The Australian National University (ANU), the Institute of Policy and Strategy for the Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD) and the FE2W Network are working in partnership with the Initiative for Sustainable Landscapes (ISLA) program of IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative to facilitate the development of policies to manage water security in Lam Dong province, Vietnam.
The FE2W Network team is piloting the Risks and Options Assessment for Decision-Making (ROAD) process in Don Duong with officials from provincial and district government departments. These decision-makers will explore a range of infrastructure and procedural options to control and mitigate the risks of drought and improve the livelihoods of farmers under climate variability. These policies include water pricing reform, public-private partnerships (PPP), and investments in surface water storage.
In April 2017, the project team visited Don Duong district for initial consultations with local officials and farmers. Led by Professor Quentin Grafton and Dr Claudia Ringler, the Director and Chair of the FE2W Network respectively, the team met with Vice-Chair Pham S of the Lam Dong Provincial People’s Committee (PPC) to understand the agricultural water situation in the province and the priorities of the PPC for the future.
In addition, the team met with officials and staff from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Don Duong district People’s Committee, Thanh My Agricultural Cooperative, and the Da Nhim hydropower plant. The team also visited a number of farms in Don Duong district. An inception workshop in Hanoi provided the opportunity to receive guidance from leading Vietnamese researchers, including Dr Dang Kim Son, Dr Chu Thai Hoang and Dr Hoang Minh Tuyen and senior staff from IDH Vietnam, Dr Flavio Corsin and Ms Tran Thi Quynh Chi.
Preliminary findings from the field mission to Lam Dong include: • The focus of the project aligns with the objectives of national, provincial and district authorities in terms of drought management and water reforms, particularly water service pricing and PPP models in irrigation. • Key government decision-makers at the provincial level are actively engaged in exploring policy options to address drought and are willing to engage in a ROAD pilot for this purpose. • Farmers recognize the need for new agricultural water management policies to ensure the sustainability of their businesses. • Don Duong district is a site of intensive and advanced commercial agriculture, with drip and sprinkler irrigation systems very common. • Don Duong is a high-income district with innovative farmers that is a good site for trialing new policies. • Water scarcity is a key issue of concern in Don Duong as aquifer levels are dropping significantly and the quality and availability of surface water from the Da Nhim river is very limited during the dry season.
A ROAD workshop planned for July 2016 will enable decision-makers to identify the risks associated with climate variability and select policies to address those risks across different stakeholders. The project team will provide decision-makers with supplementary modeling and analysis that will inform the policy recommendations that they will submit to provincial leaders at the end of the project. The project will run until March 2017.
Members of the project team include: Professor Quentin Grafton, Dr Hoang Long Chu, Dr Katherine Daniell, Dr Thi Dieu Hang To, Paul Wyrwoll (ANU), Dr Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, Dr Dang Kim Khoi, Ms Le Thi Ha Lien (IPSARD), Dr Claudia Ringler (International Food Policy Research Institute), Dr Dennis Wichelns (Stockholm Environment Institute), Dr Nguyen Tung Phong (Vietnam Academy of Water Resources), Dr Do Nam Thang (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam) and Dr Phung Duc Tung (Mekong Development Research Institute).