​​​​​​​Need for regional coordination.

Stakeholders at the national level and the 13 provinces/city agree that effective regional coordination is a prerequisite for the safe, prosperous and sustainable development for the Mekong Delta and needs to be based on the needs and benefits of participating provinces. However, after two years of the pilot on regional coordination according to the Decision 593/QD-TT by the Prime Minister and nearly one year of implementation of Resolution 120/NQ-CP by the Government, despite some achievements, regional coordination faces many constraints. The integrated principles for land and water use embedded in existing policies are not applied in practice, and spatial and policy planning continues to target sectors separately.

This limited interdisciplinary interaction and participation of the public and stakeholders has resulted in many conflicts of interest among stakeholders along several dualities: upstream vs downstream, rural vs urban, delta-wide vs national vs local, and long-term versus short-term. In addition, budgeting mechanisms form a constraint to further cooperation.

Many of these issues cannot be addressed through existing planning mechanisms which are inherently fragmented and do not provide a means to consider the delta as a coherent whole. There is an urgent need for a transformation towards a cross-sectoral and interprovincial approach for core policy streams such as water management, agriculture, transportation, industrial development and urban planning to enable inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic growth.