Vietnam proposes using and managing water resources sustainably at UN debate
VOV.VN - Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha set out a number of initiatives aimed at using and managing water resources both efficiently and sustainably at the general debate of the UN 2023 Water Conference held in New York on March 23 (local time).
Addressing the debate, Ha expressed great appreciation for the “Water for Sustainable Development” theme of the UN 2023 Water Conference, stating that the theme is of great significance amid the urgent need to boost cooperation in management, exploitation, and sustainable use of transboundary water resources and river basins.
He cited statistics which highlight that more than 40% of the global population is living in transboundary river and lake basins. In Vietnam, he said 60% of its water is sourced from transboundary rivers.
According to the Vietnamese leader, all river basins have very important functions in terms of the environment, energy development, agricultural production, aquaculture, and water supply for both production and people’s daily life.
Each transboundary river basin must be fully recognised for an integrated management mechanism. In addition, the unification of transboundary rivers, as well as the diversity of demand for water resources, requires a mechanism for cooperation to be in place among countries.
Water represents the common denominator for development due to the ongoing impact of climate change, energy transition, and other economic development activities, and as a result, the management of water resources, especially transboundary water, must be connected, stressed the Vietnamese leader.
To do this, he said that countries should develop a common legal framework for comprehensive and integrated management of transboundary river basins in diversity and unity.
By doing so, he noted that countries should work together to ensure the sustainable exploitation and use of water; share the benefits of water; and exchange, discuss, and consult each other when making development projects, taking into account the assessment of the impact on the environment, flow, and river basin.
In the context of climate change, the Vietnamese Deputy PM underlined the importance of setting up a direct monitoring system that applies modern technology solutions in order to make accurate river flow forecasts.
The most important thing is sharing the benefits of using and allocating water resources, solving the problem of water surplus and shortages, regulating the flow, and protecting the ecosystem and biodiversity, said Deputy PM Ha.
Analysing the complexity of transboundary rivers, he stressed the need to have investment, full investigation and evaluation projects, and at the same time make an integrated management plan.
He reminded that people’s livelihoods are always associated with rivers, therefore people must be placed at the centre of the decision making process.
The Deputy PM also proposed establishing UN bodies that are capable of co-ordinating and supporting science – technology and financial mechanisms related to the management, exploitation, and use of water resources for countries through which a transboundary river flows.
Water resource management must be associated with climate change response and environmental protection, he stressed.