Resource depletion in Mekong delta alarming

VietNamNet Bridge
22 June 2014

Scientists and administrators once again rang the bell of alarm against a rapid depletion of natural resources, a biodiversity decline and climate change causing adverse impacts on farming and the livelihood of people in the Mekong Delta at a forum held last week.

Nguyen Thanh Nguyen, vice chairman of Long An Province, said at the forum held in Long An that the province had to pay dearly for the ten-fold rice yield increase to three million tons now compared to the late 1970s.

The ecosystem of Dong Thap Muoi area has been spoiled as much of the area has been turned into rice fields. Besides, the brackish water ecosystem in coastal areas has almost been wiped out recently due to shrimp farming, he added.

The water surface in the Mekong River has in recent years declined much due to the regulations in upstream areas and the impacts of climate change, said Nguyen Van Nghia at the Department of Water Resources Management under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The groundwater level has also dropped by 0.2-0.4 meter on average each year and riverbanks and coastal areas have become more vulnerable to landslides.

In addition, illegal and destructive fishing activities are threatening natural aquatic resources in the Mekong Delta region. Saltwater intrusion, flood prevention and hydropower works have also impeded the development of aquatic animals.

Read more