THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
Hanoi, November 17, 2017
On sustainable and climate-resilient development of
the Mekong River delta
Pursuant to the June 19, 2015 Law on Organization of the Government;
Pursuant to Resolution No. 24-NQ/TW of June 3, 2013, of the Party Central Committee of the XIth tenure, on proactive resilience to climate change and strengthening natural resources management and environmental protection;
Pursuant to the Political Bureau’s Conclusion No. 28-KL/TW of August 14, 2012, on orientations, tasks and solutions for socio-economic development and assurance of security and national defense of the Mekong River delta region through 2020;
Based on the outcomes of the Conference on sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong River delta, held on September 26-27, 2017; and discussions and votes of the cabinet members at the Government’s September 2017 regular meeting,
The Mekong River delta is a large land area which makes up 12% of the land area and 19% of the population of the whole country with a dense network of rivers, canals and ditches. It has advantages for developing agriculture, food industry, tourism and renewable energy. It is the biggest agricultural production center in Vietnam with its contributions equal to 50% of rice output, 65% of aquaculture output, 70% of different types of fruits, 95% of rice export volume and 60% of fish export volume of the whole country. It has a convenient location for trade with ASEAN and Mekong Sub-region members.
Over the past years, the Party and State have issued many guidelines and policies, and taken many solutions to promote potential and advantages and create motivation for socio-economic development of the Mekong River delta. This region has seen remarkable developments and huge and significant achievements, especially in the field of agriculture and rural areas. Infrastructure has been gradually invested in a synchronous manner to better serve socio-economic activities and constantly improve people’s lives. The region has been proven to be a leading center for producing and exporting rice, aquatic products and fruit trees in the whole country, contributing to ensure food security and bring significant foreign-currency revenues to serve the national development.
In the context of globalization and international integration, the Mekong River delta has many opportunities for development but is also encountering many challenges because this region is sensitive to natural changes. Climate change and sea level rise happen faster than predicted, causing extreme weather phenomena which affect people’s livelihood and lives. The exploitation of water resources in the upstream Mekong River delta, especially the construction of hydropower dams, has changed the flow, reduced the alluvial deposit and aquatic resources, caused saltwater intrusion further in the region, and adversely impacted socio-economic development of the region. Intensive economic development activities in this region have increasingly revealed severe drawbacks, causing such consequences as environmental pollution, serious ecological imbalance, land subsidence, decline in the ground water level, and coastal erosion; many natural forest areas, particularly mangrove forests, cajeput forests and protection forests, have been cut down, used for other purposes or severely degraded. Moreover, overexploitation of sediment and construction of houses and infrastructure facilities close to river banks, canals and ditches have increased the risk of landslide.
Meanwhile, state management work in several sectors and decentralization of powers between local and central authorities still see overlaps and lack close cooperation; coordination mechanisms for development of the Mekong River delta region remain ineffective. The implementation of the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 593/QD-TTg of April 6, 2016, promulgating the Regulation on pilot association in socio-economic development of the Mekong River delta region during 2016-2020 has been delayed; the master plan on socio-economic development of the Mekong River delta and master plans on development of sectors, fields and localities are not comprehensive and feasible enough; they lack connectivity for the entire region and have no close connection with Ho Chi Minh City, the southern key economic region and the Mekong Sub-region. The mobilization and use of resources for development investment remain limited. The education level and the ratio of applying advanced science and technology in the region are lower than the average level of the whole country; the quality of education and healthcare has not satisfied requirements; high-quality human resources tend to move to other localities.
This reality requires a new vision, strategic orientations, and comprehensive, fundamental and synchronous solutions in order to mobilize to the utmost resources and participation of different economic sectors for sustainable development of the Mekong River delta.
1. Vision and objectives
a/ Vision toward 2100
The Mekong River delta will develop sustainably, safely and prosperously on the basis of appropriate development of high-quality commodity agriculture in combination with services, eco-tourism and industry, focusing on the processing industry, raising the value and competitiveness of agricultural products. The region’s complete and modern infrastructure system will be built, which will become smart, resilient to climate change and safe against disasters; natural resources will be rationally used; biodiversity and historical-cultural traditions will be preserved and developed; and people’s material and spiritual lives will be improved.
b/ Objectives toward 2050
- The Mekong River delta will become a region with a rather high development level in the country and an advanced social organization level; per-capita income will be higher than the national average level, ensuring people’s livelihood; the ratio of eco-agriculture and hi-tech agriculture will account for over 80%, and forest coverage will reach over 9% (against the current 4.3%), and important natural ecosystems will be conserved and developed.
- The socio-economic infrastructure network will be built to be complete and modern. Modern urban systems will be built and rationally distributed in sub-regions. The road and waterway systems will be developed in a synchronous manner and ensure inner-region and inter-region connectivity which are harmonious, uniform, helpful and conflict-free with the system of hydraulic works and dikes. The hydraulic work infrastructure will be built to be complete and suitable to the model of transforming agricultural production for climate change resilience in ecological sub-regions and, at the same time, effective solutions will be worked out for prevention and mitigation of risks for people and the economy when disasters occur. Information and communications infrastructure, electricity supply and water supply and drainage networks will be built in a complete manner. The system of cultural, education and training, science and technology institutions, healthcare, and physical training and sports facilities will be more developed than those in other regions of the whole country; the economy will be developed dynamically and effectively with a suitable economic structure.
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 Công Báo Nos 847-848 (27/11/2017)