In Vietnam, agriculture plays an important role in the national economy, accounting for about 52.6% of the labor force and 22% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010.

1.Climate change is impacting on national food security.

According to statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2009, the area of ​​agricultural planted land is about 9.4 million hectares, including 4 million hectares of rice land and the figure targets 10 million hectares in 2020. However, according to the forecast the population will reach about 120 million people in that year.

In the agricultural sector, the damages caused by natural disasters have increased the differentiation of living standard, obstructed and retarded the poverty eradication, particularly in areas frequently faced with disasters. The phenomena of hurricanes, floods, hurricanes have caused severe damages to the crop sector.

On the other hand, according to calculations from climate change scenarios of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in 2009, if the sea level rose 1 meter, there would be38.29% of the area of natural land and 32.16 % of agricultural land submerged in seawater in 10 provinces in the Mekong River Deltaand Ho Chi Minh City.

By 2010, if the sea level had rose 1 meter, the Mekong Delta – a rice granary and Ho Chi Minh City would have been in danger of losing 7.6 million tons of rice per year, equivalent to 40.52% of the total rice production in the region. So if thescenariosof the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment scripton climate change and sea level rise occuras forecasted, Vietnam wouldrisk facing severe food shortages in 2010,because about 21.39% of riceproduction would be lost ( just as forthe Mekong Delta).

2.Climate change impacts on aquaculture

Vietnam has a long coastline of 3,260 km, the area of ​​the exclusive economic zone is more than 1 million square km. In recent years, climate change has direct impact on economic development in the coastal areas of Vietnam, including aquaculture sector:

Firstly, the increase of temperature has an adverse effect on aquaculture. In the provinces of the Central region, heat caused from the sunshine makes water’s temperature rise too much, which leads to the fact that many species of creature can not suffer the heat. Rising temperature deteriorates the species’ health, whichis the favorable conditions for the development of harmful microorganisms.

Secondly, aquatic products play an important role in ensuring and improving the livelihoods of the communities living in rural areas and coastal islands (58% of the coastal population mainly live on agriculture and fishing, approximately 480,000 peopleearntheir living by fishing and 2,140,000 people provide services related to fishery). Climate change has a direct impact on aquaculture and fishing in coastal areas of Vietnam.

Thirdly, it is the negative effect of the intrusion of mangrove for aquaculture.

Fourthly, heavy and abnormal rainfall adversely affects aquaculture. Changing temperature also gives rise to many diseases for the species.

Lê Mai