The Mekong regional land forum opens in Hanoi on June 21 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Government officials from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, which border the Mekong River, shared land governance experiences at a forum which opened in Hanoi on June 21.

The three-day function features nearly 20 panel discussions, during which the officials, along with scientists and businesspersons, are set to exchange experiences and suggest solutions to ensure transparent and fair land access for farmers and enterprises, thus driving sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas.

Jochem Lange, Country Director of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), said ensuring responsible and sustainable investment in land is vital for socio-economic development.

At the forum, Ngo Dong Hai, Vice Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Economic Affairs, said in the current industrialisation and modernisation, land resources have not been managed and exploited effectively. Land degradation and pollution has reached an alarming rate in many areas, while drought and saltwater intrusion are threatening others.

Sustainably developing land resources is critically important to the sustainable development of Vietnam, he added.

Le Quoc Doanh, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said Vietnam is strongly restructuring agriculture with a view to enhancing the sector’s added value and sustainable development. To do that, it must remove policy obstacles, especially those related to land – the basic means of production in agriculture and forestry.

The forum was held as part of the Mekong Region Land Governance (MRLG) project, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The MRLG project aims to assist the Mekong countries to issue solutions to challenges they are facing during the building and implementation of land governance policies and legal regulations.-VNA