Ensuring water security needs initiatives: official hinh anh 1Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai at the event (Source:dangcongsan.vn)

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai called on localities, agencies, organisations and individuals to promote initiatives to ensure water security, thus contributing to environmental protection, poverty reduction, economic growth and the global goal of sustainable development.

The official made the appeal while addressing the fourth International Symposium and Exhibition on Vietnam Water Cooperation Initiative (VACI 2015) in Hanoi on October 19.

He placed special emphasis on the need to increase the role of science-technology and international cooperation in guaranteeing water security and raise public awareness of the issue.

The Deputy PM explained that like many other countries across the globe, Vietnam is facing serious challenges relating to water security during the process of socio-economic development.

Such challenges are brought about by climate change and environmental degradation in tandem with negative impacts of unsustainable development policies and plans over the past decades, he said.

According to him, about 63 percent of Vietnam’s total volume of surface water, which reaches 830-840 billion cubic metres, originates in neighbouring countries. As such, the country’s water security depends heavily on changes in trans-boundary rivers like the Red River and the Mekong River.

The development process and trend of natural resource possession are putting intense pressure on Vietnam, which is geographically located at the lower reaches of the rivers and has fewer advantages in negotiations on the use of international water resources.

Traditional sources of livelihood and water resources in service of Vietnamese people’s daily activities and irrigation have been constrained or even vanished in many areas, Deputy PM Hai noted, adding that allocating water resources equally between localities has also emerged as a main headache for the country’s authorities.

The Vietnamese Government is striving to complete water-related policies, laws and strategies while increasing international cooperation, especially with those in the upper reaches, to preserve resources, the official stressed.

He added that the country is also enacting measures to adapt to and cope with climate change and rising sea level along with increasing plans, basic surveys and inspections of water resources, particularly those shared by many countries.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Thai Lai said that the symposium and exhibition was first launched in 2012 with the aim to create a forum for relevant sides to seek cooperation opportunities and introduce cutting-edge technologies and solutions.

This year’s event heard nearly 100 reports from 20 countries, all focusing on water security.-VNA