Deputy Delta Commissioner of Netherlands visits Mekong Delta Conference

The Deputy Delta Commissioner of the Netherlands, Mr Hermen Borst, participated in the Mekong Delta Conference in Can Tho on 26-27 September 2017. This major national event saw the participation of government leaders, academics and representatives of international organizations and development partners. They discussed the long-term sustainable development for the Mekong Delta in context of climate change, and looked at the necessary large-scale transformations to secure a future for its inhabitants and its ecology.

The Deputy Delta Commissioner’s presentation on some lessons learned from the Delta Programme of the Netherlands, which are of relevance for the work on the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, was appreciated at the conference. He mentioned that this pivotal event follows on an increasingly intense and productive debate amongst national, provincial and international stakeholders regarding the optimal strategy to provide a sustainable future for its 17 million inhabitants. He emphasized:  

“It’s extremely important to have a vision for the long term, because the transformations that are needed are also long-term. For example water retention in the upper stream of the Mekong Delta; and the salinity intrusion in the lower part of the Mekong Delta. All the projects that you’re dealing with, have to fit in this long-term vision.”

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Vietnam, Ms Nienke Trooster, recalled a question of Mr Borst on the previous day in her keynote speech the second day of the conference:

"Do we want to be remembered by future generations as the one that CAUSED the problems related to climate change adaptation, or do we want to be remembered as the ones that SOLVED problems?”

The Ambassador recognized the strong leadership of PM Phuc and Vietnamese leaders for bringing together all sectors and provinces to plan, prioritize, and implement resilient strategy for the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta. Ambassador Trooster said that for herself and her experts, it has been immensely stimulating to cooperate in a community of practice with the government of Vietnam and, together with other development partners, working out the problems and their possible solutions. Ambassador Trooster also confirmed that knowledge sharing will remain the backbone of  the bilateral cooperation and the Netherlands will remain the strategic partner of Vietnam and looks forward to learn together with you and other development partners.

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You will find below the speech and presentation by both the Deputy Delta Commissioner of the Netherlands, as well as the keynote speech by the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Vietnam.

The Netherlands delegation (from left to right: Ms. Uyen, Senior Trade Advisor; Mr. Kompier, Strategic Advisor; Mr. Borst, Deputy Delta Commissioner; Ms. Trooster, Ambassador; Mr. Umans, First Secretary Water & Climate)