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Transforming Soc Trang Province's Shared Vision into Action

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam — Soc Trang is a key coastal province in Vietnam's Mekong Delta and is prized as one of the country's rice bowls given its high agricultural productivity. The province's coastal and marine resources are at risk not only from the negative ecological consequences of the expanding shrimp farming industry but also from the impacts of climate change.

The province currently serves as the pilot site of the Vietnamese-German Technical Cooperation Project entitled, "Management of Natural Resources in the Coastal Zone of Soc Trang Province," which aims to provide solutions to address the conflict between economic development and sustainable management of its natural resources. Soc Trang Province is also one of the priority sites identified by the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands (VASI) under the National ICM Scaling up Program and Five-Year Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia Implementation Plan in Vietnam.

GIZ Vietnam and the Province of Soc Trang jointly organized an Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) workshop on 16 April to formulate a Coastal Strategy (CS) and Coastal Strategy Implementation Plan (CSIP), building on the results generated from the project over the past years. The CS/CSIP will provide the strategic direction over the long term and next steps over the medium term for the province to achieve sustainable development of its coastal and marine areas.
At the ICM workshop, PEMSEA shared its experience in ICM implementation in the East Asian Seas region and discussed the process and requirements in developing the CS/CSIP, building upon the shared vision that was crafted from previous workshops, including the identified values and threats.
The vision was translated into action as the workshop participants from various departments and agencies in Soc Trang worked in teams to identify appropriate strategies, concrete objectives and specific actions to address the threats and contribute to achieving the shared vision. Further consultations will be undertaken to refine the teams' outputs.
To strengthen the partnership and promote synergy among the various players and stakeholders in Soc Trang, a Letter of Cooperation (LOC) was signed between GIZ Vietnam, the Province of Soc Trang and PEMSEA. Mr. Jochem Lange (Country Director, GIZ Vietnam), Mr. Le Thanh Tri (Vice Chair, Soc Trang Provincial People's Committee) and Ms. Nancy Bermas (Senior Country Programme Manager, PEMSEA Resource Facility) represented their respective organizations during the signing ceremony. The LOC aims to promote cooperation among the parties to implement mutually agreed activities contributing to the sustainable coastal development of Soc Trang Province with special focus on knowledge sharing and capacity building.