International Forum on Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta – SDMD 2022: “Science and Technology - Driving Force for Innovations and Sustainable Development”

Based on the strategic orientation of sustainable development in the Mekong Delta region of the Party and the State, the Forum for Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta - Vision to 2045 (SDMD 2045) (https://sdmd2045.ctu.edu.vn/) has been founded and chaired by Can Tho University (CTU) to coordinate with domestic and international partners to organize the implementation of many important series of activities to contribute to the sustainable development of Mekong Delta in the new context and international integration towards the vision of 2045. Which, CTU is going to chair and connect with relevant units to organize quarterly seminars with different topics and the International Forum on Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta - SDMD every 2 years.

The first biennial forum of SDMD 2045 is SDMD 2022 with the theme “Science and Technology - Driving Force for Innovation and Sustainable Development” held on the afternoon of October 30th, 2022 at the Turtle Hall of CTU. The forum was broadcast live on Hau Giang Radio and Television Station, CTU’s Fanpage (https://www.facebook.com/CTUDHCT), and Zoom Platform

Prof. Dr. Ha Thanh Toan, Rector of CTU speaks at the opening and launches the International Forum - SDMD 2022

More than 500 delegates attended SDMD 2022, representing the Government agencies and ministries: Ministry of Planning and Investment (Government representative gave a directing speech); Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education and Training, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade; local agencies in the Mekong Delta: People’s Committee, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Education and Training, Department of Natural Resources and Environment; Department of Industry and Trade, Department of Planning and Investment; domestic and international institutes and universities; domestic and international enterprises and associations; diplomatic missions: Embassy of the United States, Embassy of Japan, Embassy of Italy, Embassy of India, Embassy of Singapore; and international organizations: JICA, JIRCAS, CSIRO, ACIAR, USAID, USGS, GIZ, CIRAD, CGIAR, FAO, IUCN, WWF...

Delegates attend the Forum at the Turtle Hall of CTU

At the Forum, the delegates listened to the keynote speech from the Government representative - the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the development orientation of science and technology for the region from the Ministry of Science and Technology. In addition, there were more than 20 reports and presentations divided into two sessions: the thematic session and the discussion session, which are the sharing and proposals from the representatives of localities, scientists, entrepreneurs, and international organizations; delegates also exchange and discussion at the forum, focusing on 5 main areas: (i) Development of high-quality human resources to serve the industrialization and modernization of the Mekong Delta; (ii) Development of high-tech agriculture and fisheries in the Mekong Delta; (iii) Development of Marine - Circular Economy; (iv) Environment – Natural Resources – Climate Change; (v) Development of Digital Transformation

Aside from listening to the presentations and discussions, the delegates visited some models of agriculture - industry - environment in the Mekong Delta (Loc Kim Chi Seafood Joint Stock Company, Cai Lon - Cai Be Irrigation System in Kien Giang Province; Viet Uc Seafood Corporation, and Bac Lieu Wind Power).

Within the framework of SDMD 2022, important documents have been published and served for the Forum, including a Book on “Panorama of Human Resources in the Mekong Delta and the Role of CTU”, a Book on “Agriculture in the Mekong Delta - Current Status and Development Orientation”, Book on “CTU – Technology and Innovative Technology Products”, Scientific Journal of CTU, Thematic Issue of Sustainable Development in the Mekong Delta (31 in-depth scientific articles), Proceedings of the Forum “Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta - SDMD 2022” (19 reviews, presentations). SDMD 2022 has recorded lots of creative and breakthrough contributions of the experts and the attendees, which are meaningful for the forum establishment and development.

Mr. Huynh Thanh Dat, Minister of Science and Technology shares information on “Strategy of Science, Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta”

Mr. Tran Duy Dong, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment - Representative of the Government, delivers a steering speech

Mr. Tran Viet Truong, Chairman of Can Tho City People’s Committee, shares the strategy to develop Can Tho City into a dynamic center in science and technology for linkage, production, processing, and consumption of agricultural products in the Mekong Delta

Mr. Shimizu Akira, Chief Representative of JICA Vietnam, presents the theme on “Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta in the Trend of International Cooperation and Integration”

Mr. Christoph Klinnert, Manager of Climate Change Mitigation Programme in the Mekong Delta, GIZ, Germany presents the topic on “Climate Change and Sustainable Development in the Mekong Delta”

Mr. Le Hoang Kiet, Ca Mau Petroleum Fertilizer Joint Stock Company (PVCFC) presents the topic on “Turn Potential into Resources to Promote Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta in the New Context”.

On this occasion, CTU also signed cooperation agreements with domestic and international organizations, enterprises, and institutes; exhibited scientific and technological products of the university..

The units and organizations that have signed cooperation agreements with CTU include the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA Vietnam); the International Organization for Conservation of Nature (WWF); National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU); Ho Chi Minh City University of Natural Resources and Environment; PetroVietnam Ca Mau Fertilizer Joint Stock Company (PVCFC); HD Bank; VNPT Can Tho; ESUHAI Limited Company. The contents of the signing are conducted to concretize the cooperation contents of CTU and relevant units, contributing for improving the efficiency of training and developing high-quality human resources for socio-economic development in the Mekong Delta in particular and the country in general.

