Working for a climate-resilient future for the Mekong Delta
Title: Mekong Delta Climate Resilience Programme (MCRP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Viet Nam
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)
Overall term: 2019 to 2021
The Mekong Delta is among the regions in the world most seriously impacted by climate change. Coastal erosion, salinisation, freshwater shortages and increasing extreme weather events are threatening the livelihoods of more than 17 million people in the Delta, which is home to around one fifth of Viet Nam’s population. Intensive land and water management, construction of flood protection dykes and the unchecked expansion of dam-building projects – particularly in upstream areas such as China, Laos and Cambodia – are increasing the pressure on the complex and delicate ecosystem.
People living on the poverty line are often hardest hit by crop failure. The infrastructure and land-use measures of an investment policy that is scarcely adapted to the meet the challenges of climate change are compromising the quality of already-scarce groundwater resources and soil fertility and indirectly jeopardising further reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
The Vietnamese Government is currently working on a holistic approach to integrated and sustainable management of the Mekong Delta. To date, however, regional implementation in the Delta has been unsystematic. There is a lack of coordination between the national authorities and the provinces as well as a lack of cooperation between provinces.
The management of natural resources in the Mekong Delta takes climate change into account (climate-resilient management) and greater resilience to the impacts of climate change improves sustainable development in the region.
The project supports the Vietnamese partners in establishing an institutional framework for the regional coordination of climate-resilient development in the Mekong Delta. On behalf of the German Government, GIZ provides policy, planning and technical advice to help clarify mandates, responsibilities and interfaces. The project also incorporates a coordinated package of training measures for government officials and others.
Gender equality (gender mainstreaming) is ensured strategically by making it an integral part of the regional coordination mechanism in the form of gender-sensitive guidelines.
To improve the regional coordination of investment planning, GIZ and its partners are designing feasibility studies and testing technologies and solutions. These include sustainable value chains for selected agricultural products and aquaculture that are adapted to climate change and altered environmental conditions while also having market potential.
The use of innovative technologies that have been adapted to climate change is also being stepped up. The focus here is on inter-provincial land and water management and on coastal protection, using methods such as remote sensing with lightweight drones in areas of erosion on the coast, along canals and in mangrove forests. Data processing coupled with satellite-based big data for climate forecasts or for coastlines and shorelines enables infrastructure investment decisions to be made.
The project builds on a holistic regional approach to coastal planning that was developed in a predecessor project for integrated coastal management in Viet Nam (the Integrated Coastal Management Programme, ICMP). This inter-provincial focus on the coast is now being extended to include all 13 provinces of the Mekong Delta. The project also involves all relevant state actors at national and provincial level. Together with the private sector and civil society, these actors are developing value chains, technologies and solutions.