An effective approach for risk mapping and adaptation planning is being implemented in various important agricultural regions in Vietnam, in order to help farmers mitigate climate-related risks.

With the successful implementation of the Climate-Smart Mapping and Adaptation Planning (CS-MAP) in the provinces of Mekong River Delta (MRD), the Department of Crop Production (DCP) of Vietnam started to apply the same methodology to the provinces of South Central Coast and Red River Delta and Northern Midlands in 2020. For the Red River Delta and Northern Midlands, CS-MAP was used to address irrigation water shortage and to manage reservoirs in the region. On the other hand, CS-MAP is being applied to eight provinces in South Central Coast to help farmers cope with drought and salinity intrusion problems.

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Southeast Asia (CCAFS-SEA) has continued supporting DCP in conducting the capacity building activities and the mapping and consultation workshops. The DeRISK Southeast Asia program, which is being implemented by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), The University of Southern Queensland (USQ), and International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) – Asia Regional Office, has supported the scaling of CS-MAP in four South Central Coast provinces and 12 Red River Delta and Northern Midlands provinces.

Addressing drought and salinity intrusion in South Central Coast

The CS-MAP initiative in South Central Coast was aimed to support the direction and administration of water supply for agricultural production, and prevent and combat droughts for rice and annual crop areas in the region. Using the CS-MAP approach, the research team, together with the local stakeholders, produced a set of drought risk maps and production adaptation maps. The maps were developed for three cropping seasons (i.e. winter-spring, summer-autumn, and autumn) and three water source scenarios. On 15 October 2020, DCP handed over the provincial CS-MAPs for four provinces in South Central Coast during the Seasonal Review Workshop organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The adaption plans identified by the research team and the stakeholders are: concentration of production areas, conversion from normal crops to drought-tolerant crops, early planting (in flood-prone areas) and late planting (in drought-prone areas), and conversion of crop structure.

Managing water supply in Red River Delta and Northern Midlands

To address the water management crisis in Red River Delta and Northern Midlands, DCP, together with CCAFS SEA and CIAT, tapped the Water Resources Planning Institute to implement CS-MAP in all 10 provinces of Red River Delta. Because they are an integral part of the watershed system in the region, two provinces of the Northern Midlands and Mountainous region, specifically Bac Giang and Phu Tho, were also included in the CS-MAP project.

Using the CS-MAP methodology, the research team developed the maps on: water shortage risk, winter-spring rice cultivation schedule, and areas that need to change crop structure in winter-spring cropping to adapt to the water shortage situation. To implement the adaptation plans based on the CS-MAP, the government issued the MARD Official Document No. 8278 to instruct the 12 provinces in applying the water discharge schedule and cropping calendar for winter-spring season 2020-2021.

CS-MAP workshop

CS-MAP workshop in South Central Coast. CS-MAP is a participatory approach that engages experts from the national and local levels. Photo: CCAFS SEA

Downscaling CS-MAP at the commune level

To increase the effectiveness of the risk management and adaptation strategies, the CS-MAP methodology has been downscaled to the commune level. Through the Transforming Farming System under Climate Change (TFCC), CS-MAP is currently being used to identify areas of rice production that are not adaptable in the current farming system and propose suitable farming systems. DCP and the National Agricultural Extension Center, together with CCAFS, CIAT, and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), has implemented the TFCC project in three selected communes in MRD, such as Hoa Chanh (U Minh Thuong district, Kien Giang province), An My (Ke Sach district, Soc Trang province), and Tan Phuoc (Go Cong Dong district, Tien Giang province).

In September, the communal CS-MAPs and adaptation plans were officially handed over to the Communal People’s Committee and District Agricultural Services Centre. Later in October, the initial results of TFCC were presented in a workshop on salinity intrusion adaptation planning chaired by the Prime Minister.

Recently, DCP integrated the initial outputs of the TFCC project in their reports on the preliminary review workshop of autumn-winter cropping 2020 and in the implementation plan for winter-spring cropping 2020-2021. DCP also officially directed the provincial DCP of Soc Trang, Kien Giang, and Tien Giang provinces to guide the pilot communes to use the CS-MAPs in rice production and update new information in the map for the following years.

CS-MAP is also recognized as one of the research activities listed in the Vietnam MARD’s Decision No. 2559 recognizing initiatives and scientific research projects that have the scope of influence and effects at the national and ministry levels.

 Eisen Bernardo is the Senior Regional Communication Specialist of CCAFS Southeast Asia