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Highlights of Resolution On Climate-Resilient Development Of Mekong Delta

VGP - The following are solutions and tasks figured out in the Government's Resolution on sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong Delta.

March 09, 2021 11:01 AM GMT+7

Overall solutions

a) Territory space organization

 – Establish ecological sub-zones to be served as the orientations of economic, agriculture and infrastructure development (flood plain, freshwater ecosystem, brackish water ecosystem and salt water ecosystem…)

– Organize and develop urban system and rural areas in accordance with characteristics of natural ecosystem and specific conditions of the region and each ecological sub-region; Review and complete land use plan, and population redistribution that control and limit establishing dense populous areas adjacent to rivers, canals to avoid high risk of landslides; preserve flood drainage space to ensure the safety and assets of the local people.

b) Develop a master plan for sustainable and climate resilience development of the Mekong Delta, taking into account region’s characteristics with synchronized sectoral, local plans and primary products; solve synchronously inter-sectoral, inter-regional, interprovincial overlapping and conflicts; maximally exploit potentials, comparative advantages of the region, transform challenges into opportunities in the context of globalization and international economic integration, especially with ASEAN Member States and Mekong sub-region countries.

At first, review all existing sectoral and local development plans in the Mekong Delta. The new development plan needs to shift from “living with floods” to “actively living with floods, inundation, brackish water and saltwater” based on the master plan for integrated water resources in the river basin; Use water efficiently and sustainably to ensure sufficient fresh water for people, and for activities in the brackish water and salt water areas. Rationally exploit the potentials of brackish and salt water resources in coastal areas for socio-economic development. All projects, works must be carefully considered and analysed based on three aspects: economic, social and environmental with adequate objective, scientific feedbacks.

c) Build a proper economic structure:

– Build the structure of agricultural production in three main aspects: aquatic products – fruit trees  – rice in association with ecological zones, in which aquatic products (fresh water, brackish water and saltwater) are the main products.

– Build a rational agricultural economic structure to ensure connecting chain of products, and deeply participate in the global value chain. Pay attention to processing and supporting industries for the agricultural sector.

Develop green industries with low emissions, without destructing natural ecosystems. Development of renewable energy in association with forest and coastal protection. 

– Develop tourism-services based on the potentials and advantages of natural, ecological, cultural and human characteristics. Develop various types of hiking, river-water tourism and ecological tourism in association with nature conservation zones.

d) Complete coordination mechanism for the region and ecological subregions to improve efficiency, viability, in line with reducing the number of focal points; smart management of water resources and climate change adaptation in accordance with the practical situations of Viet Nam and the Mekong Delta must be a consistent focus.

Ensure connectivity between localities in the region and with other regions based on the principle of harmonized mutual interests of stakeholders and harmonized natural conditions including soil, water, ecosystems and culture, human; Focus on improving the linkage between infrastructures and product chains between eco-subregions in the region and between the regions and the Southern Focal Economic Zone, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong sub-region.

Overcome the overlapping, lacking of close coordination between the state management, lack of mechanisms and policies to promote outright strength of the region; Link chain to enhance values and competitiveness of agricultural products of the region.

e) To promulgate break-through mechanisms and policies to attract non-budget capital resources, especially from private sector; create favorable conditions for the works and missions that can be done by private sector.

Concrete tasks

National Committee on Climate Change (NCCC):

Explore, propose to Government, Prime Minister various inter-regional, cross-sectoral mechanisms, policies, strategies, plans, programs, projects, missions for sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong Delta;

Coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Council for Water Resources and other relevant agencies to advise Prime Minister in coordinating bilateral and multilateral cooperation activities with upstream countries, large river basins, deltas in the world, countries, international organizations and development partners for sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong Delta.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

– Lead, coordinate with other ministries, agencies to promptly review data, complete baseline survey on natural resources and environment of the Mekong Delta; Build a cross-sectoral data system for sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong Delta, successfully connect with Mekong River Commission’s database by December 2020; Upgrade and modernize observation network, monitoring, warning and forecasting systems in the fields of natural resources and environment; Update, accomplish and periodically publish scenarios of climate change and sea level rise for Viet Nam to 2100.

