A kich-off workshop for project design for climate change adaptation in the Mekong Delta

An international workshop named “Kick-off Workshop for Project Design Adaptation in the Mekong Delta”, was held in Ben Tre on March 20, 2013, at the opening of a working tour by the experts from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Ben Tre for reality check for a new project design.

Workshop organizers included the IFAD in collaboration with Ben Tre’s People’s Committee. A mong participants were the IFAD International representatives, the IFAD Vietnam representatives, delegates from the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the People’s Committees of Ben Tre and Tra Vinh provinces.

Delivered throughout the whole day of workshop were many case-study reports and speeches on effects of climate change on the Mekong Delta region and to the agriculture and rural development sector; on community-based management of risks posed by natural disasters; on climate change scenarios in Ben Tre and Tra Vinh provinces and the demands by the agriculture and rural development sector; private sector’s scenario on agriculture, aquaculture.

Domestic and foreign guests present at the workshop. (Photo by P.Y)

There was also information about currently deployed works as well as those to be undertaken by the World Bank and the UK Government in the Mekong Delta relating to climate change.

Based on what had been delivered at the workshop, participants agreed on a basic outline for a future project on climate change, which is emphasized on how to make use of the climate change, the penetration of salty water into inland rivers as a good chance to adapt to it.

After the workshop, the project designers were going on a field trip to rural areas in Ben Tre in order to specify real things and needs by the province for the project building.

The project “Adaptation in the Mekong Delta” is considered as the next step of the now completed projects “Development of Business with the Rural Poor” (DBRP) in Ben Tre and “Improvement of Market Participation for the Poor” (IMPP) in Tra Vinh, which are all sponsored by the IFAD.

Mr Tran Anh Tuan, Vice President of Ben Tre People’s Committee, head of the Steering Committee of the DBRP, said, after four years into operation, the DBRP has brought about positive effects upon the annual poverty reduction rate of 2% in communes in the project. Mr Tuan said, however, local communes were still facing great challenges posed by the climate change phenomenon such as the penetration of salty water, unpredictable weather incidences, high tide, drought, flood, more frequent and larger epidemic diseases, etc. These risks would definitely cause considerable damages to local people’s production and their livelihood. So, it was a great chance that the IFAD decided to continue to sponsor a new project to help furnish Ben Tre people with necessary and efficient skills to adapt to living in climate change environment.

Translated by Truong Hung

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