Drought dries up a rice field in the Mekong Delta due to impacts of climate change. (Photo: VNA)

Can Tho (VNA) – A communication strategy on the Mekong Delta Plan was launched at a workshop in Can Tho city on November 15.

The event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Vietnam, and the Can Tho University.

It was part of activities in the framework of the agreement on strategic partnership on climate change adaption and water management between the Governments of Vietnam and the Netherlands, funded by the Netherlands Enterprises Agency.

The workshop introduced a comprehensive publicity campaign on the Mekong Delta Plan in all 13 regional city and provinces, including lecturer training programmes and training courses targeting delegates from the 13 localities.

Pham Phu Binh, Director of the ministry’s Department of International Cooperation, highlighted the important role of the Mekong Delta in the nation’s economic development. However, he said the impacts of climate change, unplanned development and overuse of natural resources have put the region’s future at risk.

The Government and international community have developed strategies and programmes to adapt to and minimise climate change impacts, including the Mekong Delta Plan, Binh said.

Addressing the event, Dutch Consul-General to HCM City Carel Richter said the plan maps out disciplines on sustainable development for the Government of Vietnam to follow, taking into account the two factors of economic development and environment protection.

The plan has received support from the Vietnamese Government, sponsors, and partners, he added.

According to the Can Tho University, the Mekong Delta contributes 18 percent of the nation’s GDP, mostly in agriculture and fisheries. However, the region’s future is being threatened by climate change and economic development. The Mekong Delta is said to be one of the world’s five deltas hardest hit by climate change.

The plan is expected to help the Mekong Delta adapt to climate change challenges and turn them into opportunities to develop sustainably, thus ensuring locals’ stable and well-off lives as well as preserving the region’s traditional cultural value, said Deputy Rector of the university Tran Trung Tinh.-VNA