Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 20:16:26

Dutch experts help Mekong Delta be resilient to climate change

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A rice field affected by saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta (Photo: VNA)

Can Tho (VNA) – Experienced Dutch specialists are joining their Vietnamese peers at a two-day conference in Can Tho city to outline solutions and build plans to adapt the Mekong Delta to climate change.

At the function that began on February 23, they are set to give an insight into the Mekong Delta Plan (MDP) and the Netherlands’s experience, discuss ways to apply those experience in the Mekong Delta and make recommendations on dealing with related issues.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Chu Pham Ngoc Hien said the Mekong Delta is currently feeling the force of climate change, along with the impact of dam building and unsustainable water use in the upper Mekong River.

He cited saltwater intrusion as an example. Saltwater has affected almost 700,000 ha of the Delta’s 1.7 million ha of farmland.

If the sea level rises by one metre and Vietnam lacks proper responsive solutions, 40 percent of the Mekong Delta’s area will be flooded by the end of this century, directly affecting nearly 55 percent of the region’s population, he noted.

The Mekong Delta Plan (MDP) was designed within the strategic partnership on climate change response and water management between the Vietnamese and Dutch Governments. It focuses on climate change adaptation, enhancement of the Mekong Delta’s resilience and promotion of local residents’ livelihoods.

Hien said the Netherlands is experienced in coping with climate change, and learning from such expertise is important to making development plans for the Mekong Delta.

Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Catharina Nienke Trooster underlined the close cooperation between Vietnam and her country in climate change response and water management. Deltas with great biodiversity have significant influence on agricultural production countries like Vietnam. The Netherlands’s experience in preventing land from sinking into the sea is applicable to the Southeast Asian nation, she added.-VNA
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