40% of Mekong Delta could be flooded this century
  • By Pham Tam | dtinews.vn | February 24, 2016 02:46 PM

Up to 40% of the Mekong Delta’s area could be flooded by the end of the 21st century if the sea level rises by a metre and Vietnam fails to provide solutions, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has claimed.


Up to 40% of the Mekong Delta’s area could be flooded by the end of the 21st century 

The problem will directly affect nearly 55% of the region’s population, said Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Chu Pham Ngoc Hien at a two-day conference in Can Tho city on solutions and plans to adapt the Mekong Delta to climate change jointly held by the ministry and the Dutch Embassy in Vietnam.

Hien said the Mekong Delta is currently bearing the brunt of climate change, including salt water intrusion which has affected almost 700,000 ha of the delta’s 1.7 million hectares of farmland.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Crop Department also advised local farmers, especially those in coastal areas, not to grow a spring-summer rice crops this year due to high levels of salinity. It said that all 12 delta provinces and Can Tho city should create a comprehensive system of dams and culverts that could control salty water.

Speaking at the conference, Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Catharina Nienke Trooster said that Vietnam and the Netherlands had signed an agreement on developing the Mekong Delta Plan back in 2010. It focuses on climate change adaptation, enhancement of the Mekong Delta’s resilience and promotion of local livelihoods.

The Netherlands’s experience in preventing land from sinking into the sea is applicable to Vietnam, she added.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently said the government would allocate VND2.3 trillion (USD104 million) from bonds and Official Development Assistance loans for the delta to combat drought and salt water intrusion.

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