Water & Climate
The governments of Vietnam and the Netherlands have a long-standing strategic partnership to cope with the water challenges in Vietnam: too much, too little and too dirty water.
1. Accelerating Climate Adaptation
Droughts, floods, heatwaves, wildfires and sea level rise. Our planet is getting warmer, which has a growing impact on our societies and economies. How to adapt to a new, more extreme climate? During the online international Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS) 2021 on 25 and 26 January, hosted by the Netherlands, global leaders and local stakeholders launched a comprehensive Adaptation Action Agenda that sets out clear commitments to deliver concrete new endeavours and partnerships to make our world more resilient to the effects of climate change. Vietnam actively participated in the Summit, amongst others with an impressive speech by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
During the CAS, several side events took place in Vietnam, such as the Mekong Delta Climate Adaptation Conference in Hanoi, the Drawing contest on climate adaptation at Hanoi-Amsterdam high school for the Gifted, the 'Talk Vietnam' program featuring Ambassador Akkerman and ‘the son of the Mekong Delta’ Nguyen Huu Thien on national political-social TV channel VTV1, the English debate on climate topic on the national education TV channel (VTV7) and a scientific paper competition on climate adaptation with 6 universities active in agriculture, water management and forestry in Northern Vietnam.
2. Rise and Fall research program
The Mekong Delta is one of the most vulnerable deltas to sea level rise, as the delta is much lower than previously assumed. However, social and economic developments also have a significant impact on the land. Urbanisation, land-use transformation, intensification of economic activities and human protection against natural disasters have led to the large-scale extraction of fresh groundwater, heavy loading of infrastructure, upstream dykes and dam construction as well as loss of habitat and biodiversity. These activities have accelerated the sediment starvation, salinization, land subsidence and erosion. In the Rise and Fall research program Vietnam and The Netherlands collaborate to address these challenges. The Dutch multi-disciplinary approach is used to research fresh groundwater reserves, saline intrusion to surface water, land subsidence and governance. The program plays an important role in determining strategies and policies for the sustainable development of Mekong Delta.
3. Urban flood control in Ho Chi Minh City
In order to deal with the flooding of Ho Chi Minh City experts from the Netherlands have proposed an innovative public-private partnership project for sustainable flood prevention. The southern economic hub needs multifunctional dykes and drainage canals in hotspots that are usually flooded. The proposal is to design the infrastructure in such a way that it generates income to pay for itself. Multifunctional dykes and canal facilities are combined or integrated with commercial properties, parking areas, stores, and entertainment centers that generate income that pay for initial investment, operation and maintenance costs. Beside, a new 200-hectare rainwater reservoir will capture rainwater from the whole region in order to prevent flooding. This eco-system for flora and fauna is perfect for leisure and tourism, so inhabitants can benefit from the economic growth it will generate. At the moment feasibilities studies are carried out.