In a bid to address the unexpected transformations brought about by climate change and socio-economic factors in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD), the Research Institute for Climate Change (DRAGON-Mekong) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) have joined forces. Recognizing the need for enhanced collaboration in climate change and sustainable development, the two organizations recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on June 8th, 2023. The ceremony boasted an esteemed presence, including Prof. Ha Thanh Toan, the respected Rector of Can Tho University (CTU), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Van Pham Dang Tri, Director of DRAGON-Mekong, and Dr. Andrew Wyatt, the Deputy Head of the Lower Mekong Sub-region at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), among other distinguished individuals. The primary objective of this collaboration is to collectively address shared concerns and devise sustainable solutions for the common problems plaguing the Mekong Delta region.
The MoU signed by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Van Pham Dang Tri and Dr. Andrew Wyatt.
The cooperation agreement serves as the foundation for establishing a robust relationship between the two organizations, aiming to leverage their scientific expertise and translate it into valuable recommendations for sustainable development. The agreement encompasses, but is not limited to, four key components, outlined as follows:
- Collaboration on research, information exchange, and capacity for climate change adaptation and sustainable development with a special focus on the Mekong Delta;
- Implementation of programs/projects funded by international donors to develop mechanisms, policies, and guidelines to improve the efficiency of management and implementation of activities related towards sustainable development and climate change adaptation and policy supports;
- Co-organization of international and national workshops, technical group meetings to develop a network of managers, scientists, and technical experts to participate in the areas of cooperation;
- Co-organization of international and national workshops, technical group meetings to develop a network of managers, scientists, and technical experts to participate in the areas of cooperation.
Distinguished participants in MoU Signing Ceremony.
Speaking on behalf of Can Tho University, Prof. Ha Thanh Toan underscored the inclusive nature of the signed MOU, emphasizing that its purpose extends beyond the collaboration between IUCN and DRAGON-Mekong. The agreement is intended to encompass the wide range of knowledge and expertise available at the university. The collaboration will involve research, knowledge sharing, and joint efforts in organizing international and national dialogues, workshops, and training programs. These initiatives are designed to enhance knowledge, strengthen community capacity to adapt to climate change and foster sustainable development in the Delta region.
Prof. Ha Thanh Toan performs before signing MoU.
Dr. Wyatt pays great attention to the socio-economic development of the Mekong Delta, especially in coastal areas. As an expert from the IUCN, Dr. Wyatt focuses on implementing natural solutions to enhance the resilience of the Delta. Collaborating with DRAGON-Mekong, specific projects are planned to leverage strengths in climate change adaptation and sustainable development, following the MoU framework.
In this context, Dr. Wyatt introduces three key projects: the IKEA sustainable agriculture project, the UBS coastal squeeze project, and the Mekong Delta coastal project. These initiatives offer excellent opportunities to explore potential collaboration and discuss follow-up activities for socio-economic advancement in the region.
Dr. Wyatt shares their experience and expectations in the MoU signing ceremony meeting.
Writer: Nguyen Luyen Phuong Doan
Poster: Tran Quoc Dung