Sand: Mitigating the impacts of climate change in the Mekong Delta by engaging the private and public sectors in the sand industry

Sediment transportation and deposition are essential natural processes for the formation and maintenance of the Mekong Delta. Large-scale mining of sand and gravel for the construction industry is causing the delta to sink, and also reducing its effectiveness in protecting against climate change impacts. To improve protection for this area, the project is working closely with key stakeholders to develop a sand and gravel budget for the Lower Mekong catchment area. This is being supplemented by work with the public and private sectors that focuses on making improvements to regulations and mining practice. The project is also promoting dialogue between key stakeholders in the Vietnamese construction sector while providing background to the risks associated with sand mining and proposing sustainable alternatives. The project approach can also be deployed in other large tropical river deltas after being adapted to the individual conditions as appropriate.

Project data

Viet Nam
IKI funding
2,889,619.37 €
07/2019 till 05/2024
Implementing organisation
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - Germany
Political Partner
  • Mekong River Commission (MRC)
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) - Viet Nam
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) - Viet Nam
Implementing Partner
  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - Viet Nam
  • WWF Greater Mekong Programm

State of implementation/results

  • On July 14, 2022, the project presented the interim results of the sand budget and geomorphological stability plan to stakeholders from ministries, provincial governments, research institutes, civil society organizations and development partners to take suggestions and questions into further work.
  • In March 2022, a training on "Method-Testing and Monitoring Approach for River Geomorphology" provided staff of provincial authorities in the delta with important methodological knowledge for their tasks in order to strengthen the technical capacities for licensing and monitoring sand mining.
  • At a kick-off workshop in early March 2022, the project partners and service providers presented the monitoring and modelling approach for the sand budget and the geomorphological stability plan to more than 90 stakeholders from politics and civil society as well as research institutions. Within the framework of measurement campaigns, important parameters such as flow velocity, water levels and suspended matter as well as the topographic shape of river sections are to be measured at various points in the delta from the end of the dry season to the end of the rainy season in order to gain a better understanding of the sediment budget of the delta.
  • Following the kick-off workshop, a workshop for journalists was held to increase their understanding and awareness of sand mining and the link to climate vulnerability in the Mekong delta.
  • In February 2022 a UNEP report on "Sand and sustainability: 10 recommendations to avert a crisis" was published, with the participation of an expert from the project team (…).
  • In January 2022, the WWF GM contributed a speech to a webinar on 'The Mekong Delta emergency' (…).
  • In June 2021 an international study on good legislation and practices in sand management was completed.

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