Speaking at a conference in Ca Mau province on April 9, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been seeking measures to address river and coastal erosion in the Mekong Delta region. The erosion, which has been worsened due to climate change and human activities, such as illegal sand mining and construction project along rivers, has critical impact on local livelihoods.
With a coastal line of 770km and a dense river and canal network, the Mekong Delta, which is the country’s largest food production center, has 526 erosion sites along rivers and coastal areas. 57 sites, with a total length of 164 km, are said to be at a dangerous level of erosion. With the construction of dams in the upper area of the Mekong River, the amount of silt by 2040 is expected to be only 3-5% of the silt amount that exists now, worsening erosion.
The local and central governments, along with international organizations, have been investing in erosion-prevention projects and research. In 2018, the central government allocated VND 1.5 trillion (USD 64.6 million) to the delta to build 29 urgently-needed erosion-prevention projects. This was in addition to an annual budget for erosion-prevention projects in the delta.
On 17 April, an action plan was promulgated to facilitate sustainable development in the Mekong Delta. The action plan has six areas of focus: reviewing and completing current policies and mechanisms, updating and systemizing data, building territorial planning, developing an economic structure adaptive to climate change, upgrading Infrastructure, and mobilizing available resources.
Under the action plan, the region aims to develop a climate-smart economy with a focus on aquaculture farming, and fruit tree and rice cultivation. Green growth and a low carbon economy, renewable Energy, reforestation, coastal protection, and tourism will be prioritized. Practical actions and measures will be taken to address serious erosion along rivers and coastal areas.