Development planning for the Mekong Delta was discussed at an international workshop in Hanoi on April 24, hosted by the Vietnam – Netherlands Friendship and Cooperation Association and the Water Resources University.

The event saw the presence of the Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Joop Scheffers, Chief Consultant of the “Mekong Delta Plan” (MDP) project Prof. Martijin Van de Groep, among Vietnamese and Dutch experts and researchers.

Prof. Martijin Van de Groep said the MDP project signed by the governments of Vietnam and Netherlands, aims to create a premise for the long-term development and environmental change adaptation of Vietnam ’s biggest granary.

Participants to the workshop discussed characteristics and impacts of floods on the livelihood and economy in the south-western region; statistics on major floods in Mekong Delta in recent years and their serious consequences; and flood related issues.

Based on the current development in the delta as well as national, regional and industrial development objectives, four socio-economic development scenarios for the region were brought forward, each of which gives priority to rice and fish production; agricultural added value; industrial job; and total production respectively.

However, which scenario would be closest to reality depends on economic development exogenous impacts, as well as strategic policies related decisions.

The Mekong Delta is an area with advantages in water resources, alluvium, aquaculture resources... The delta, however, is also impacted by activities in upstream regions, such as increasing floods due to deforestation or droughts caused by the exploitation of water resources, which brings about salt intrusion and water pollution.

Through considerations are required during the building of the plan, with focus on the problems the delta may face in the future when the negative impacts by environmental changes become more obvious.-VNA