A team of seven experts from the U.S. Department of Interior's International Technical Assistance Program visited Vietnam on November 21 to 25 as part of USAID’s Smart Infrastructure for the Mekong (USAID SIM) project. At the request of the Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the team is conducting an impartial scientific review of the draft Mekong Delta Study, a comprehensive assessment of the ecological impacts from proposed Mekong River hydropower projects on the Mekong Delta and Cambodian lowlands.

The team, comprised of representatives of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Geological Survey, visited key areas in the Mekong River estuary, including the Plain of Reeds in Cao Lanh and Tram Chim National Park. During the subsequent review workshop in Hanoi, the USAID SIM team offered suggestions to improve the study’s baseline assessment and to craft the upcoming impact assessment. The team will return to Vietnam for two additional review workshops in 2015.

Source: USAID/RDMA Regional Environment Office Weekly Update