European countries implement climate change projects in Mekong Delta hinh anh 1The Mekong Delta suffers from severe drought and salinity intrusion in 2016 (Photo: VNA)

Can Tho (VNA) –
The European Union (EU) and European countries have been carrying out a number of climate change adaptation and sustainable development projects in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.

The biggest partners and donors are the EU, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary and Romania, according to the Foreign Ministry’s information released at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Conference on Climate Action to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – Ways Forward in Can Tho city on June 18-20.

Specifically, the EU implemented a project building a sustainable tra fish (pangasius) supply chain from April 2013 to March 2017 with total investment of 1.9 million EUR (2.2 million USD) and another conducting scientific studies on climate change and coastal erosion in Quang Nam, Ca Mau, and Tien Giang provinces in 2016-2017 worth 1 million EUR (1.15 million USD).

The EU also carried out a 108-million-EUR Energy Sector Policy Support Programme to increase access to sustainable energy in rural, mountainous, sea and island areas in Bac Lieu, An Giang, and Can Tho.

In Ca Mau, the German and Australian governments co-financed 68.39 billion VND (2.9 million USD) in official development assistance (ODA) for a project under the Integrated Coastal Management and Climate Change and Coastal Ecosystems Programme (ICM/CCEP) and authorised the German development cooperation agency (GIZ) to implement.

The German government also funded Ca Mau 1 million EUR to implement a project on restoration of mangroves through sustainable shrimp farming and emission reduction.

Ca Mau province is also making preparations to carry out a project combining coastal protection and mangrove forest land restoration using loans of about 331 billion VND (14.5 million USD) from the German development bank KfW.

In Soc Trang province, the German government is carrying out the second phase of the project on natural resources management in coastal areas from September 2014 to August 2018.

Germany also provided a non-refundable aid package of 5.1 million EUR (5.9 million USD) for Bac Lieu province to conduct two projects on the sustainable management of coastal ecosystems, second phase from 2015 to 2018, and on climate change adaptation through promoting biodiversity.

Meanwhile, the French government offered 52.35 million EUR (60.6 million USD) in loans, including 1 million EUR in non-refundable aid, for the implementation of a project enhancing climate change resilience for areas prone to extreme climate patterns and rising sea level in Can Tho city along with Ninh Binh northern province and the central province of Ha Tinh.

The Danish government supported Mekong Delta provinces to cope with environmental changes through the national target programme on climate change in 2009-2015.

Denmark has become the biggest donor with around 40 million USD in assisting the Mekong Delta, especially Ben Tre province, in piloting measures to prevent saltwater intrusion prevention and climate change adaptation models such as building flood-proof houses, irrigation networks, salt-to-fresh water treatment factories, and automatic rain gauging stations, contributing to the improvement of the natural disaster warning system.

The European country also spent over 4.3 million DKK (668,091 USD) to provide water by renewable energy in 2012-2014 for rural areas in 12 provinces in the Mekong Delta. 

From 2011, the Danish government has supported Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to implement a project assisting the agricultural sector, including the improvement of post-harvest services for households in the Mekong Delta, which increased the proportion of dried rice to 31 percent of total output from 13 percent in the previous time.

In An Giang province, the Swedish government implemented a project enhancing local capacity and building a scheme for the development of rice husk-fuelled thermal power plants in combination with rice milling plants in 2014-2015 with a budget of nearly 345,000 EUR (399,506 USD), including nearly 105,000 EUR (121,588 USD) in local corresponding capital.

The Romanian government carried out a project piloting the establishment of a biodiversity conservation site for sustainable eco-tourism development in Ba Tri district of Ben Tre province.

The Mekong Delta comprises 12 provinces and one centrally-run city of Can Tho.-VNA