The drought and salinity intrusion in the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam: Assessment Report
As an impact of the ongoing El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, severe drought
and salinity intrusion has been occurring in Mekong River Delta (MRD) of Vietnam and has
caused varying degrees of damage to agriculture, fisheries and the livelihoods of people in the
region. On 15 March 2016, the Vietnamese government and the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) organized a meeting with donors, international organizations and other
partners to discuss joint efforts for drought response and recovery. Another meeting was
presided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Minister Cao Duc Phat
and the UN Resident Coordinator on 30 March 2016 to report on the recent rapid assessments
of current natural hazards and call for immediate, medium- and long-term support from the
international community. MARD recognizes that this crisis and its subsequent effects (e.g.
inundation after the drought) will recur in the future, and that there is a need to prepare and
plan for necessary response measures.
In response to this urgent call, the CGIAR Centers operating in Vietnam, in collaboration with
MARD, organized a joint field assessment in the MRD to have a first-hand observation and
assessment of the effects of the drought and salinity intrusion currently experienced by the
region. The CGIAR interventions recommended based on the assessment may support the
short-, medium- and long-term planning in response to the impacts of climate change. The
strength that the CGIAR could contribute is in downscaling some of the global data and analyses
to Vietnam scenarios and forecasts for their planning, recommending climate-smart agriculture
(CSA) options for integration in current and future donor/development interventions, and
identifying opportunities in research for development (R4D) for future preparedness.
CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security - Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA). 2016. Assessment Report: The drought and salinity intrusion in the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam. Hanoi, Vietnam: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).