– Lead, coordinate with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, relevant ministries, agencies, localities to effectively and practically implement strategic partnerships and agreements in the field of climate change, including strategic partnership agreement on climate change with the Netherlands; Explore, propose new cooperation frameworks with other countries and international partners in the fields of climate change and water resources to acquire maximal backing, support, investment from international partners for sustainable development of the Mekong Delta.

– Lead, coordinate with other relevant ministries, agencies to rapidly propose amendments to the land policy, creating favorable conditions for land accumulation and concentration to promote large-scale agricultural production to enhance competitiveness and efficiency, especially of the high-tech based agriculture, organic agriculture.

– Lead, coordinate with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mekong River Commission and relevant agencies to review, propose solutions to effectively implement the Mekong Agreement 1995, promoting the role of Viet Nam in the Mekong River Commission, strengthening cooperation among the Mekong countries, ensuring the harmonization of interests among stakeholders in the management, exploitation and use of Mekong water resources; report to Prime Minister by December 2018.

– Review, complete, formulate land use plan, water resources plan, environmental protection plan, plan on exploitation and sustainable usage of coastal and river bank resources in the Mekong Delta. Strictly control the exploitation of sand. The allowed location and time for sand exploitation should depend on analysis of incoming sand from the Mekong River delta annually to avoid risks of river bank and coastal erosions.

– Lead, coordinate with the People’s Committees of the provinces and cities in Mekong Delta to elaborate a Communication program on sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong Delta.

Ministry of Planning and Investment

– Lead, coordinate with relevant ministries, agencies to develop Master plan on sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong Delta to 2030, vision to 2050 with cross-sectoral approach, based on planning of core sectors, fields and products, submit to Prime Minister for approval by the third quarter of 2020;

– Review, evaluate the piloting coordination mechanism in Decision No. 593/QD-TTg dated April 6, 2016, submit to Prime Minister the comprehensive solutions to complete coordination mechanism for sustainable development of the Mekong Delta, including establishment of regional coordination Committee to generate inclusive power, linking the chain closely to enhance value and competitiveness of commodities, agricultural products and fisheries of the region.

– Lead, coordinate with Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Finance and relevant agencies in formulating policies to encourage the development of the Mekong Delta at the regional level and cross-sectoral scale to 2030 and beyond, promote development between production and consumption, between agricultural production and enterprises, report Prime Minister by December 2018.

– Develop mechanism for mobilizing resources, encourage participation of enterprises and people in infrastructure development combining tourism development, such as: mechanism of capital borrowing, issuance of bonds, public private partnership (PPP)… according to the law. Prioritize state capital sources for inter-regional and inter-provincial projects/works, multi-purpose projects, projects combining transportation and irrigation, smart use of water, projects related to reducing the effects of climate change, water-related natural disasters.

– Focus on problem solving, speed up the disbursement process, ensure efficient use of medium-term public investment in the 2016-2020 period, especially for projects on salinity control, flood control, restore key erosion areas, interprovincial and inter-provincial transport projects that are funded by World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, development partners and other financial institutions; Efficiently use the existing investment for the construction of flood control gates, preventing salinity intrusion and overcoming serious erosions that directly affect houses and protect land and mangroves forest in coastal areas.

 Ministry of Finance

– Lead, coordinate with relevant agencies to investigate, report to Prime Minister to consider, establish Development Fund for the Mekong Delta, ensuring water resource security and adaptation to climate change to maximally mobilize all resources, especially from non-government budget.

– Collaborate with Ministry of Planning and Investment and relevant agencies to allocate resources in time to speed up the implementation process, enjoy effective outcomes of the programs, projects in the Mekong Delta that have been approved by Government, Prime Minister; investigate, build mechanism, policy to mobilize, manage and efficiently use resources for the programs, projects related to sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong Delta.

