Mekong Delta needs ecosystem-based solutions to climate change

Vietnam Plus –

Ecosystem-based solutions are vitally important for the Mekong Delta to adapt to climate change in the decades to come, speakers said at a seminar held in Can Tho over the weekend.

Dr Le Anh Tuan of Can Tho University’s Research Institute for Climate Change, said that ecosystem-based solutions could reduce vulnerability and improve resilience to natural disasters and weather abnormalities.

Climate-change measures must focus on conservation and restoration of ecosystems, as well as sustainable management and social benefits, he said.

Farmers in the delta have already improved their incomes through successful climate-change programmes, including conversion from rice-only cultivation models to sustainable models in which rice is cultivated in rotation with fish, shrimp, lotus, vegetables or fruit.

Many farmers who have received support from scientists and organisations have also focused on the processing of agricultural products as well as tourism development, Tuan said.

In the context of globalisation, the Mekong Delta region has great potential for development but it is vulnerable to environmental changes, according to Dr Ha Thanh Toan, rector of Can Tho University.

“Climate change and rising sea levels are occurring more quickly than what was predicted, causing extreme weather phenomena, and affecting livelihoods. These require long-term solutions for the region’s sustainable development,” he added.

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