On May 29th, 2017, Can Tho University (CTU) collaborated with People and Nature Reconciliation, Embassy of Sweden in Vietnam and Vietnam Environmental Journalists Forum held International workshop on Mekong water security risks and Narratives in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Attending the workshop was about 200 delegates including government officials, non-governmental organizations, scientists, regional and local reporters from Vietnam, Sweden, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand.
Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is now one of the world’s most fragile regions appearing most vulnerable to climate hazards, notably temperature rises and extreme drought followed by freshwater scarcity and salinity intrusion. More challenging is the fact that upstream dam-building and water diversion projects have caused severe and irreparable damage to the Delta, making the impacts of climate change become much more serious than what was assumed in prevailing climate change scenarios. As a result, the Delta has so much at stake due to increasing water shortages, which in turn may lead to increased rate of salinity, inland ground depression, and humanitarian and other economic impacts.
The workshop aims to bring together recognized scientists, experts, journalists, government officials and farmers across the Mekong Basin to tell their stories, their experience and their aspiration in coping with the increasing water shortage caused by the Mekong mainstream dams and climate change. The outcomes would be expected to raise awareness about dual impacts simultaneously caused by climate change and upper Mekong unsustainable hydropower projects environment on the Lower Mekong Subregion, including the Mekong Delta of Vietnam and that of Cambodia; to build understanding across regional journalists of the Mekong water security risks and their implications for regional and international communities from ground-up and interdisciplinary perspectives; to promote better communication and media practice on environmental security matters in the Lower Mekong Subregion so that the voices of local communities and affected areas could be heard and acknowledged in advance; and to enhance information-sharing and networking among journalists across the region.
Speaking at the workshop, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Ha Thanh Toan, Rector of CTU stated "I am confident that this workshop and its follow-up field trip will be a great chance for foreign environment journalists to experience and thoroughly understand the real situation in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta which is recognized both as the world’s important biodiversity conservation region and as the downstream victim of upstream mismanagement".
Assoc.Prof.Dr. Ha Thanh Toan presenting flowers and gifts to Swedish journalist andrepresentative of People and Nature Reconciliation
(Source: Information and Network Management Center - CTU)
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