On 13 March 2021, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired the third Conference on Climate Resilient and Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta in Viet Nam, assessing the implementation progress of Resolution No. 120/NQ-CP that was signed in 2017.
According to the Prime Minister, the Mekong Delta is the hub of Vietnam’s agricultural production, contributing to 50% of the country`s rice production, 95% of rice exports, 65% of aquaculture production, and 70% of fruit supplies throughout the country. The Prime Minister emphasized that the local authorities should allow the budgets for climate change response to be one of the major expenditures from total annual revenues. He also requested the local authorities of the Mekong Delta to strengthen the connection with Ho Chi Minh City and to strategically develop the role of the Regional Coordination Council. Additionally, he mentioned it would be essential to develop the urban areas of the region, and to further attract international supports for the vital improvement of Mekong Delta.
Resolution No. 120/NQ-CP points out that climate change and sea level rise, extreme weather events, and saline intrusion have become the “new normal” condition to the Mekong Delta, and provides the basis for the transformation of regional development: from small-scale and provincial farming households to inter-provincial farming value chains and cross-border development; from an industry-by-industry short-term development to a long-term, multidisciplinary, and integrated approach.
Recently, a draft Master Plan for the Mekong Delta for 2021-2030 with vision to 2050 was published for consultations with relevant stakeholders. If approved, the plan will serve as the basis for effectively allocating and mobilising resources to develop Vietnam’s largest agricultural hub. This will help achieve sustainable development and climate change adaptation in line with the Government’s Resolution No 120/NQ-CP on the region’s sustainable development.
During the Mekong Delta Conference, the Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment introduced the Master Plan´s three guiding pillars:
- First of all, to respect the natural functioning of ecosystems, to proactively adapt to climate change, and to consider brackish and saltwater as alternative development resources.
- Second, the plan includes restructuring models for local production, and shall re-organise the regional development areas towards efficiency and sustainability.
- Third, the plan is supposed to trigger the change of mindsets and enhance knowledge on food security, aligning fisheries, fruit growing, and rice production with markets’ demands; and to support the development of high-quality agricultural products in combination with services, eco-tourism, and industrial value chains, and finally, to promote the value and competitiveness of local agricultural products.