Sediment in Mekong Delta decline by half
Sediments are very important source of nutrients for agriculture, fisheries nurture and biodiversity for the Mekong Delta. This natural resource is at risk of serious depletion.
According to Marc Goichot, expert of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), in 1992 the amount of suspended sediment in the Mekong River recorded about 160 million tons / year, the number in 2014 is only about 75 million tons / year.
Another study on the sediments and nutrients of the Mekong River for the stability of the Mekong Delta, the coastal zone and fishery resources showed that the total sediment amount has been reduced by 4% – 5% over the period of 2003 – 2011.
Mr. Marc Goichot said that the sand exploitation and the construction of hydroelectric dams have caused a lot of impacts affecting the movement of sediment. This is the main reason causing the significant reduction of fine sediment in the Mekong river. That leads to the declination of soil fertility, crop yields reductioin, the decrease of stock of fishery in this region affecting to biodiversity and the livelihoods of the local people.
Dr Dao Trong Tu, Advisor of Vietnam Rivers Network said that the consequences of the sediment declination in Mekong Delta caused land and coastal erosion. At the moment, 265 areas are under danger of erosion with a total length of over 450 km. Every year, landslides have destroyed 500 hectares of the region. So, several years later, the area of lost land will be equivalent to the average size of one commune in the region. It is forecasted that by the year 2050, one million people will be directly affected by coastal erosion and land loss in the delta.
According to Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Bui Cach Tuyen, the Mekong Delta has an important position of socio-economic development and is a region with great potential for development of agriculture, especially food production, fisheries, aquaculture , fruit trees. Therefore, the socio-economic development and protection of natural resources diversity this delta is a critical task.
Deputy Minister Bui Cach Tuyen said that the essential measures to protect the sustainable use of sediments in the delta is to integrate the management, exploitation and sustainable use of sediment with conservation and sustainable development of wetlands water; maintain ecosystem services in development plans, programs and projects; to propose conservation strategies and sustainable use of wetlands in Vietnam; to zone wetlands conservation. At the same time, international cooperation in the field of management, information sharing, cooperative research in Mekong River basin, environmental protection and biodiversity conservation and sediment transport investment should get more attention.
According to Mr. Marc Goichot, it is necessary to both build the damp and solutions. There should be collaboration between scientists and managers to make appropriate management policies.
Thus, sediment protection in Mekong river delta is an important job. For a comprehensive solution, sustainable exploitation of natural resources on the river needs the close cooperation of 13 provinces to provide a unified management regulations and inter-provincial cooperation in management. Each locality should have a specific action plan, mobilize local resources to build the Mekong Delta sustainably.
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