The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has submitted a proposal to the Government to launch and/or complete 24 climate change response projects in the Mekong Delta region in the 2017-2020 period. This includes nine ongoing projects and 15 new ones.
The projects focus on building and upgrading sea and river dykes in key areas, constructing salinity control systems and fresh water reservoirs for production, planting and restoring coastal mangrove forests and creating sustainable livelihoods for people.
The total cost is estimated at VNĐ11 trillion (US$478 million), of which over VNĐ3.2 trillion will go into ongoing projects.
Trần Phong, director general of Vietnam Environment Administration’s southern chapter, said the total funding for the 2017-2020 projects is 2.7 times more than the previous period.
The Steering Committee for Southwestern Region reported that coastal and riverside land erosion in Mekong Delta remained a complex problem in the first half of this year, especially in Cà Mau, Bạc Liêu, Sóc Trăng, Trà Vinh and Bến Tre provinces.
Landslides have been reported in 54 locations along Tiền River, and 10 spots along Hậu River.
There are 15 spots in An Giang Province where landslide and erosion along river banks have been reported, and these have affected 172 houses.
Kiên Giang has recorded 70km of coastal land erosion, 30 km of which is seeing serious erosion. In Cà Mau and Bạc Liêu, landslides and erosion have severely affected aquaculture as well as residential areas.
The Mekong Delta region is spread across 40,500sq.km and encompasses a large portion of southwestern Vietnam. The size of land that gets covered by water depends on the season. The region comprises 12 provinces: Long An, Đồng Tháp, Tiền Giang, An Giang, Bến Tre, Vĩnh Long, Trà Vinh, Hậu Giang, Kiên Giang, Sóc Trăng, Bạc Liêu, and Cà Mau, along with the province-level municipality of Cần Thơ.
The region has a population of around 20 million, and is one of the worst affected by climate change. The average temperature is forecast to rise by 2-4 degree Celsius in Vietnam, and 40 per cent of the Delta region could eventually to be submerged by the year 2100.