Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Ben Tre (VNA) – The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre has prioritised measures to adapt to climate change, a local senior official has said.

At a working session with a delegation of Consuls General in Ho Chi Minh City in the province on December 6, Vice Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Phan Van Mai said raising public awareness about climate change adaptation is the top priority.

Agricultural production has been restructured, by reducing rice crops from three to two a year, together with developing aquaculture in saltwater-intruded rice growing areas, Mai said.

The province also looks to promote hi-tech agriculture production for sustainable development, he added.

Simon Van de Burg, Consul General of the Netherlands, underscored the joint efforts made by Vietnamese and Dutch experts to design a plan for the region to adapt to climate change with assistance from international partners.

The World Bank has recently agreed on a loan of nearly 400 million USD to develop sustainable livelihood and adapt to climate change in the region.

Under the project, local farmers will receive assistance to develop their fish farming in the context of fresh water shortages and saltwater intrusion.

Ian Gibbons, Consul General of the UK, said the Commonwealth Fund has funded numerous projects on climate change in several localities, suggesting that Ben Tre should submit request for the use of the resource.

Mai expressed his wish that the fund will provide support for the province to carry out projects on fresh water to help address the lack of underground water resources in the province.

Meanwhile, Karen Lanyon, Consul General of Australia, said the country is willing to help train local communities on climate change-related issues.

The Mekong Delta region suffered a historical prolonged drought in this year’s dry season, which resulted in deep-in-land saltwater intrusion, severely affecting local agricultural production and daily life activities.

Ben Tre was among the most severely affected by the drought, with a loss estimated at nearly 2 trillion VND (88 million USD).-VNA