According to the Minister of Science and Technology (MOST), Huỳnh Thành Đạt, the following six orientations are needed to solve the major issues of the Mekong River Delta:
(1) developing large projects and tasks on interdisciplinary and inter-regional science & technology (S&T) to research and solve the major, urgent, systematical issues in the region.
(2) constructing and installing automatic measurement and monitoring systems on environmental, soil, climate, hydrological parameters to timely deliver information, proactively forecast, and appropriately respond in each period, especially in the response to extreme weather impacts. In the meantime, promoting investment in the application and upscaling of crop restructuring models, especially for the areas dealing with water problems like drought, water scarcity, and saline intrusion.
(3) focusing on S&T solutions to ensure long-term water resources and proactive supplying of water for water scarcity coastal areas in Mekong Delta, such as, constructing freshwater reservoirs from the river and canal systems, exploiting groundwater in areas where the quality and quantity of groundwater are adequate, and desalination systems using renewable energy.
(4) promoting the application of successful results of S&T projects on solutions to prevent coastal erosion under the S&T program for sustainable development of the Southwest region. This program needs to continue to study the holistic S&T solutions, particularly ensuring the safety of the irrigation infrastructure during the prolonged drought and saline intrusion in Mekong Delta.
(5) Cần Thơ city should consider establishing a Center for studying, receiving, and transferring technologies to promote the application of S&T advancements and innovations for socio-economic development of Mekong Delta, focusing on agriculture and rural area.
(6) Mekong Delta provinces should invest in universities and research institutes to effectively promote research strengths and collaborate with enterprises, which are considered the center of S&T and innovation application. This connection, under the support of the government via appropriate mechanisms and policies, will generate resonance energy and positive impacts on the socio-economic development of the region.
These comments were within the framework of the recent workshop “Environmental protection and climate change adaptation in the Mekong Delta to 2030 with a vision to 2045” co-organized by the Central Economic Commission and Vietnam National University – Hồ Chí Minh City (VNUHCM) on 29 September 2021. The MOST has assigned VNUHCM and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences to conduct an S&T program for sustainable development of the Southwest region in the period of 2014 – 2019 (extended until June 2021). This program aims to contribute to the implementation of Resolution 120/NQ-CP on climate-resilient and sustainable development of the Mekong Delta.
Source & further information: “6 định hướng về KH&CN thích ứng với biến đổi khí hậu tại ĐBSCL” at http://baochinhphu.vn, accessed on 8 October 2021.