September 17, 2019, by lzzeb
Living Deltas Hub – Mekong Delta Fieldwork
A blog by Ginnie Panizzo
Between the 1st and 9th July 2019 I joined a number of UK and Vietnamese colleagues in the Mekong Delta, for our first fieldtrip as part of our new UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund Living Deltas Hub. This project brings £1.2 million to the University of Nottingham (via Co-Is Suzanne McGowan and Ginnie Panizzo). The GCRF is a £1.5 billion fund to address the global issues faced by developing countries: harnessing expertise of the UK’s world-leading researchers. The Living Deltas Hub has the overarching aim to safeguard delta futures through more resilient communities and sustainable development. Focusing on the Red River and Mekong deltas in Vietnam and the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta in Bangladesh and India, the Living Deltas Hub’s core aim is a significant contribution to better sustainable development outcomes for developing countries in the region, transforming policy and practice based on new approaches to understanding delta change. The Hub will address the significant social-ecological challenges currently confronting these delta systems in a transdisciplinary manner that responds to the interlinked agenda of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Hub is coordinated in Newcastle University and has over 20 partners across the delta regions and the rest of the world.
Our fieldtrip saw the gathering of Hub PI Andy Large and our Work Package lead Andy Henderson, both from Newcastle University, with Adrian Bass (University of Glasgow), and Ginnie Panizzo from the School of Geography. We were hosted by our Vietnamese colleagues Pham Dang Tri Van from University of Can Tho, Tanh Nguyen from An Giang University, Trinh Anh Duc from Vinatom and Do Thu Nga from the Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology. The main impetus behind the trip was to meet with key stakeholders from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE), including at the Vietnam Environment Administration, Vietnam Meteo-Hydrology Administration and National Water Resources, Planning and Investigation departments. This saw the group travel extensively across the Vietnamese-Mekong delta visiting MONRE and DONRE offices across Can Tho, Vinh Long, Ben Tre, Soc Trang, Ca Mau, Bac Lieu and An Giang provinces. While visiting, the group had very constructive meetings with provincial stakeholders, examining scope for capacity building and training, data reporting and sharing and regional laboratory facilities. All in all, a very fruitful and productive trip was had and the group looks forward to building on this collaboration in the coming years and beyond the life of the GCRF Living Deltas Hub.