Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has instructed giving priority to research on land erosion and counter measures in a recent document.

The document said land erosion along rivers and the coast in the Mekong Delta region is worsening, with over 450 kilometres of river banks in the region already affected. In addition, an average 500 hectares of mangrove forest in the region are damaged every year.

To cope with the situation, localities have carried out a number of solutions, mostly building dykes, which are costly while failing to prevent erosion in certain areas, the instruction said, adding that those measures also lag behind the international trend of using more environmentally-friendly solutions that give room to the river to flood and erode.

The Deputy PM requested the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Science and Technology give priority in capital allocation to research in this field, focusing on proposing suitable solutions to prevent coastal erosion, restore coastal protection forest and environmentally-friendly measures to address river bank erosion.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is to coordinate with relevant bodies to instruct the implementation of the Prime Minister-approved project on protecting and developing coastal forests to cope with climate change through 2020.

Recent scientific research indicates 38 percent of the land in the Mekong Delta will be underwater by 2100 due to climate change.

Mangrove forest destruction has led to drastic salinity intrusion in the region, which seriously affects local life and production.-VNA