Drought in Ninh Thuan province (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)

An Giang (VNA) – The Vietnam National Mekong Committee should promote its role in the growth of the Mekong Delta and Central Highlands regions, stated Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha, Chairman of the Committee at a meeting in An Giang on December 8.

The meeting drew representatives of central ministries, sectors and agencies as well as leaders of Mekong Delta localities and four Central Highlands provinces of Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Gia Lai and Kon Tum.

Ha highlighted the need to focus on the project to remove locals from eroded areas and prevent erosion and land depression.

He noted that the Mekong River basin has suffered from unexpected impacts. Increasing demand for water in upstream areas reduced water flow in the dry season as well as the amount of alluvium.

Along with flood, tide and deep saltwater intrusion, climate change and extreme weather conditions have also seriously threatened production and people’s lives as well as socio-economic growth of the Mekong Delta region, he said.

The minister stressed the need to review the committee’s orientations and seek solutions and plans of action to fulfill its tasks.

In the coming year, the committee will work for the implementation of resolutions issued by the International Mekong River Commission, while coordinating initiatives on regional connectivity, and supporting Mekong River basin localities in managing water resources, said Ha.

He asked the committee to prepare reports to deliver at bilateral meetings as well as working sessions of inter-governmental committees between Vietnam, and Laos and Cambodia.

In addition to consolidating its organisation, the committee should focus more on human resources development, database update and international cooperation expansion, he added.

He lauded participants’ ideas on using branch rivers for reserving water, pledging that the committee will design support policies for the work.-VNA