same time to strike up a working relationship with Gareth Ward, British Ambassador to Vietnam. Gareth was most happy to offer the Hub the use of the Ambassador’s Residence in Hanoi for a January 2020 launch and even better, within 15 minutes of our introductory phone teleconference, had procured similar invitations from Ian Gibbons, the British Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City, Robert Chatterton Dickson, the High Commissioner to Bangladesh (based in Dhaka) and the Nick Low the incoming Deputy High Commissioner to India, based in Kolkata.   During our scoping visits to Bangladesh and India in September and November we were able to meet with Robert and Nick and discuss plans.  A quite frantic period of organisation ensued either side of the UK Christmas break in terms of production of nice glossy documents in both Vietnamese and English, designing banners, books and badges, invitations to VIPs, Hub ROs and much, much more.  On the eve of the fist launch, Hue Le and Nga Dao made Andy Large a very kind and generous offer to gift him a traditional áo dài– ‘the dress of the deltas’ to wear at the Vietnamese launches.  Being Irish, Andy requested a green áo dài– a colour that Hue found was virtually impossible to procure throughout Hanoi.  It was fortunate she did manage it in the end, as the ten flights started to go wrong from the beginning, resulting in all our luggage not arriving in Hanoi for the first launch.  While Libby and Andy Henderson’s arrived in Ho Chi Minh City just in time for the second launch, Andy Large was lucky he still had the áo dàito wear as his bag only arrived after the second of the four launches (memo-to-self: always pack emergency change of clothes in hand luggage…).

All four launches were unique in their setting.  The Hanoi launch was held indoors in the informal setting of the Ambassador’s Residence, the Ho Chi Minh City launch took place outside in the garden of the Consulate General in beautiful warm sunshine.  Dhaka was a Sunday evening launch in the High Commissioner’s Residence and the Kolkata launch event took the form of a Science Workshop hosted by the Department of the Environment of the Government of West Bengal and held in the ITC Hotel Kolkata.  All four launches were very useful indeed, as they allowed us to meet and make contact with a number of new stakeholders and stakeholder organisations, as well as allowing us to meet up with many of our friends in the partner organisations who graciously wrote the Hub important letters of support in the application bid to UKRI in 2018.  In the coming months we plan to engage much more with our partners, especially as fieldwork belatedly commences. This Newsletter will be one way of encouraging two-way interaction, and we also hope our project partners will feel encouraged to contribute short articles to the Hub News as we go.

 

Finally, while ‘thank you’ is due to Libby, Tamara Gilbert (Hub Coordinator) and Iain Garrett (Communications Manager) for all their hard pre-launch work in Newcastle, the Hub launch events could not have taken place without the huge input from a number of people across all three countries in South and Southeast Asia. In Vietnam we would particularly like to thank the Ambassador, Gareth Ward and his team including Phan Huong and Linh Dieu Nguyen who also travelled to Ho Chi Minh City to host us, together with the Consul General Ian Gibbons.  In Dhaka, we were kindly hosted by the High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson and his partner Teresa Albor, aided by Mundy Bowers (Second Secretary, Political Section, BHC) and Sandra Rozario.  In Kolkata, a particular thank you must go to the Principal Secretary to the Department of the Environment of the Government of West Bengal, Prabhat Mishra and his Dipanjana Maulik his Senior Environment Officer. We must also thank the Deputy High Commissioner, Nick Low and Haimanti Poddar (Senior Regional Advisor on Climate Change and Energy, BHC) and Amit Sengupta (Head of Media and Communications, BHC) for their help over some week preparing a science workshop to underpin the launch itself.  From UKRI and the British Council in the region, we must thank Nicki Willey (Regional Director Science and Innovation), Camilla Fenning (Director SE Asia UK Climate/Energy Network) , Rebecca Fairbairn (Director, UKRI India) and Geeny George ( Partnership Engagement Manager, UKRI India).  Finally sincere thanks go to the members of the Expert Panel at the Kolkata Science Workshop, Professor Kalyan Rudra, Dr Amalesh Choudhury, Mr Prabhat Mishra, Prof Tuhin Ghosh and Prof Souvanic Roy. Without all these friends’ inputs, the launches simply would not have been the success they were.

