Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Can Tho (VNA) – The management of land use, the use of sand bags to strengthen dykes and the recovery of mangrove forests were among approaches, technology proposals and solutions suggested by experts for the Mekong Delta region to fortify its coastal areas to be resilient to environmental changes.

At a workshop in Can Tho city on July 5, the experts coming from the Integrated Coastal Management Programme (ICMP) shared outcomes of their studies on the feasibility of investment projects to protect coastal areas and manage water resources in the region.

ICMP, which was funded by the governments of Vietnam, Germany and Australia, looks to assist Vietnamese agencies in efforts to help the Mekong Delta be well prepared for climate change and lay a firm foundation for its sustainable growth.

According to Severin Peters, senior technical advisor of the German Society for International Co-operation (GIZ), the studies have been implemented for one year and are scheduled to finish in this September.

Apart from that, a project on the agricultural sector’s response to climate change in coastal areas is being carried out and will be completed in this August.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang stated that the studies are considered to be the first set of tools pointing out approaches, technology orientations and solutions to coastal protection.

The experts’ recommendations on a flood drainage project in An Giang and Kien Giang provinces and the Cu Lao Dung project in Soc Trang also conform to the localities’ policy of considering sea-related issues as environmental issues and flood control.

The Mekong Delta is facing complicated impacts of climate changes and upstream activities, from saline intrusion, drought, landslides to floods and land subsidence.

With an area of 3.96 million hectares and a population of 18 million, it contributes 50 percent of Vietnam’s total food output; 90 percent of the country’s export rice; 70 percent of fruits; and 65 percent of aquatic products.

The Mekong Delta includes Can Tho city and 12 provinces - Long An, Dong Thap, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Ben Tre, An Giang, Hau Giang, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and Kien Giang.

Experts estimated that a one-metre rise in sea levels would likely affect 10 percent of Vietnam’s population and cause losses equal to 10 percent of GDP in its delta regions.

The workshop was co-organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the German Society for International Co-operation (GIZ).-VNA