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

– Lead, coordinate with the Ministries: Planning and Investment, Finance, Natural Resources and Environment and relevant agencies to build, submit to Prime Minister to approve the Comprehensive program on sustainable agriculture development and climate resilience of the Mekong Delta, associated with restructuring the agriculture industry and building new rural areas of the Mekong Delta in light of sustainable, modern, highly effective, realizing all potentials, advantages, climate resilience, submit to Prime Minister by December 2018.

– Review and amend the strategy and orientations for agricultural development in entire Mekong Delta, in accordance with ecological sub-zones with three main groups: aquatic products – fruit trees – rice; Reduce the land sizes for rice cultivation and plants with high use of fresh water but low commercial value.  Encourage production model combining agriculture and ecotourism.

– Review, complete mechanisms, policies to promote application of science and technology, especially high technology, bio-technology for agriculture associated with restructuring the agriculture industry and developing new rural area. Prioritize research, selection, creation, development of potential and advantageous plant, livestock and aquatic breeds of the Mekong Delta, meeting the market requirements and adapting to climate change; by 2025, focus on improving the quality of seeds, climate change adaptation, reach to the same development level of modern agriculture countries in three main categories: aquatic products – fruit trees – rice.

– Review, formulate breakthrough mechanisms, policies to develop large-scale, modern and highly competitive agricultural production. Encourage, attract investment from private sector, agriculture and rural areas in the Mekong Delta; develop cooperative economy, farm economy, agricultural value chain, linking production with consumption; Promote agricultural mechanization and post-harvest technology to reduce the loss rate, enhance quality, value and efficiency of agricultural, forestry and fishery production.

– Build aquaculture to become one of leading sectors of the region, with large scale, modern, highly competitive and sustainable production. Strictly control existing natural forest areas and not exchange for other usage purposes, except for security and defense activities and special socio-economic development projects decided by competent authorities. Prioritize investment to restore and grow mangrove forests, and riverside and coastal protection forests.

– Review the irrigation plan for natural disasters to 2030 with a vision to 2050 suitable with the new context, to ensure mitigation in the event of natural disasters, actively respond to the most unfavorable scenario; Develop a project to modernize the irrigation system for sustainable agricultural conversion and development in ecological sub-zones using diversified resources and implementation methods, especially public private partnership.

– Build Program for coastal protection, consolidating and upgrading sea dykes, preventing coastal erosion; concentrate on the urgent and serious landslides, river bank and coastal erosion. Build river management plan in line with land-use planning, reserving space for flood drainage and constructing traffic works in combination with dykes. Re-arrange habitat along rivers, canals and in combination with new rural construction.

– Coordinate with Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs in formulating a plan on transforming and creating jobs for agricultural and rural laborers with specialization and professionalism, thus helping peasants to truly become agriculture workers; Gradually withdraw labor force from agricultural and shift to industries and services.

Ministry of Industry and Trade

– Lead, coordinate with Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and relevant agencies in formulating mechanisms and policies to prioritize development of supporting industries for the agriculture and the agricultural processing industry, especially deep and selected processing; strengthening trade promotion activities, reorganizing and expanding domestic consumption and export markets of the key agricultural, forestry and fishery products of the Mekong Delta.

– Review formulation, appraisal and approval of location planning; closely monitor the investment of coal-fired thermal power plants in the Mekong Delta as indicated in the National electricity development plan in the 2011-2020 period vision to 2030 (Electricity Plan VII) to ensure employing modern technology and without environmental pollution.

– Prioritize the development of green industries with low emissions and with no harm to natural ecosystems. Limit to supplement new coal-fired plants in the localities of the Mekong Delta into the National electricity development plan; Gradually convert technologies of the existing coal-fired thermal power plants into modern, environmental sound ones. Focus on exploiting potentials of renewable energy development, initially, wind energy and solar energy.

Ministry of Construction

– Review, amend, supplement and effectively implement the regional construction plan, urban and rural plans in conformity with the natural ecological characteristics of the regions, pay attention to rearranging the habitant, houses along riversides, canals to minimize risk of landslides; continue to implement effectively smart urban development program, Safe water supply project for the Mekong Delta.

