Delegates from ADPC and the National Institute of Agriculture Planning and Projection, Viet Nam during the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations. (Photo by NIAPP)
Viet Nam, like other countries in the Lower Mekong region relies heavily on agriculture for economic development. Therefore, strengthening land use, agricultural mapping and agriculture planning has been a priority for the government. ADPC, through SERVIR-Mekong, recently partnered with the National Institute of Agriculture Planning and Projection (NIAPP), Viet Nam to collaborate on land and agriculture mapping projects in the country. NIAPP works under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam. Implemented by ADPC in the Mekong region, SERVIR-Mekong is a unique partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), which provides publicly available satellite-based earth-monitoring data for evidence-based decision making.
Officially recognizing the partnership, ADPC Executive Director Hans Guttman and the NIAPP Director General Dr. Nguyen Quang Dzung signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 16 November in Hanoi.
SERVIR-Mekong has been developing a series of geospatial tools which could bring benefit for agriculture development activities. Application of these tools will enhance capacity and support decision making in agriculture development, management for sustainable development, improve livelihood, and climate change adaption in Viet Nam as well as the other Lower Mekong countries.
NIAPP’s functions are to research, survey, evaluate and protect all agricultural-related natural resources, such as land, water, etc. as well as to formulate and implement the strategy for agricultural and rural development accompanied by the protection of the environment. Large-scale mapping remains a challenge for government agencies in Viet Nam due to limited data sources, and lack of the right technology. Through this partnership, SERVIR-Mekong’s technical expertise and available tools can help improve the capacity of NIAPP personnel and enhance the agency’s technical capability.
“This partnership with ADPC will enhance our capacity to monitor and process agricultural land use mapping data more efficiently,” says Dr. Do Minh Phuong, Senior Researcher at the Remote Sensing and GIS Center at NIAPP. “As our capabilities improve, we will convince the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to increase investments in geospatial technologies.”
Access to better mapping systems and data sources would result in better ways of handling rehabilitation and resettlement issues in rural areas while improving the environmental impact assessment, soil analysis and lead to better water quality for communities across Viet Nam.
At the close of the ceremony, Mr. Guttman notes, “This paves the way for ADPC and NIAPP in the long run, broadening our partnership in other areas of mutual interest such as climate resilience and food security.”
NIAPP is also looking forward to future collaboration with the SERVIR-Mekong program for technical trainings and joint research initiatives. It is also envisioned that the partnership bridges ways for funding opportunities from other international donors.