MOU signing with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA Vietnam)

MOU signing with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

MOU signing with National Taiwan Ocean University – NTOU

MOU signing with Ho Chi Minh City University of Natural Resources and Environment

MOU signing with Ca Mau Petroleum Fertilizer Joint Stock Company (PVCFC)

MOU signing with Ho Chi Minh City Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank (HD Bank)

MOU signing with VNPT Can Tho

MOU signing with ESUHAI Limited Company

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Phuong – Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Prof. Dr. Ha Thanh Toan – Rector of CTU present the Logo of SDMD 2022 to the signatories

Awarding the Logos and Certificates to the Co-Sponsors

At the Forum, CTU was honored to receive scholarships from institutions that have supported CTU’s students to realize their university dreams. Ca Mau Petroleum Fertilizer Joint Stock Company awarded a scholarship fund of 420 million VND and Asia Materials Group awarded a scholarship fund of 100 million VND.

Representatives of the university leaders receive the symbolic board of the Scholarship Fund from Ca Mau Petroleum Fertilizer Joint Stock Company and Asia Materials Group – AIG

PLENARY SESSION

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Phuong, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of CTU, and Mr. Hoang Hoa Cuong, Deputy Director of the Department of Science, Technology, and Environment, Ministry of Education and Training coordinated the contents of the Plenary session within the framework of SDMD 2022.

Prof. Dr. Ha Thanh Toan, Rector of CTU presents the content “Development of High-quality Human Resources for the Industrialization and Modernization of the Mekong Delta”

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Van Vang, Principal of the College of Agriculture presents the content “Development of High-tech Agriculture and Fisheries in the Mekong Delta - Trends and Solutions” 

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Nhan, Vice-Chairman of People’s Committee – Kien Giang Province presents the topic on “Development of Marine Economy - New Driving Force for Sustainable Development in the Mekong Delta” 

 Prof. IZUMI Taro from JIRCAS-CTU Project presents the topic on “Science and Technology - Climate Change Adaptation Solutions”

 Topic on “Completion of Geospatial Data Infrastructure to Enhance the Management of Natural Resources, Environment and Agriculture for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta” presented by the representative of VNPT Group of Posts and Telecommunications 

  Representative of YANMAR Group presents the content “Sustainable Solutions in Food Production and Efficient Use of Energy”

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vo Thanh Danh from the School of Economics - CTU presents the content “Industrialization and Modernization of Agriculture and Rural Areas in the Mekong Delta - International Experience and Suitable Model Proposals” 

The discussion session took place with the participation of experts from departments, enterprises, international organizations, scientists from institutes and universities including: Mr. Le Van Quang - General Director of Minh Phu Seafood Corporation; Mr. Tanaka Toshinao, Chairman of Takesho Company - Japan; Dr. Kim Wimbush, CSIRO - Australia; Mr. Vo Cong Khanh - Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Investment – Hau Giang Province; Dr. Nguyen Thanh My, My Lan - Ryan Company; Dr. Pham Khanh Nam, Vice-Rector of the School of Economics, Law and State Management; Prof. Hong-Yuan LEE, Hai Duong University - Taiwan; Ms. Annie Wallace, USAID Vietnam. The discussion contents revolved around the recommendations on sustainable development of the shrimp industry; the solutions to increase the value of agricultural products in the Mekong Delta; the solutions to enhance innovation and sustainable development of the Mekong Delta; the solutions to develop cooperative enterprises, small and medium enterprises; the proposals to develop human resources in digital agriculture; the smart cities to resilient and reduce risks from natural disasters and climate change; and the introduction to Climate Change Adaptation Agriculture Project in the Mekong Delta from USAID Vietnam.

Panel Discussion Session

With lively presentations and discussions, the SDMD 2022 has connected and shared information on the current status, potentials, challenges, and solutions to connect and cooperate on climate change-environment issues in the Mekong Delta. The information that has been shared during the past time is the theoretical and practical basis to support the formulation of guidelines, strategies, and policies for sustainable development in the Mekong Delta with a vision to 2045.

Summing up the Forum, Prof. Dr. Ha Thanh Toan committed that “ CTU is going to contribute the internal resources as well as promote existing advantages and potentials to realize the development goals of the Mekong Delta by the direction of the Government, ministries, localities, and the spirit of SDMD 2022”. More specifically, all highly qualified, multi-disciplinary, multi-field human resources combined with facilities are being modernized, and a consolidated university governance model will be used most effectively by CTU’s leaders through “resource sharing and cooperation mechanism” to create “value and benefits for the locality and community”. Accordingly, CTU is committed to being always “an indispensable link in the series of economic, social, and cultural activities of each locality and of the Mekong Delta”.

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