– Continue implementing effectively the existing programs and mull over new mechanisms and solutions in line with specific conditions of the Mekong Delta, ensuring houses are safe under the occurrences of drought, typhoons, floods, thunderstorms, sea level rise.

– Research new substitutable materials for leveling and construction (to limit the use of sand from river for embankment). Plan and invest in modern centralized wastewater and waste treatment zones; promote recycling, reusing and production of energy from waste.

Ministry of Transportation

– Develop synchronized, modern, multipurpose transport infrastructure adapting to climate change and sea level rise; Take advantage of geographical location, develop inland waterway system to meet transportation demand.

– Resources for investment should be used with an emphasis to gradually complete the system of transport infrastructure as planned and approved by Prime Minister, prioritize investment for integrated solutions to enhance the capability to respond to climate change and sea level rise.

Ministry of Science and Technology

– Review and complete mechanisms and policies to support application and transfer of sciences and technologies, especially high technologies in agricultural production.

– Lead, coordinate with relevant ministries, provinces in efficiently, effectively conducting the key and prioritized scientific and technological programs and tasks to ensure sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong Delta.

– Promote research on environmental protection, disaster prevention, vulnerability mitigation, negative impacts of climate change in the Mekong Delta, strengthen international cooperation in research, application and technology transfer for sustainable development of the Mekong Delta.

i) Ministry of Foreign Affairs

– Lead, coordinate and promote effective participation of Viet Nam in the existing development cooperation frameworks with the countries of Mekong Subregion, and between Mekong Subregion and international development partners, especially promoting the exploitation and sustainable, fair use of the resources of the river basin, including water resources, on the basis of harmonized interests, for sustainable and inclusive development of the Mekong Delta.

– Coordinate with Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to improve the effectiveness of Viet Nam’s participation in international Mekong River Commission; promote and seek supports for the commission’s activities from other countries and international organizations as development partners; urge the non-member upstream countries quickly become member of the Commission.

– Coordinate with Ministry of Environment and Environment to expand and strengthen strategic partnership on climate change response, including a strategic climate change partnership with the Netherlands; search and propose to establish and develop new cooperation frameworks with other countries, organizations and international partners in this field; Maximally mobilize external resources, including capital, science and technology, to support sustainable development of the Mekong Delta.

Ministry of Justice

– Lead, coordinate, guide the relevant ministries and provinces review and complete, and submit to competent agencies or under its authority, to issue legal documents to ensure sustainable and climate resilience development of the Mekong Delta.

Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

– Implement the Master plan on development of the Mekong Delta to 2020, with a vision toward 2020; focusing on development of eco-tourism based on specific characteristics of the region (riverside gardens, river water), inter-regional and international tourism routes; Promoting tourism products of the Mekong Delta to the world.

– Preserve, embellish and develop cultural identities, cultural works, revolutionary historical relics; preserve and promote natural and cultural heritages; Develop a plan to preserve the development of culture and information of ethnic minorities in the Mekong Delta.

Ministry of Education and Training, Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs

– Promote vocational training, develop human resources, especially high quality manpower associated with labor export market, so that people participate actively, and play the central role of the transformation of production and livelihoods, meeting the region’s needs; Renovate of the training to turn farmers into highly skilled agricultural workers and contribute significantly to the restructuring of labor force.

– Promote export of manpower.

Ministry of Information and Communications

Guide media and press agencies to undertake communication activities to raise awareness of people in the Mekong Delta on the opportunities from the sustainable and climate resilience transformation development model.

National Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs

Lead and coordinate with the relevant ministries, Mekong Delta localities and agencies in reviewing and formulating the comprehensive preferential policies for socio-economic development of the Kh’Mer ethnic minority region; training Kh’Mer ethnic officials in the Mekong Delta.

m) The Ministry of Health leads, coordinates with the People’s Committees of the localities in the Mekong Delta in reviewing the planning on the medical examination and treatment establishments; care and improve capable health care system; enhance the hygiene conditions and monitor the quality of drinking water and daily-life activities for people in the context of climate change.

