On October 18, 2023, the Mekong Salt Lab – Phase 2 project was launched at Tra Vinh University.
The event was attended by Mr. Le Thanh Binh, member of the Provincial Party Committee, Vice Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee; Mr. Nguyen Minh Hoa, Rector of Tra Vinh University; Mr. Diep Thanh Tung, Vice Rector of Tra Vinh University; leaders of provincial and district departments, agencies; experts from the Netherlands and experts of Tra Vinh University.
Mr. Daniël Stork, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ho Chi Minh City, and Mr. Gregor Van Essen, Project Director of The Water Agency (Netherlands) also attended the launch ceremony.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Nguyen Minh Hoa, Rector of Tra Vinh University, emphasized that the launch of the Mekong Salt Lab – Phase 2 project is a continuation of the success of the Mekong Salt Lab – Phase 1 project (2021-2022).
Mr. Nguyen Minh Hoa expressed his gratitude to Mr. Daniël Stork for his interest in Tra Vinh and for helping the province implement the project, including the Mekong Salt Lab.
In his opening remarks, Vice Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee Le Thanh Binh thanked Mr. Daniël Stork for his interest in Tra Vinh.
Mr. Le Thanh Binh emphasized that Tra Vinh is a province in the Mekong Delta. In recent years, sea level rise, groundwater exploitation, and prolonged drought have caused saltwater intrusion into groundwater, soil, and surface water in rivers, canals, and lakes.
In the past 10 years, saltwater intrusion has caused serious damage to agriculture, causing economic losses and livelihood challenges for farmers. Therefore, the issue of how to adapt to saltwater intrusion is very important and urgent. The Mekong Salt Lab will have a positive impact on Tra Vinh’s sustainable development in the agricultural sector.
The Mekong Salt Lab will operate to create close links between scientists, farmers, and local authorities. This will help to raise awareness of the community and to strengthen solutions, build plans, strategies, and timely actions. These include: strengthening information, forecasting, and early warning systems in the short and long term to protect people’s lives and property; promoting the management, exploitation, protection, and sustainable use of groundwater in particular and water resources in general; and promoting the use of energy conservation for a sustainable future.
Based on this, The Mekong Salt Lab will implement a number of production models that are adapted to climate change and can be used as a basis for replication.
Mr. Daniël Stork, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ho Chi Minh City, was excited to attend the launch of the project. “The Mekong Salt Lab at Tra Vinh University is a specialized center that supports farmers to produce agricultural products that are more efficient and sustainable with the environment, such as reducing water pollution, increasing the supply of freshwater, reducing groundwater exploitation, raising awareness of sustainable water management, and treating and reusing water… This is one of many important and urgent solutions. This is also the goal that the Netherlands and Vietnam are working towards to jointly implement adaptation to climate change…” Mr. Daniël Stork emphasized.
Mr. Gregor Van Essen, Project Director, emphasized that the Mekong Salt Lab aims to improve the livelihoods of farmers in the Mekong Delta while contributing to the development of a more resilient and sustainable agricultural landscape in the region.
The project will offer tools and data that are usable and practical for farmers to help them make informed decisions running their farms. The project will also provide training and equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to adapt to salinity challenges.
At the ceremony, there were many opinions from experts from the Netherlands, experts from Trà Vinh University, and leaders from government agencies.
Source: the Tra Vinh Online newspaper.