Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Vietnam: Climate change and land use project reviewed

A midterm review of CLUES, or “Climate Change Affecting Land Use in the Mekong Delta: Adaptation of Rice-Based Cropping Systems,” reveals the following achievements of the ACIAR-funded project thus far that altogether provide a robust base for the project’s next phase:
  • Established a risk map on the effect of sea-level rise and climate change on salt intrusion in the Mekong Delta up to the years 2030 and 2050. 
  • Analyzed  land suitability for potential land-use systems under different sea-level rise and infrastructure development scenarios, and the socioeconomic characteristics of each system in various agroecological zones. 
  • Developed improved rice varieties using conventional and complex crosses to investigate underlying genetics and the value of parental lines in breeding for stress tolerance. 
  • Conducted more than 49 participatory varietal selection trials using 41 rice varieties and distributed more than 27,600 kilograms of best-bet variety seeds to farmers from 2011 to mid-2013. 
  • Identified the combination of alternate-wetting-and-drying technology, reduced phosphorus use, and transplanting as a climate change-adaptive strategy for rice production in the Delta. 
  • Recommended a short-duration high-yielding rice variety that can replace the local variety Mot Bui Do in the shrimp-rice system in Bac Lieu Province.
  • Improved farmers’ income through integration of non-rice crops into rice-based systems  (although poor community water management remains a barrier to upland crop production).
  • Identified determinants and solutions for further improvement of livelihoods of rice farmers in the Delta. 
  • Developed initial data on emissions in the Delta as a function of crop management.

The review was presented during a gathering of CLUES project partners and collaborators on 19 September 2013 at Can Tho University (CTU) in Vietnam. Attending were more than 80 scientists and partner representatives, including local staff, from Vietnam partners (CTU; Cuu Long Delta Rice Research Institute; Southern Institute for Water Resources Planning; Institute of Agricultural Sciences for Southern Vietnam; and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of An Giang, Can Tho, Hau Giang and Bac Lieu provinces); the Deutshe Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); and the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and IRRI.

The project began work in March 2011 and will conclude in February 2014. IRRI climate expert Reiner Wassmann is the project leader of CLUES. Other IRRI scientists involved are To Phuc Tuong, Russell Reinke, Abdelbagi Ismail, Thelma Paris, Romeo Labios, and Ngo Dang Phong.

CSIRO was represented by Bennett Macdonald, Peter Brown, and John Ward, while IWMI was represented by Chu Thai Hoanh.

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