Experts warn Mekong Delta agriculture, livelihoods face serious threats

Even though the latest El Niño wound down in Vietnam in September, it left in its wake diminished water supplies, risks to people’s health and food security, and a loss of livelihoods. The effects of the severe drought that the El Niño weather phenomenon—exacerbated by climate change—delivered to Southeast Asia this year will be felt for months, if not years, to come in the economically vital Mekong Delta, environmentalists and United Nations experts said. They also said Vietnam and other Mekong states must brace for an increase in extreme weather events, bolstering early disaster preparedness and response activities to mitigate the potentially devastating effect impact on tens of millions of people and natural resources.“These types of extreme climate events are foreseen to increase in number and seriousness in the future, which intensifies the current desertification trends in several areas in Vietnam,” said Vu Minh Hai, a senior program manager and chairman of the Climate Change Working Group in Vietnam, a member organisation of the NGO network Climate Action Network-International.

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