Geographic information systems, intelligent mapping system have been developed in Vietnam's southwestern region to support the effective management of natural resources and socio-economic development, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's website.

The Ho Chi Minh City National University has worked with the southwest provinces of Dong Thap, Soc Trang, Can Tho and Long An to implement "Mekong Delta geographic information systems" (MGIS).

According to Professor, Academician Nguyen Van Hieu, head of the project drafting board, over recent years, a number of localities in the Mekong Delta have started applying geographic information systems. However they are discrete and do not connect with a unified system to better serve the leadership and management of socio-economic development of the localities as well as the whole region.

Therefore, the MGIS is a good solution to help the Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region, the People's Committees of 13 provinces and cities in the region have fully updated information on the status of natural conditions, natural resources, natural disasters and socio- economic situation and development.

The Mekong Delta Geographic Information System includes information technology infrastructure, interdisciplinary science and technology staff, information processing and database as a the intelligent maps. It is expected that the construction of geographic information systems in the Mekong Delta will be completed in five years.

Before implementing the MGIS project, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment implemented a small-scale project on surveying, measuring and establishing maps for building database of management, conservation and sustainable development of wetlands of Dong Thap Muoi.

Associated Professor. Dr Ha Minh Hoa, Director of the Institute of Geodesy and Cartography, said that this project is a basis to ensure the use of resources of the wetlands of Dong Thap Muoi effectively and reasonably, help management agencies propose strategies and develop policies consistent with the objectives of conservation and sustainable development of wetlands, and ensure life for the animals and plants.

In addition, the application of information technology, especially GIS technology, will help save costs and still provide high efficiency in the management and use of project’s products, the director added.-VNA