Building the intervention around supportive legal and policy frameworks

The Nature-based Solution intervention built on the 2013 Mekong Delta Plan, which recommended high-value double rice cropping in combination with seasonal flood-based agriculture/aquaculture to manage flood risks. This influenced the promulgation of National Resolution 120, entitled “For a sustainable and climate resilient Mekong Delta”. The resolution was adopted in November 2017 and stipulates that nature-based adaptation models should be selected that are environmentally sound and achieve sustainable development based on ‘actively living with the floods’. In addition, the annual Mekong Delta Forums bring together governments and development partners. They provide a space for knowledge exchange on lessons learned and endorsement of a common vision for the Upper Mekong Delta, including a move to more natural land and water uses.

The 2013 Mekong Delta Plan captures the range of societal challenges and benefits and supported the implementation of flood-based agriculture systems. The societal challenges include loss of the Mekong Delta floodplain and thus flood absorption capacity due to intensive rice growing by poldering, reduction of land fertility and aquifer recharge area, decline of aquatic habitats and biodiversity as well as growing socio-economic inequality due to greater input costs to compensate for increased pest risk, lost fisheries, sediment and soil fertility.

Supportive legal and policy frameworks opened up opportunities for a change in land use and facilitated partnerships across related initiatives for the adoption of flood-based agriculture in open flood and flood control zones.