The present world is entering the era of rapid, incessant and powerful development of the scientific – technological revolution, especially The Fourth Industrial Evolution; the era of globalization, of integration – collaboration and development, notably the development of knowledge-based economy. Besides, the world is also facing great global challenges such as food security and safety, climate change and sea level rise, degradation of resources and environment, pandemics …. As a result, promoting collaboration/cooperation is an inevitable trend to solve regional and global issues.
For Viet Nam, the national development path of Central Government Party is determined: “Economic development is the main task: carry out industrialization and modernization of our country in associate with the development of knowledge-based economy and protection of natural resources and environment; build a suitable modern economic structure effectively and sustainably, strongly connect with the industry and agriculture….develop agriculture, forestry and aquaculture with high technology and quality in associate with processing industry and development of new rural area. Ensure a harmony development amongst regions, areas; promote accelerated development of key economic regions, at the same time creating favorable development conditions for regions with difficulties…” (Platform for national development in the transitional period into socialism – Modified in 2011)
For the Mekong Delta region, it is a key area for the production of food, aquatic food, fruits of the country; ensure national food security and play an important role in exporting agricultural and aquatic products to the world’s market. Facing the challenges of climate change, sea level rise and changes in the flow of Mekong Delta River as well as the need to promote strength for the prosperous development of the region , Resolution no. 120 of The Government (17/11/2017) on Sustainable development of the Mekong Delta under climate change had set a goal toward the year 2050 “The Mekong Delta becomes a highly developed region of the nation, and has an advanced level of social organization; per capita income is higher than the national average, people’s livelihood is secured; The share of ecological agriculture, high technology agriculture rate reaches over 80%, forest covering rate is over 9% (compared to the current rate of 4.3%), important natural ecosystems are preserved and developed. The network of socio-economic infrastructure is built synchronously and modern. Modern urban systems are built and distributed reasonably in sub-regions. Road and waterway transportation systems are developed synchronously, with inter and intra regions connectivity, and must ensure a harmonious, uniform, complementary combinations, avoiding conflicts with the irrigation and dyke systems. The irrigation infrastructure is built in harmony with the transformational model of agricultural production adapting to climate change especially in ecological sub-regions, and at the same time there must be measures to reduce risks of natural disasters for the people and the economy. Information and communication infrastructure, electricity supply network, water supply and drainage system are built synchronously. The system of cultural, educational, training, scientific and technological, medical, physical training and sport facilities is above the national average; Economic development is dynamic and effective with an appropriate economic structure”.
Decision no. 68/QĐ-TTg of The Prime Minister date 15/1/2018, had set a goal toward the year 2030 and a vision toward 2050 “Develop the Mekong Delta region which is oriented towards the green, sustainable growth and climate change adaptation, and which has significant roles and positions in comparison with other nationwide regions and Southeast Asian region; Develop the Mekong Delta region to make it become the key region of the country in such fields as agriculture, fishery and aquaculture; substantially boost the marine economy and eco - tourism that provides visits to river landscapes for leisure; Develop the regional space to ensure that built-in engineering and social infrastructural facilities are aligned together and are typical of the Mekong Delta with the intention of developing economy, improving the quality of life, protecting characteristic landscape and ecological environment downstream of the Mekong river and assuring national security and defense”.
Given the importance of the Mekong Delta, Decision no. 825/QĐ-TTg of The Prime Minister (date 12/6/2020) on the establishment and promulgation of the Operational Regulation of the Mekong Delta Regional Coordinating Council for the 2020 – 2025 period was promulgated to renew the regional coordination mechanism, promote sustainable development of the Mekong Delta region under climate change. Members of the Council are specified in Decision no. 1054/QĐ-TTg date 02/7/2021, in which, the Rector of Can Tho University is the representative for the region institution of Training – Science - Technology.
The 13th Communist Party Congress (period 2021 – 2025) has determined the objective by 2025 of Vietnam to be a developing country, with developing industry toward modernization, obtain higher than average middle – low income; by 2030 to be a developing country, with modern industry, obtain average high income; by 2045 to become a developed country, high income. The Congress has also determined the country’s socio-economic development strategy for 10 years 2021-2030, in which, for the Mekong Delta, “will focus on modern large scale agricultural production, organic, high-efficiency agriculture, optimization of agricultural value; development of seed technology, processing technology, agricultural and aquatic products preserving technology; link production with consumption market and create product’s brand. Accelerate urbanization, create a regional urban network in order for vast development. Develop renewable and clean energy. Promote economic restructuring, especially agriculture structuring suitable for each ecological region, proactively and effectively implement climate change projects as well as sea level rise projects; solve problems of erosion of riverbank and coastal area, subsidence, drought and salinity; develop an overall strategy for protection and sustainable use of water resources in the Mekong river. Quickly complete and put into use the My Thuan – Can Tho highway; construction of new highways such as Can Tho – Ca Mau, Chau Doc – Can Tho – Soc Trang, Ha Tien – Rach Gia – Ba Lieu... Focus on developing Phu Quoc to become an international center of marine eco – tourism and service, connecting with major economics center in the world”.