People’s Committees of Mekong Delta localities

– Lead, coordinate with the Ministry of Information and Communications and other relevant agencies to promote propagation and raise awareness for all levels of government agencies and people to fully and accurately understand the challenges that the Mekong Delta and each locality are facing; Actively adapt to climate change and other impacts from the upstream; call and mobilize resources to protect, rehabilitate and restore the forests, especially the protected forest systems, coastal mangroves.

– Actively review, formulate and implement socio-economic and development plans and specialization accounting for specific conditions and natural laws; actively respond to climate change; live together with salinity, droughts and floods, based on the integrated master plan for sustainable development of the Mekong Delta under the principle of putting people at the center.

– Update the forecast, review the feasibility, redefine the economic structure to realize potentials and advantages of the locality; link consumption with production and ensure sustainable development.

– Build economic models suitable to the natural conditions, pro-active living with flooding, salinity and drought; Create a self-initiative value chain starting from seed production, storage, processing to distribution of agriculture, forestry and fishery products. Change the thinking on agriculture production from food security to diversified, large-scale and modern agriculture products, linking with consumption market; make the Mekong Delta not only absorb and apply advanced science and technology of the world, the Fourth Technology Revolution but also invent, create new special agriculture models, adapting to climate change

– Preserve and develop core values of the Mekong Delta to create a basis for the development of ecotourism and waterway tourism based on advantages of each sub-region as well as actively take opportunity of brackish and salt water-based economy.

– Develop infrastructure and residential areas in the flooded area based on limited use of sand for ground leveling; create reservoirs and preserve natural wetland areas for water retention.

6. Organization of implementation

a) The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment leads, coordinates with the National Committee for Climate Change and relevant agencies periodically conduct preliminary and final reviews on the implementation of Resolution, organize Forum on sustainable and climate resilience development of the Mekong Delta to inspect, urge, evaluate works, solutions from preceding Forum, and discuss, propose strategic orientations, new solutions with specific outcomes and deadlines as required by Prime Minister, Government.

b) Ministries, Government’s agencies, People’s Committees of the Mekong Delta localities:

– Based on the tasks assigned in this Resolution, elaborate and promulgate detailed implementation plan before the 2nd quarter of 2018; Organize the synchronous and drastic measures for vigorous transformation of sustainable development of Mekong Delta; Periodically report and submit the implementation progress to Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for synthesis and submit to Prime Minister, Government.

– Lead the reviewing, amending, supplementing or elaborating new sectoral plans under State mandate by December 2018, which shall serve as basis for Ministry of Planning and Investment to elaborate the Master plan on sustainable and climate resilience development of the Mekong Delta to 2030, vision to 2050.

– Collaborate with Ministry of Planning and Investment to develop the Master plan on sustainable and climate resilience development of the Mekong Delta to 2030, with a vision to 2050 taking the multi-sectoral integrated approach.

c) Ministry of Planning and Investment prepares the five-year review of the implementation of Conclusion 28-KL/TW dated 14 August 2012 of Politburo on directions, tasks and solutions for socio-economic development, security and defense of the Mekong Delta to 2020, promulgated together with Decision No. 2270/QD-TTg on 21 November 2013, to be completed by December 2018.

d) Propose to Politburo to consider, steer the preliminary five-year review of the implementation of the Conclusion 28-KL/TW dated 14 August 2012 on directions, tasks and solutions for socio-economic development, security and defense the Mekong Delta to 2020; Consider to promulgate a Resolution on sustainable and climate resilience development of the Mekong Delta.

d) Propose the National Assembly to consider, adjust, supplement and allocate funds for implementation of programs, projects, projects and tasks specified in this Resolution.

e) Request the People’s Councils at all levels, the Viet Nam Fatherland Front and union organizations at all levels to step up the supervision and propagation of the implementation of the Resolution./.

Quang Minh-Anh Minh