Cold water aquaculture, as a potential new aquaculture sector, has since its start eight years ago become an important new food production sector in poor mountain areas of Vietnam. During the previous ICI-project (2010-2012), the production of cold water species and the number of fish farms has more than doubled, and the sector currently provides livelihood for thousands of people. The development has been exceptionally rapid even in Vietnamese scale, although Vietnam is well-known for its rapid development. If we consider as baseline situation in 2009, before the implementation of the last ICI-project, cold water aquaculture was practised in four provinces by twelve farmers. Today, more than 105 private cold water farms have started their operation in 22 provinces in Northern and Central Vietnam. The farms directly employ about 750 peoples and produce 1 380 tons of fish (265 tons in 2009), sold in high value market such as restaurants in cities and towns and as special gifts in vacations and holidays, thus the market price of cold water fish species is at least 10 times higher than that of traditional fish. It is noteworthy that cold water aquaculture takes place in mountainous, remote and isolated areas, and regions occupied by ethnic minorities living in difficult conditions. In these parts cold water aquaculture promotes the prosperity and well-being of people via creating new opportunities for green economy, thereby serving as an effective tool for the alleviation of poverty. The green economy is low-carbon, resource-efficient, socially inclusive and creates decent work and well-being for as many women and men as possible. In addition, cold water fish farming has brought many direct and indirect supporting business/job opportunities related to production, processing, transportation, marketing, sales and maintenance. Thus, the new local aquaculture production strongly promotes the business of whole value chain and thereby also the fish processors, retail trade and horeca-activities are beneficiaries of the development. The importance of cold water aquaculture has been identified by Vietnam’s government and has been prioritized in the Vietnamese scientific strategies and research funding. Despite the very rapid development and many achieved improvements, many significant challenges still remain. Currently RCCAS is capable of supplying 300 – 400 000 rainbow trout eggs/fingerlings to private farmers, but the demand for high quality, disease free and locally adapted animal material is much higher due to fast growth of the farming (early 2000: no cold water farming, 2009: 12 farms, 2012: 105 farms). Similarly, although the ability to diagnose fish diseases has been improved in the previous ICI-project, the overall fish health situation is, however, getting more challenging due to uncontrolled fish transport and fast growth of the production. The great opportunities of fish farming unfortunately may tempt great risk taking. In many cases around the world, good start in aquaculture has been followed by a great drop of the whole industry due disease epidemics1. Developing countries at lower latitudes are found to be most prone and vulnerable for disease outbreaks in aquaculture2. In the proposed project, aim is to avoid this unfortunate development by building capacity to develop Vietnam’s own national selective breeding fish material adapted to local conditions, and to monitor and treat fish health issues. Also the capacity of RIA-1 in R&D to meet new challenges in fast growing aquaculture will be enhanced in the proposed project. Already now, the need to diversify production has been acknowledged, and national funding for the European whitefish broodstock management has been applied. The RIA-1 has asked FGFRI’s assistance also in this project (Appendix 7: LoI on transfer of European whitefish egg production technology). Furthermore, the climate change causes a particular challenge to the sector. Vietnam is estimated to be one of the world’s most vulnerable areas for the negative impacts due to the climate change3. This is the case in particular with cold water aquaculture, where the temperature and availability of the water are the main limiting factors. Similarly, Pangasius catfish farming at the Mekong delta area may be in great danger, as even a slight rise of sea level causes saline water to intrude vast areas. Good achievements in cold water fish farming and relationships between Finnish and Vietnamese project partners have also been recognized on other aquaculture sectors of Vietnam, and the proposed ICI-project have been developed in order to cooperate and expand the good results achieved so far to cover also Pangasius aquaculture. Aquaculture has significantly contributed to national economics and has been used effectively as a tool for the reduction of poverty in Vietnam. The main objective of the proposed project is to contribute to the sustainable development of aquaculture, which is in compliance with the Vietnamese Government’s strategies for the development of the aquaculture sector to 2020, approved by decision No.: 332/Q?-TTg dated March 30, 2011. The decision states that the rapid development of aquaculture follows an industrial and modernized orientation and in a sustainable, effective and competitive manner in order to be the main production sector for export and domestic demand, creating stable livelihoods, improved incomes for farmers and contribute to poverty reduction. The overall objective of the project is to support poverty alleviation and gender equality through strengthening the capacity of RIA-1, which enables RIA-1 to be in charge of sustainable development of freshwater aquaculture sector in Vietnam to meet the increasing challenges of achieving environmental sustainability and adapting to climate change. To achieve the objective, capacity building is focused on better management and the development of genetic resources, and establishment on fish health services and monitoring system. The project will pursue long-term relationships between RIA-1, its partners and the Finnish institutes, and develop RIA-1’s technical and institutional capacity to plan, develop, optimize and execute sustainable breeding programs. This will aid the Partner agency RIA-1 to meet the challenges in the sector and to provide services to the growing freshwater aquaculture industry.