Dong Thap Province, Viet Nam, 26 January 2018 – International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in collaboration with The Coca-Cola Viet Nam Beverage Viet Nam Limited (Coca-Cola Viet Nam) organise the launch workshop for the project “Piloting flood-based-livelihoods in support of a water retention strategy for the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam” at the meeting hall of Thap Muoi Provincial People’s Committee, Ward 1, Cao Lanh District, Dong Thap Province.

The collaboration originated from the idea of “Monkey Cheeks” funded by Coca-Cola in Thailand, a project which was used to improve the water resources management of the local communities. In Viet Nam, the idea is similar but adjusted to support the idea of flood storage or water retention as the idea has gained high-level interest as a way to mitigate extreme floods and droughts in the Mekong Delta.

In recent years, the Delta has become highly vulnerable to extreme flooding, droughts, and rising sea levels leading to saltwater intrusion. This situation is further aggravated by water control infrastructure such as high dikes, canals, and sluice gates built for intensive yet unsustainable agricultural activities such as triple rice cropping.

The project will train and assist farmers in Dong Thap, Long An, and An Giang Provinces in the Mekong Delta to adopt financially attractive, low risk, flood-based livelihoods as alternatives to unsustainable triple rice cropping. The results will be scaled up across the upper delta by integrating the project approach into new provincial land and water use plans, a proposed Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) Water Retention Strategy in the Mekong Delta and other initiatives in response to the impacts of climate change.

“Given the negative situation in the Mekong Delta brought about by climate change, it is imperative for both public and private sector to work together and do what we can to support the communities in this region,” said Mr. Sanket Ray, CEO of Coca-Cola Vietnam. “We are committed to working with the government through the MARD and MONRE, as well as with our partner IUCN, in realizing this important project to ensure the safety and livelihood of the people in this region.”

The provinces of Dong Thap, Long An, and An Giang will be the pilot areas of this project. It will target 450 hectares of flood-based livelihoods, conserving or restoring approximately 6.7 million m3 per year of flood retention capacity. It is expected that scaling up the demonstration will help restore some of the 4 billion m3 of water retention that was lost in the decade from 2000 and 2011.

Implementing the idea of water retention is a complex matter involving multiple sectors and stakeholders. Flood-based livelihoods are only one facet of the challenge, but arguably one of the most important since it involves some of the most vulnerable stakeholders, the farmers whose land will act as flood retention area. Their participation and involvement in developing a water retention strategy is crucial to the success of the idea,” opined Dr. Andrew Wyatt, IUCN’s Mekong Delta program manager. “If the project can demonstrate solutions to the technical and market challenges, farmers will be able to benefit by profiting from the floods. The approach of using nature-based solutions to address climate change, and we consider flood-based agriculture as a nature-based solution, is now a key direction of the government which is reflected in National Resolution 120. IUCN firmly believes that nature-based solutions will also assist the government to reduce its budgetary and debt burden by avoiding the need to build ever more high dikes.”

In addition to this idea, Coca-Cola Viet Nam has also initiated various other projects in Vietnam, focused on providing access to clean water and protecting vital watersheds. For the last ten years, Coca-Cola has invested $1.6 million to deliver 2 billion liters of clean water to 65,000 underprivileged people in 7 cities and provinces across the country. In Tram Chim National Park, Coca-Cola provided support to conserve and restore one of the last remnants of the wetlands ecosystem in the Plain of Reeds, investing $1.7 million in a project to restore 10 billion liters of clean water every year since 2007 and conserving the areas biodiversity to protect 130 fish species and 256 bird species. In October 2015, the Tram Chim National Park was certified by Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism as a National Landscape Site. Through its EKOCENTERs, Coca-Cola has also supplied more than 3 million liters of clean drinking water for 560,000 people in seven provinces.

Guided by Coca-Cola’s sustainability goals focused on water stewardship, women empowerment, and wellbeing of communities, Coca-Cola aims to continue collaborating with government and civil society on valuable programs that will support the continued growth and progress of Vietnam.


Media contact:

Nguyen Thuy Anh
Communication and Outreach Officer
IUCN Viet Nam
Phone: +84916451166
E-mail: thuyanh.NGUYEN@iucn.org

Vũ Thanh Trúc
PR and Sustainability Manager
Coca-Cola Viet Nam
Phone: +84918872279
Email: vu@coca-cola.com

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, offering over 500 brands to people in more than 200 countries. Of our 21 billion-dollar brands, 19 are available in lower- or no-sugar options to help people moderate their consumption of added sugar. In addition to our namesake Coca-Cola drinks, some of our leading brands around the world include: AdeS soy-based beverages, Ayataka green tea, Dasani waters, Del Valle juices and nectars, Fanta, Georgia coffee, Gold Peak teas and coffees, Honest Tea, Minute Maid juices, Powerade sports drinks, Simply juices, smartwater, Sprite, vitaminwater, and Zico coconut water. At Coca-Cola, we’re serious about making positive contributions to the world. That starts with reducing sugar in our drinks and continuing to introduce new ones with added benefits. It also means continuously working to reduce our environmental impact, creating rewarding careers for our associates and bringing economic opportunity wherever we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people around the world. For more information, visit our digital magazine Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, and follow The Coca-Cola Company on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Coca-Cola Vietnam

Coca-Cola is one of the best-known international brands in Vietnam. Coca-Cola Vietnam's factories in Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang and Hanoi recruit about 2,500 employees, more than 99% of whom are Vietnamese. The Company's portfolio in Vietnam includes Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light, Coke Zero, Sprite, Fanta, Minute Maid Nutriboost, Minute Maid Teppy, Schweppes, Dasani and Aquarius. Since 2017, to meet the fast changing in tastes and demands of consumers, Coca-Cola Vietnam has proactively diversified its high quality portfolio with the promotion of packaged juice and tea products. Coca-Cola Vietnam has considered sustainable development as the core of its business activities which include organizing safe and healthy working environment, setting priority to training employees. Several sustainable development projects were also expressed by detailed goals of energy saving, effective water use and water balance. Coca-Cola continues building sustainable communities in locations where the company operates. From 2010, Coca-Cola has invested millions of USD in community projects in Vietnam, including projects building EKOCENTER, providing clean water, empowering women and local SMEs, supporting families in hardship, and sending disaster relief.

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union composed of both government and civil society organisations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,300 Member organisations and the input of more than 16,000 experts. IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. www.iucn.org.

About IUCN Viet Nam

IUCN has a long history in Viet Nam since it first supported the government in the mid of 1980s. In 1993, Viet Nam became state member of IUCN and the country office was set up in the same year. Since then, IUCN has made important contributors to biodiversity conservation and environmental protection, primarily through support to the development of laws and policies such as the National Biodiversity Action Plan (1995), the National Environment and Sustainable Development Plan (1991-2000), the Forest Law (2004), the Environment Protection Law (2005), and the Biodiversity Law (2008).

IUCN works in two main thematic areas: water and wetlands and coastal and marine. Our programmes include the formation of multi-stakeholder groups to supervise project activities, support local NGOs though small grant financing, finance pilot projects to test improved practices, improve the quality of environmental news, engaging business to improve their environmental performance, and cooperate with provincial governments to demonstrate the benefits of nature-based solutions to environmental problems. IUCN also implements the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) programme in the Indo-Burma Hotspot. For further information, pls. visit: www.iucn.org/vietnam.