Protecting coastal habitats in Mekong Delta of Vietnam

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Directorate of Fisheries of the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development launched the Mekong Delta Coastal Habitat Conservation project yesterday.

This work was announced during U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit to Vietnam in August.

With a planned budget of up to $2.9 million provided by USAID, this three-year project aims to protect key coastal habitats in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam to increase the sustainability of fisheries, enhance climate change adaptation, and improve biodiversity conservation.

Geographically, the project’s activities will focus on the delta’s lowest lying and most vulnerable coastlines along the East and West Seas, Phu Quoc MPA, and three small island clusters in the West Sea (Hai Tac, Ba Lua, Nam Du).

The main components of the project include:

  • Strengthen management of Phu Quoc MPA for more effective habitat and species conservation,
  • Establish a network of locally managed marine areas to protect coral reefs, seagrass beds in three island clusters,
  • Explore solutions to conserve and expand mangrove forests to increase fish nursery habitat and coastal biodiversity.

The delta’s crucial fishery habitats are further threatened by environmental pressures including prolonged droughts, rising temperatures, and aquaculture demand for groundwater.

Photo: USAID