The Hanoitimes – The second World Delta Dialogues concluded in HCM City on May 21 after three days of productive discussions.
The event, jointly held by America’s WETLAND Foundation, the Dutch Embassy in Vietnam, and the HCM City-based National University, was attended by nearly 300 delegates representing the Netherlands, the US, countries in the Mekong sub-region, State agencies, the private sector, and non-governmental organisations.
Discussions focused on preventing “unintended consequences“, a term often arising when debating the management of great river systems and the ever-present risk of long-term, potentially devastating repercussions.
“We come to the Mekong Delta both in search of answers and to leverage what we have learned in attempting to restore one of the most productive US assets, the Mississippi Delta,” said the Louisiana-based WETLAND Foundation Chairman R. King Milling.
Participants proposed ideas for boosting economic development in coastal areas, maintaining fragile ecological balances, and adapting to climate change in Vietnam.
They also touched upon the long-term development plans for the Mekong Delta and shared experiences in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Thai Lai raised concerns over the negative impact caused by rising sea levels in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, and called for international cooperation in addressing this issue.
America’s WETLAND Foundation hosted the first World Delta Dialogues in the US in October 2010. Representatives from 15 of the world’s most important river deltas gathered to discuss the most pressing threats to their continued health.