LookAtVietnam – State management agencies, local authorities and people
all have geared up to get adapted to the climate changes. However, they need to
take long term strategies instead of following temporary measures.
Lacking long term vision
Hearing about the climate changes, orchards’ owners have been trying to do
anything they can to rescue themselves. Tran Van Dong, a farmer in My Hiep
commune of Cao Lanh City in Dong Thap province, tried to re-plant the 500 square
meter of guava orchard which was inundated in the floods.
Right in 2000 – 2001, when seeing the water level rising and falling
unexpectedly, Dong tried to build embankment to prevent the orchard from the
flood. However, he could not do anything in the latest flood which killed 1/3 of
the guava plants.
Meanwhile, gardeners in Lai Vung district lost 372 hectares of orchards in the
It is necessary to draw up long term plants to get adapted to the climate
changes, because not only in Dong Thap, but in the whole Mekong Delta region,
the agricultural production is diversified: rice, farm produce, fruit alternate
with aquaculture crops. Besides, local authorities and residents also have to
take actions to protect the natural aquatic resources which have become
However, to date, local authorities and scientists still have not agreed on how
to build embankments for every agricultural production sector. As a result,
farmers have to take care themselves for their rice fields and orchards and
response to the floods.
Meanwhile, if going along the Tien River, one can see a lot of lighters
collecting sand. Professor Le Trinh, Chair of the association on assessing the
impacts on the environment, affirmed that the sand exploitation is the reason
behind the river flow changes, which cause serious consequences in the flood
Nevertheless, no state management agency has put forward any measures to settle
the problem. Local authorities pour money every year to build embankments every
year, but the river bed still has been getting deeper.
Dang Ngoc Loi, Deputy Director of the Dong Thap provincial Department for
Agriculture and Rural Development, said that in 2010, the local authorities
spent 60 billion dong to build two kilometers of embankments. Meanwhile, he has
estimated that the sum of money needed this year would be much higher.
What to do?
Professor Nguyen Hoang Tri, Secretary General of the National Committee of the
Man and Biosphere Program of UNESCO, said that “every man is for himself,”
therefore, local authorities in the Mekong Delta have not cooperated in the
battle to get adapted to the climate changes, even though they know that this is
the biggest sufferer in the Mekong River areas.
Vietnam’s UNESCO Committee has been trying to persuade three provinces of Ben
Tre, Tra Vinh and Soc Trang to cooperate to form up a world’s biosphere reserve.
If this is recognized by UNESCO, it would make intervention in the construction
of the dam on the Mekong riverhead which would be able to protect the Vietnamese
Mekong Delta region from the flood or drought.
However, except Ben Tre province, Tra Vinh and Soc Trang prove to keep
indifferent to the idea.
In related news, on December 28, WWF Vietnam, in cooperation with the Vietnam
Chamber of Commerce and Industry VCCI held a forum on green businesses getting
adapted to the climate change in the Mekong Delta.
Established in November 2011, the Mekong Delta Green Business Forum commits to
organize production in a harmonization with the environment protection.