Scientists believe regional cooperation will help cope with the effects of climate change.
A research work by the Institute of Meteorological Science and Climate Change and the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute shows that climate change impact includes water shortages, lower water quality, and river bank and coastline erosion.
The problems have become even more serious because of the appearance of many hydropower dams on the Mekong mainstream upper course and the overexploitation of natural resources.
Many wetlands such as mangroves, ponds, lakes, lagoons and wet grasslands are disappearing to make room for irrigation works, afforestation projects, salt fields, industrial development and shrimp farming.
The overexploitation of natural resources is a major threat to the ecosystem. The land and water reclamation and intensive agriculture, plus the negative ecological impacts left by the war have significantly reduced the area of natural forests, wetlands and other natural habitats.
|The overexploitation of natural resources is a major threat to the ecosystem. The land and water reclamation and intensive agriculture, plus the negative ecological impacts left by the war have significantly reduced the area of natural forests, wetlands and other natural habitats.|
Due to coastal protection works, the area of coastal tidal areas has narrowed, reducing the mangrove area which worsens coastal erosion.
As the mangrove forests have shrunk, shrimp hatchery areas have increased and the use of salted underground water for aquaculture, saline intrusion, especially in coastal areas, is getting worse.
Meanwhile, hydropower dams have caused the decline of flow in the dry season and the decline of alluvium. It is estimated that the amount of alluvium reaching the Mekong Delta is 15 million tons only. Saline intrusion will increase in most coastal areas.
Saline intrusion appears earlier by 1-1.5 months than previously. In the years before 2012,l tlsaline intrusion occurred from February to April. In recent years, it began in late December and reached its peak in February.
Since 2010, landslides have increased in both scope and severity, threatening people's lives and properties, seriously affecting the security of disaster prevention works, infrastructure in coastal areas, and degrading coastal mangroves.
The erosion causes the loss of 300 hectares of land and coastal mangrove forests each year. 564 landslide spots with the total length of 834 kilometers have been found in Mekong Delta.
These include 512 riverbank landslide spots (566 kilometers in total), mostly along the Tien, Hau, Vam Co Dong and Vam Co Tay Rivers, and 52 coastline spots (268 kilometers).
The experts from the Institute of Human Geography under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) believe that the problems need to be solved with solutions on regional cooperation.
It is necessary to complete coordination to ensure the harmonization of development interests among stakeholders, between immediate priorities and long-term goals, and minimize conflicts of interest among localities, sub-regions in the region, and among economic sectors.
The rapid population increase as well as agricultural development and aquaculture in the last decades have significantly reduced the natural value of Mekong Delta.
As a member state of the Ramsar Convention, Vietnam has carried out many activities to encourage and enhance the conservation of wetlands to cope with climate change.