More than 800 representatives from 90 member countries of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) gathered in Hanoi, Vietnam on 25th May for its 78th annual meeting on irrigation, hydropower and the environment.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the meeting, the first of its kind in Vietnam, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said Vietnam strictly conforms to the international rules on development and management of natural resources to reach socio-economic benefits without doing harms to the sustainability of important ecosystems.
' Vietnam has prioritised the management and development of the water resource, building thousands of dams and reservoirs, irrigation networks for agricultural and industrial production as well as flood prevention,' Hai said. The country has built thousands of kilometres of dykes. In natural disasters mitigation, Vietnam has gained various significant achievements, contributing to reduction of damage caused by natural calamities in both human lives and asset, the Deputy PM added.
Vietnam has paid attention to applying scientific and advanced technologies to the construction and management of dams, irrigation and hydropower works. It has a rich water resource yet the levels of rainfall are uneven among different regions and seasons which usually causes droughts and floods. In addition, the country is evaluated to be vulnerable to climate change effects, including the rising of sea level.
During the two-day meeting, participants have discussed seventeen main topics presented in 180 scientific reports on hydrography, sustainable development of water resource, management of river basin and coastal areas, mitigation of climate change impacts, etc.
Within the working agenda, there will be a roundtable on dams and hydropower for the sustainable development in Africa and a technical exhibition featuring more than 50 display booths run by international organisations and world-renowned manufacturers and advisory groups.
After the closing of the conference on 26th May, participants joined field trips to dams from the north to the south of Vietnam , including Hoa Binh, Son La, Cua Dat, Phu Ninh, Binh Dinh, Ham Thuan-Da Mi and Tri An.
Vietnam's National Committee on Large Dams and Water Resource Development became an ICOLD member in 2005.