Mekong Delta’s sea level rise alarming: US professor
Rising sea levels and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta are becoming alarming, said Prof. David Dapice, Senior Economist, Vietnam and Myanmar Programme, Harvard Kennedy School, at a meeting with leaders of Can Tho city on October 8.
Prof. David Dapice, Senior Economist, Vietnam and Myanmar Programme, Harvard Kennedy School, at the meeting with leaders of Can Tho city on October 8.
Rising sealevels and saltwaterintrusion in the Mekong Delta are becoming alarming, said Prof. David Dapice, SeniorEconomist, Vietnam and Myanmar Programme, Harvard Kennedy School, at a meeting with leaders of Can Tho city on October 8.
The meeting between the municipal People’s Committee and a group of scientists from Fulbright University Vietnam and US-based HarvardUniversity focused on discussing climate change and the city’s adaption policies.
Dapice said astudy released by UtrechtUniversity in the Netherlands shows that the Mekong Delta is subsiding 2 – 3 cmand its sea level is rising by about 0.5 cm per year, while the region is just 80 cm above sea level.
It isestimated that at these current rates, over 12 million people living in theregion will be directlyaffected over the next 50 years if nothing is done, he said.
HarvardUniversity is cooperating with Fulbright University Vietnam to assess the potential impacts of rising sea levels and saltwater intrusion on social welfare andeconomic development in the region.
This report is being conducted to prepare for an annual policydiscussion between Harvard University and the government of Vietnam to be heldin Massachusetts in early November. The discussion will recommend solutions andpolicies to address pressing issues currently facing the Vietnamese government.This year’s topics will beclimate change and the environment.
Can Tho isknown for its immense networkof rivers and canals so the effects of climate change like high tides, drought and saline intrusion havedirect impacts on the city, said Vice Chairman of the municipal People’sCommittee Dao Anh Dung.
The hardesthit by high tides are the districts of Ninh Kieu, Binh Thuy and Cai Rangbecause the drainage systemsin these areas are old, Dung said, adding that adequate drainage has not even been developed on many roads.
According tothe local Department of Natural Resources and Environment, tide levels in Can Tho have surged over the past 15 years, from 1.93m in 2004to 2.25m this year.
To cope withthe high tides, the city has been implementing a World Bank-funded urbandevelopment and resilience project worth 7 trillion VND (301 million USD) from2016 – 2021 to reduce floods and protect nearly 2,700 hectares of agricultural and residential land, and the livelihoods of 423,000 local people.
Can Tho hasalso taken various measures to enhance fresh water supplies for local production and daily activities, and is helping localfarmers switch to droughttolerant crops.
Dapice spoke highly of Can Tho’s efforts torespond to climate change,suggesting the city’s environmental agencies should consider rainwater as asuitable source of water in the wake of declining water quality and volume dueto the impacts of climatechange./. VNA
A new study by Dutch scientists has found that the Mekong Delta is just 0.8 meters above sea water level, which means that 12 million people will have to evacuate in the next 50 years.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Hoang Hiep has urged localities nationwide to step up the construction and repair of structures designed to prevent erosion along river banks and coastal areas before the rainy season