Last update 5/3/2012 5:00:00 PM (GMT+7)

Netherlands suggests scenarios for climate change
Experts from the Netherlands suggested four socio-economic scenarios for climate change adaptation in the Mekong Delta at a seminar held in Can Tho on Monday.

Dick Kevelam, chief expert of the Netherlands’ Mekong Delta Plan (MDP), suggested two scenarios focusing on “food security” and “agro-business” if agriculture is chosen as the backbone of the delta’s economy.

The first scenario will prioritize rice and seafood production. The second one will pay attention to value added in agro-business.

On the other hand, if the Mekong Delta aims at economic diversification, the Dutch expert recommended two scenarios named “agricultural corridor” and “dual note”. While the former will focus on industry, the latter will stimulate economic growth, restrict migration, boost urban population, connect industrial parks and protect agriculture.

In each scenario, the Mekong Delta will play a different role in the national economy, and have different schemes for climate change adaptation as well as land and water use, said Kevelam at the seminar organized by the Southwest Steering Committee and the Institute for Organization Development Consultancy.

Experts and scientists deemed the four scenarios breakthrough models for the Mekong Delta to tackle climate changes.

It has been forecast that the delta will be one of the regions to suffer the most damages caused by drought, flooding, salinity intrusion and rising sea levels. The experts of MDP predicted sea levels would increase by two meters in 2100 if the Greenland ice melted, submerging over a half of the Mekong Delta area under water.

Professor Vo Tong Xuan, an agricultural expert, told the Daily that he opted for the second scenario to improve the region’s livelihood. “I choose the ‘agro-business’ scenario because it would assist sustainable development of agriculture and help farmers in the Mekong Delta increase their incomes.”

Tran Hong Ha, deputy minister of Natural Resources and Environment, noted that “the Dutch experts have suggested eco-friendly models for economic development.

“Those are other breakthrough measures for Vietnam, which require institutional changes. We will continue to seek appropriate scenarios to propose to the Government.”