 

 

 

Living Delta Hub’s Launch Events 2020

It all seems a bit strange now in a now Covid-19 affected world, but January 2020 saw Libby Wood (Hub Manager), Andy Henderson (Hub Deputy Director) and Andy Large (Hub Director) head to South and SE Asia visiting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Dhaka and Kolkata in the space of ten days. The reason for the trips was to formally launch the UKRI GCRF Living Deltas Hub in each delta, facilitated by our friends and colleagues in the British Foreign and Commonwealth, UKRI, the British Council and the Government of West Bengal.  The events had their origin in summer 2019, when our Hub colleagues in Vietnam and especially the Red River highlighted the importance of launch events in reaching out to key stakeholders, Government ministries and other VIPs in Vietnam.  We were lucky to at the same time to strike up a working relationship with Gareth Ward, British Ambassador to Vietnam. Gareth was most happy to offer the Hub the use of the Ambassador’s Residence in Hanoi for a January 2020 launch and even better, within 15 minutes of our introductory phone teleconference, had procured similar invitations from Ian Gibbons, the British Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City, Robert Chatterton Dickson, the High Commissioner to Bangladesh (based in Dhaka) and the Nick Low the incoming Deputy High Commissioner to India, based in Kolkata.   During our scoping visits to Bangladesh and India in September and November we were able to meet with Robert and Nick and discuss plans.  A quite frantic period of organisation ensued either side of the UK Christmas break in terms of production of nice glossy documents in both Vietnamese and English, designing banners, books and badges, invitations to VIPs, Hub ROs and much, much more.  On the eve of the fist launch, Hue Le and Nga Dao made Andy Large a very kind and generous offer to gift him a traditional áo dài– ‘the dress of the deltas’ to wear at the Vietnamese launches.  Being Irish, Andy requested a green áo dài– a colour that Hue found was virtually impossible to procure throughout Hanoi.  It was fortunate she did manage it in the end, as the ten flights started to go wrong from the beginning, resulting in all our luggage not arriving in Hanoi for the first launch.  While Libby and Andy Henderson’s arrived in Ho Chi Minh City just in time for the second launch, Andy Large was lucky he still had the áo dàito wear as his bag only arrived after the second of the four launches (memo-to-self: always pack emergency change of clothes in hand luggage…).

 

All four launches were unique in their setting.  The Hanoi launch was held indoors in the informal setting of the Ambassador’s Residence, the Ho Chi Minh City launch took place outside in the garden of the Consulate General in beautiful warm sunshine.  Dhaka was a Sunday evening launch in the High Commissioner’s Residence and the Kolkata launch event took the form of a Science Workshop hosted by the Department of the Environment of the Government of West Bengal and held in the ITC Hotel Kolkata.  All four launches were very useful indeed, as they allowed us to meet and make contact with a number of new stakeholders and stakeholder organisations, as well as allowing us to meet up with many of our friends in the partner organisations who graciously wrote the Hub important letters of support in the application bid to UKRI in 2018.  In the coming months we plan to engage much more with our partners, especially as fieldwork belatedly commences. This Newsletter will be one way of encouraging two-way interaction, and we also hope our project partners will feel encouraged to contribute short articles to the Hub News as we go.

 

Finally, while ‘thank you’ is due to Libby, Tamara Gilbert (Hub Coordinator) and Iain Garrett (Communications Manager) for all their hard pre-launch work in Newcastle, the Hub launch events could not have taken place without the huge input from a number of people across all three countries in South and Southeast Asia. In Vietnam we would particularly like to thank the Ambassador, Gareth Ward and his team including Phan Huong and Linh Dieu Nguyen who also travelled to Ho Chi Minh City to host us, together with the Consul General Ian Gibbons.  In Dhaka, we were kindly hosted by the High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson and his partner Teresa Albor, aided by Mundy Bowers (Second Secretary, Political Section, BHC) and Sandra Rozario.  In Kolkata, a particular thank you must go to the Principal Secretary to the Department of the Environment of the Government of West Bengal, Prabhat Mishra and his Dipanjana Maulik his Senior Environment Officer. We must also thank the Deputy High Commissioner, Nick Low and Haimanti Poddar (Senior Regional Advisor on Climate Change and Energy, BHC) and Amit Sengupta (Head of Media and Communications, BHC) for their help over some week preparing a science workshop to underpin the launch itself.  From UKRI and the British Council in the region, we must thank Nicki Willey (Regional Director Science and Innovation), Camilla Fenning (Director SE Asia UK Climate/Energy Network) , Rebecca Fairbairn (Director, UKRI India) and Geeny George ( Partnership Engagement Manager, UKRI India).  Finally sincere thanks go to the members of the Expert Panel at the Kolkata Science Workshop, Professor Kalyan Rudra, Dr Amalesh Choudhury, Mr Prabhat Mishra, Prof Tuhin Ghosh and Prof Souvanic Roy. Without all these friends’ inputs, the launches simply would not have been the success they were.