To contribute to the successful implementation of guidelines and policies of the Communist Party and the Government, synchronous and appropriate solutions are required, in which there is a very important role of central agencies/departments of all levels and local communities, Institutes – Universities, enterprises and social organization through activities of cooperation/collaboration. At the Third Conference of Mekong Delta Sustainable Development under Climate Change, on 13th March 2021 in Can Tho, The Former Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said: “Entrust CTU to organize dialogues for all to contribute together to a Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta toward 2045”.
In the central position of the Mekong Delta, Can Tho University plays a very important role in the development of the region. The University’s mission “To be the leading national institution for education, research and technology transfer, making significant contributions to the development of high quality human resources, fostering the talents and the advancement of science and technology to cater for the regional and national socio-economic development. Can Tho University is the crucial driving force for the development of the Mekong Delta region.” Can Tho University’s vision “To be one of the leading higher education institutions in terms of quality in Vietnam and one of the top universities in training and research recognized in the region and the world.”. Currently, CTU has 16 training units, with 109 undergraduate programs, 48 postgraduate programs and 19 Doctoral training programs, with total enrollment of 44.500 undergraduate students and 2.500 postgraduate students. Scientific research and technology transfer are always important activities for the development of the University and the Mekong Delta region, with 400-500 scientific research programs, technology transfer project of all levels every year. CTU currently has 1825 staff members including 15 Professors, 143 Associate Professors, 486 PhDs and 578 Masters. International collaboration is the advantage of CTU, collaborate with more than 250 Institutes – Universities and many agencies, organizations around the world such as WORLD BANK, ADB, EU, VLIR, DANIDA, WWF, GIZ, USAID, AUSAID, ACIAR, JICA, KOICA... Especially at the moment CTU is actively implementing the Can Tho University Improvement Project, period 2015-2022 supported by JICA and 9 Japanese Universities. The overall objective of the Project is to support CTU to become an excellent international university in the field of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Environment, these interdisciplinary fields will contribute to socio-economic development of the Mekong Delta region and the country. After 7 years of implementing activities, Project has obtained many great achievements in strengthening human resources, facilities, equipment, scientific research – technology development; to act as a foundation for Technical Cooperation Project phase 2 (TC2), simultaneously act as an important foundation for CTU to utilize its assest, resources, continues to develop and fulfill its mission in the development of Mekong Delta.
Promoting the role and mission of CTU for the Mekong Delta region, CTU actively, constantly connecting and collaborating/cooperating with local communities toward a comprehensive development in the region. Besides, CTU also promotes collaboration with hundreds of companies, domestically and internationally in the Mekong Delta region. CTU is an active member of many network of Institutes – Universities, agencies and organizations in Vietnam and in the world.
Since the end of 1970s decade up to now, Can Tho University has always shown the pioneering role and connecting collaboration to development human resources, agriculture and socio-economic of the region. Notably, CTU is an important factor that connect & collaborate with local communities to develop short-term high-yielding rice variety, improve acid soil, develop high production rice variety and aquatic products. Additionally, CTU has also contributed in diversifying and industrialization of agricultural – aquacultural production towards enhancing efficiency of natural resources used, and farmer incomes, contributing to increase export turnover, elevating the position of these industries in the world’s market.
With new oppoturnities and challenges, and with strategic development orientation of The Communist Party & Government, Can Tho University with its resources and position, needs to connect and collaborate with relevant partners, domestically and internationally in order to carry out social responsibility as committed, to contribute for a sustainable development of the Mekong Delta region and the whole nation. “Diễn đàn Phát triển bền vững ĐBSCL - Tầm nhìn 2045” (Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta - SDMD Outlook 2045) as a result, established and operated, aim to effectively facing the above issues.
1.2. Legal basis
Establish the Sustainable Development of Mekong Delta Forum – Outlook 2045 based on these legal basis:
- Documents of the 13th National Congress of Viet Nam Communist Party, 2021.
- Resolution no. 120/NQ-CP, date 17/11/2017 on Sustainable development of the Mekong Delta under climate change.
- Decision no. 6004/QĐ-BGDĐT, date 21/9/2007 of The Ministry of Education & Training on the General development of Can Tho University.
- Decision no. 68/QĐ-TTg of the Prime Minister date 15/1/2018 on “The revision of the construction plan of the Mekong Delta region by 2030 with vision towards 2050”.
- Decision no. 825/QĐ-TTg of the Prime Minister (date 12/6/2020) on the establishment and promulgation of the Operational Regulation of the Mekong Delta Regional Coordinating Council for the 2020 – 2025 period.
- Decision no. 1054/QĐ-TTg of the Prime Minister (date 02/07/2021) on members of the Mekong Delta Regional Coordinating Council for the 2021-2025 period.
- Resolution of the 12th Can Tho University Communist Party Congress, 2020-2025.
- Final report of 2021 SDMD Symposium (Can Tho University and JICA organized on 30/3/2021).