The Project titled “Drifting Sands: Mitigating the impacts of climate change in the Mekong Delta through public and private sector engagement in the sand industry” (Sustainable Sand Mining project) has kick-started two most significant works: Sand Budget and Preserve River Geomorphology Stability Plan (RGSPlan). These two packages will be conducted respectively by Deltares Joint Ventures (Deltares) and Southern Institute of Water Resources Research Joint Ventures (SIWRR). The sediment volume of Viet Nam Mekong Delta (VMD) is in a deficit of about 25 million tons due to sand mining and hydropower plants’ dams along the Mekong River Basin. This volume is ominously increasing, accelerating the natural subsidence process that should be offset by sediment flows from upstream. Although the delta is facing sand starvation, the demand for construction and levelling sand is increasing. The developing Sand Budget is highly expected to provide a scientific foundation for managing and exploiting this critical resource. According to the experts, this is the first-ever sand budget to be developed on a delta-wide scale, providing comprehensive data that goes hand in hand with the RGSPlan. Representatives from MARD and Mekong River Commission (MRC) emphasised the importance of these packages by presenting the critical situation of erosion and land subsidence in the Viet Nam Mekong Delta (VMD), significantly caused by unsustainable sand mining and the current inadequacy of VMD river sand exploitation management.
Not only provide the data of the Sand Budget and RGSPlan, but Inception Workshop also received valuable input and comments from delegates of MARD, MONRE, MOI, VMD provinces’ authorities and other stakeholders. In his opening remarks, Mr. Weert Borner, Deputy Ambassador of the German Embassy, shared his high hope for the implementation of the project, which was funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) – BMUV, and how it can be multiplied not only in Viet Nam but also the whole region.
Ms. Doan Thi Tuyet Nga, Director of the Department of Science, Technology, and International Cooperation, VNDMA, concluded the inception workshop with her recognition for these two packages as the most significant research on sentiment flows in Viet Nam Mekong River. From the managing authorities’ point of view, she expressed high expectations that the contribution of this project will result in sustainable management policy at all levels.
Responding to the delegates, Mr. Ha Huy Anh, National Project Manager, said: “All the feedback and comments from the participants were very valuable and will be carefully considered when we carry out the research. In the end, the project’s end goal is to contribute to maintaining vital ecological functions and reducing socio-economic vulnerability to climate change in the Mekong Delta. It will provide data for the management authority to fulfil the key role in addressing the confronting issues and policymaking. Therefore, we want to ensure that the results are practical and applicable.”
* MARD: Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development
* MONRE: Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment
* MOI: Ministry of Investment
* VNDMA: Vietnam Disaster Management Agency
* BMUV: German Ministry of Environment