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Mekong Delta Climate Resilience Programme

The Mekong Delta Climate Resilience Programme (MCRP) is a development cooperation programme co-financed by the Governments of Germany, Switzerland and of Viet Nam. MCRP is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fϋr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Construction and the 13 Mekong Delta provinces. MCRP’s objective is to support the Vietnamese authorities on improving the climate-resilient management of natural resources in the coastal areas of the Mekong Delta to ensure sustainable development in the region.





The Mekong Delta, the source of livelihood for more than 17 million people, is one of the regions most affected by the impacts of climate change worldwide. These include rising sea levels, higher temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns and an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events. Land subsidence and rising sea levels are causing increasing saltwater intrusion into freshwater bodies and soil, in addition to floods, particularly in the coastal areas. Inappropriate land and water management, the construction of dykes for flood protection, and an increase in the number of hydroelectric dams – particularly in the upper Mekong Delta, are putting further strain on the complex Mekong Delta ecosystem.

In this context, the major impacts are the increasing loss of land and water resources caused by coastal erosion, saltwater intrusion and freshwater scarcity. The people most affected are those living on the poverty line.

The complex Delta ecosystem and the interplay between different areas are seriously impacted by the investment policies for economic development in the Mekong Delta, with the consequences increasingly being felt across borders. Infrastructure and land use measures have a direct impact on the hydrological system, on the regeneration and quality of groundwater, and on soil fertility, and have an indirect impact on the capacity of carbon sinks (greenhouse gas reduction).

Natural hazards and climate risks also pose a challenge to the Mekong Delta’s rapid and often uncontrolled urban growth. The objective here is to eliminate these risks through capital-intensive investments in infrastructure, thus securing the successful developments achieved to date. Above all, the rising frequency and intensity of flooding has increasingly pushed urban infrastructure up to if not beyond the limits of its capacity in recent decades. The combined urban rainwater and drainage water systems for stormwater runoff often lack the required capacity, i.e. the drainage infrastructure is undersized, of inferior quality and lacks adequate maintenance. This problem is further exacerbated by unsystematic drainage planning based on unreliable datasets, a rise in urban soil sealing, the uncoordinated management of river catchment areas, rising sea levels and increasingly intensive rainfall events.

In recent years, the Vietnamese Government has initiated various legislative processes to improve regional coordination in the Mekong Delta (Prime Minister’s Decision 593/QD TTg; Resolution 120/NQ CP). The Planning Law that came into force on 1 January 2019 makes it compulsory practice for the first time ever to develop an integrated approach for regional master plans.  

For this process to succeed, it will need support, as the Vietnamese Government still does not have a fully operational, innovative, comprehensive and coordinated regional approach.

The causes include the lack of an adequate institutional framework – specifically, coordination mechanisms and capacities at the different levels of government. Strategies at the national and provincial levels are not sufficiently coordinated and development partners are rarely part of a coordinated cooperation arrangement between different government authorities at the national and provincial levels. Incoherent investment policies make it difficult to apply innovative technologies for sustainable climate-smart water management in urban or in rural areas.





The climate-resilient management of natural resources in coastal areas of the Mekong Delta is improved to ensure sustainable development in the region.







The project supports the Vietnamese partners in establishing an institutional framework for the regional coordination of climate-resilient development in the Mekong Delta. On behalf of the German and Swiss Government, GIZ provides technical advice on policy and planning to help clarify mandates, responsibilities, and interfaces. The project also incorporates a coordinated package of training measures for government officials.

Gender equality is ensured strategically by making it an integral part of the regional coordination mechanism in the form of gender-sensitive guidelines.

To improve the regional coordination of investment planning, GIZ and its partners are designing feasibility studies and testing technologies and solutions. These include sustainable value chains for aquaculture products that are adapted to climate change and environmental conditions while also having market potential.

Data processing coupled with satellite-based big data for climate forecasts or for coastlines and shorelines enables infrastructure investment decisions to be made.

The project builds on a holistic regional approach to coastal planning. This inter-provincial focus on the coast and include all 13 provinces of the Mekong Delta. The project also involves all relevant state actors at national and provincial level. Together with the private sector and civil society, these actors are developing value chains, technologies, and solutions.

MCRP is divided into four fields of activity: (1) Establish an institutional framework to facilitate regional coordination of climate-resilient development in the Mekong Delta; (2) Improve investment planning at regional level for the climate-resilient and gender-sensitive management of water resources in urban and rural areas; (3) Apply innovative technologies and interventions to combat coastal and riverbank erosion, thus rendering rural infrastructure and ecosystems more climate-resilient; and (4) Roll out climate-smart and water-sensitive urban infrastructure.






German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) Switzerland

 18.350.000 EURO

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)


Deutsche Gesellschaft fϋr internationale Zussamenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Vietnam Disaster Management Authorities (VNDMA) under MARD
Administration of Technical Infrastructure (ATI) under Ministry of Construction (MOC)

Mr. Christoph Klinnert
Programme Director

13 Mekong Delta Provinces: Can Tho, Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Hau Giang, Soc Trang, Dong Thap, An Giang, Kien Giang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau.