The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in 2016 adversely affected Vietnam particularly the Mekong River Delta (MRD), where more than 90% of the country’s rice export is produced annually. During that time, salinity intrusion and drought significantly affected agriculture production in the area. Furthermore, flooding aggravated by climate change is another recurring event in the area.
An assessment conducted by CGIAR Centers showed that even as warnings were provided by the government for the 2016 ENSO, these were not translated into appropriate preparation and response for agriculture. To address this and prepare for future climate risks, the Department of Crop Production (DCP), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) of Vietnam, and CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA) collaborated to develop and test climate-related risks maps and adaptation plans (Climate Smart MAP/CS MAP) for recognizing climate-related risks, identifying potentially affected areas and developing regional and provincial adaptation plans for rice production.
The CS MAP is a participatory approach involving experts from various local and national offices for: (1) identifying climate-related risks; (2) delineating affected areas and risk levels; (3) proposing corresponding adaptive plans; (4) fine tuning and verifying proposed measures; and (5) developing integrated provincial and regional adaptation plans. Risk maps were developed for normal and ENSO years by using technical data (i.e. topography and hydrology), infrastructures (i.e. dikes, road and canals), and local observations. Changing rice-based cropping systems and sowing/transplanting calendars were common adaptive options proposed by provinces. CS MAP is now being developed at different stages for 13 provinces in the MRD. Some provinces are implementing the adopted measures and developing the corresponding monitoring and reporting tools.