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Low-emission food system development in the Mekong Delta: Opportunities, challenges and future pathways

Low-emission food system development in the Mekong Delta: Opportunities, challenges and future pathways

7 November 2023, Nong Lam University of Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh City
Invitation only

Vietnam is strongly committed to achieving net zero by 2050. The country aims to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 9% by 2030 using only domestic resources, and by up to 43.5% with international support. At the same time, the Government of Vietnam is prioritizing food security as a key pillar of national policies on socioeconomic development and sustainability. As the national food hub, the Mekong Delta plays a vital role in Vietnam’s national economy and food security. Accordingly, the government and donors have prioritized the region for support to become a national model for innovative, climate smart and transformative agriculture systems.

As it is necessary to clarify and build a common understanding on what low-emission food system development means in the Vietnamese context, this workshop aims to facilitate open dialogue and information exchange on opportunities, challenges and potential options for addressing interconnected challenges, and propose concrete recommendations on how to translate the government’s mitigation commitments into actions.

Balancing the dual objectives of food security and low-emission development is an imminent policy question for policymakers, where structural factors such as weak coordination between sectors and government agencies; absence of clear and consistent legal frameworks; lack of finance; and the lack of research, data and understanding of system interactions could hinder effective transformations to low-emission food systems. Vietnam’s experiences may offer useful lessons and insights for other countries.

Working closely with diverse partners and actors at different levels, the CGIAR research Initiative on Low-Emission Food Systems (Mitigate+) aims to support countries in developing and piloting low-emission food system development strategies, including supporting the development and scaling up of innovations that reduce GHG emissions, increase carbon sinks from food systems and build climate resilience, while contributing to other sustainable development targets and social outcomes.

As a research and knowledge partner, through its activities in Vietnam, Mitigate+ aims to facilitate food system discourse and co-learning, and support stakeholders with evidence-based decision making relating to the implementation and updating of the country’s NDC by co-developing and enhancing the necessary data, evidence, participatory processes and governance structures. This proposed multistakeholder workshop is part of these efforts and is based on consultations with MARD, MONRE and provincial authorities in 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta.

Specifically, the workshop aims to:

  • Enhance knowledge and information exchange on global and national low-emission food system policies and practices between national and subnational governments, stakeholders, NGOs, academics and local communities;
  • Foster dialogue and enhance cross-sectoral understanding on opportunities and challenges for Mekong Delta provinces in developing strategies for low-emission food system development;
  • Strengthen partnerships between the Mitigate+ initiative and Vietnamese actors at different levels in the Mekong Delta and deepen the dialogue on how this CGIAR initiative can contribute to the low-emission food system development agenda in the region.