Opening ceremony of Mekong Saltwater Center Project at Tra Vinh University

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TVUOn May 24, 2022, the online opening ceremony of the Mekong Salt Lab Project was held, advancing to the establishment of the Salt/Saltwater Center of the Mekong region at Tra Vinh University.

Attending the ceremony were representatives of the Dutch Embassy in Vietnam; representatives from HZ University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands); experts from The Water Agency (Netherlands); experts from Kim Delta Consulting & Training Company in Vietnam; leaders of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Tra Vinh province; leaders of Tra Vinh Department of Science and Technology, Tra Vinh Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Tra Vinh Farmers’ Association; Tra Vinh Radio and Television Station, along with the leaders and lecturers of Tra Vinh University.

Assoc. Dr. Diep Thanh Tung – Vice President of Tra Vinh University, shared: Saltwater intrusion affects millions of farmers and threatens the future of coastal provinces in the Mekong Delta. Tra Vinh University and other organizations are looking for a solution. The center will support the community in reducing the impact of saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta region and the country.

This project also aims to develop expertise in salinity adaptation including freshwater management and integrated and adaptive planning; transfer interdisciplinary expertise on saltwater intrusion and managing available freshwater resources to farmers; exchange experiences with local stakeholders and international partners. The establishment of the Mekong Saltwater Center is in line with the priorities of transforming holistic agriculture and water management for ecologically sustainable food security.

Speech of Ms. Liliane Geerling – HZ University of Applied Sciences
Speech of Mr. William Schoustra, Agricultural Counselor, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vietnam

Ms. Liliane Geerling from HZ University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands; Mr. Gregor Van Essen from The Water Agency, The Netherlands and Mr. Steven Starman from Kim Delta Consulting & Training Company in Vietnam had discussed the impacts of climate change, saltwater intrusion in Vietnam, and other countries around the world, the challenges, and opportunities of people in the affected areas, along with the importance of establishing the Mekong Saltwater Center and the success in establishing a network of experts in the world.

Mr. William Schoustra, Agricultural Counselor of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vietnam, shared: The Mekong Delta is suffering from climate change and saltwater intrusion on a large scale. As a result, the Dutch and Vietnamese governments have worked together in developing the Mekong Delta for years. The Mekong Salt Lab/Mekong Saltwater Center is an initiation to implement the resolution and master plan for the region. At the same time, this helps bring direct benefits to farmers, find sustainable agricultural production systems, and ensure the life of farmers and coastal households in the Mekong Delta.

Tra Vinh University plays a vital role in helping farmers adapt to climate change and saltwater intrusion, creating a stride when the province prioritizes agricultural transformation and implementing new programs and funding sources to assist farmers in adapting to farming practices.

By Thy Truong