Two of planet earth’s great river systems, the Mekong and the Mississippi, were the focus of DELTAS2013VIETNAM: World Delta Dialogues II, as global deltaic leaders gathered in Ho Chi Minh City.
In May 2013, the America’s WETLAND Foundation, Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City, the Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in conjunction with our many partners, held World Deltas Dialogues II.
The America’s WETLAND Foundation hosted the first World Delta Dialogues in New Orleans in October 2010, with 15 world deltas represented. An action agenda to both help draw attention to coastal land loss issues and to create solutions was adopted by delegates who represented governments, NGOs, science, engineering and cultural groups. In the face of hastened sea level rise due to climate variations, along with subsidence and river system development, the Dialogues’ second iteration addressed some of the world’s most challenging issues.
At the second Dialogue, expert presentations informed the discussions, but the heart of the conference took place in charrettes over a period of three days, with U.S., Dutch and Vietnamese facilitators guiding each group. The charrettes generated an intense exchange of ideas as participants discussed challenges and opportunities common to the planet’s deltas, more than 10 of which were represented at the conference. At the end of the conference, the attendees approved a Communiqué affirming the need for cooperation among peoples to save the world’s great deltas. The Communiqué was delivered shortly thereafter to a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hanoi.