Action plan for the multi-level conservation of forest wetlands in the Mekong River Delta, Vietnam

Chia sẻ: Haivan Haivan | Ngày: | Loại File: PDF | Số trang:0

1
133
lượt xem
19
download

Action plan for the multi-level conservation of forest wetlands in the Mekong River Delta, Vietnam

Mô tả tài liệu
  Download Vui lòng tải xuống để xem tài liệu đầy đủ

The Mekong River Delta in Vietnam can be considered as a large tropical wetland, in which two typical eco-forest wetlands can be distinguished: the inland Melaleuca forest wetlands and the coastal mangrove forest wetlands. Their main functions are the provision of forest commodities, the regulation of the water balance and biodiversity conservation. However as elsewhere under human pressure their existence is under the threat of forest fires and deforestation. Their protection requires the implementation of a multi-level national or sub-national planning policy. This paper elaborates on a few processes and offers a number of suggestions for a sustainable policy action plan, which......

Chủ đề:
Lưu

Nội dung Text: Action plan for the multi-level conservation of forest wetlands in the Mekong River Delta, Vietnam

  1. International Congress on Development, Environment and Natural Resources: Multi-level and Multi-scale Sustainability. Cochabamba, Bolivia, 11 – 13 July, 2007 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Action plan for the multi-level conservation of forest wetlands in the Mekong River Delta, Vietnam L.A. Tuan1,2, G. Wyseure2 1 Department of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, College of Technology, CanTho University, CanTho, Vietnam latuan@ctu.edu.vn 2 Division of Soil and Water Management, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium guido.wyseure@biw.kuleuven.be Keywords: Mekong, wetland, forest, water, multi-level conservation Abstract The Mekong River Delta in Vietnam can be considered as a large tropical wetland, in which two typical eco-forest wetlands can be distinguished: the inland Melaleuca forest wetlands and the coastal mangrove forest wetlands. Their main functions are the provision of forest commodities, the regulation of the water balance and biodiversity conservation. However as elsewhere under human pressure their existence is under the threat of forest fires and deforestation. Their protection requires the implementation of a multi-level national or sub-national planning policy. This paper elaborates on a few processes and offers a number of suggestions for a sustainable policy action plan, which fits the objectives at national, regional and local level. 1. Introduction In the period 1992 to 1997, the United Nations Development Programme provided a 3- million USD grant to the Vietnamese Government for the formulation and implementation, of a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). The goal of the BAP is remediation of the threats to biodiversity caused by the 40 years of war. In 1993, the Vietnam National Assembly approved the Law on Environment Protection and the Vietnamese Government signed the Convention on Biological Diversity and ratified officially this Convention in 1994. One year later, in 1995, Vietnam Prime Minister signed the BAP for Vietnam. Under this document, Vietnam recognizes the importance of wetlands in supporting biodiversity, and has committed itself to establish a number of protected areas encompassing important wetlands with high biodiversity values [1]. The Mekong Delta (MD) in Vietnam, located in the tropical monsoon zone, is formed by the alluvium deposition of the Mekong River stretching from the border between Cambodia and Vietnam to the sea (Fig. 1). The MD is four million hectares in size and hosts 18 million inhabitants. It is the country’s basket for agricultural, fishery and forestry. The MD supplies more than 50 percent of the nation’s staple food and covers
  2. International Congress on Development, Environment and Natural Resources: Multi-level and Multi-scale Sustainability. Cochabamba, Bolivia, 11 – 13 July, 2007 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 60 percent of the total fish production. The MD is confirmed as a part of the international biodiversity conservation Mekong basin. Fig.1: The Mekong River Basin and Land forms of the MD in Vietnam The main objective of this article is the presentation of the forest wetland inventory process, applied to both the inland and coastal forests. Forest wetland inventory is considered as the first most important step in the formulation of sustainable strategies in wetland conservation. The inventories provide information on the type and the location of wetland, the economic and ecological value of the wetland, and the type and incidence of human threat [2]. They are used as basis for the formulation of conservation priorities, the drafting of planning and management measures and regulations, and a variety of conservation programmes. 2. Materials and Methods There are only two seasons in the MD: the rainy and dry season. Each year, from May to October, most of the MD receives between 1800 and 2200 mm of rainfall. At the end of the rainy season, due to the combination of floodwater draining from the upstream areas, the overland flood water entering from Cambodia across the Vietnam border, the inland high rainfall and the effects of high tide from the sea, yearly between 1.2 and 1.9 million hectares of land are inundated, mainly the Northern parts of the MD known as the LongXuyen quadrangle and the Plain of Reeds. Along the 600 km-coast, the sea tide strongly influences the water quality by sea water intrusion. In the dry season, about 500,000 hectares of land are affected by salinity intrusion. In addition, an area of 2-million ha is covered by acid sulphate soils.
  3. International Congress on Development, Environment and Natural Resources: Multi-level and Multi-scale Sustainability. Cochabamba, Bolivia, 11 – 13 July, 2007 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ In the period 2001-2006 many wetlands, such as Tram Chim, Lang Sen, Ha Tien, U Minh, Dat Mui, Lung Ngoc Hoang and others were surveyed. Parallel and for the account of the Vietnamese Government the available literature on forest wetlands was reviewed, and a summary made of special documents, maps, published and unpublished data. This review was complemented with rapid in-situ wetland assessments and interviews as to better identify the key problems with respect to the multi-level conservation of forest wetlands. Using international and national criteria, forest wetlands were ranked according to their conservation priority. The output of this exercise was the basis for the formulation of a multi-level conservation action plan for forest wetlands in the MD, using the guidelines in the Ramsar Convention [3] and the Biodiversity Action Plan for Vietnam as boundary conditions [4]. 3. Results and discussion 3.1. Mekong wetland forests in practice and threats The 280,000 ha of forest in the MD can be split in two distinctive, typical eco-forest wetlands using the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) guidelines: the inland Melaleuca forest wetlands and the coastal mangrove forest wetlands [5] (Fig. 2, [6]). Depending on their location in the MD the twenty two forest wetland sites are classified as coastal (predominantly saltwater) and inland (predominantly freshwater) sites. BirdLife International [1] identified on the basis of the habitat diversity of the site 10 priority wetlands for conservation. Table 1 lists the 11 most important and relevant habitat types in each of those priority wetlands. The forest wetlands in the MD are considered as the largest and richest ecosystems of Vietnam due to their development in a very low topography, high humidity and temperature, interlacing rivers and canals and abundant alluvium. Mangrove forests is found along the country’s 3,000-km coastline [7], and are the harbour of at least 38 on a total of 46 plant species with economic value. Farmers use mangrove trees mainly as a source of firewood and for construction. However, mangrove forests are known for their high biodiversity to coastal fisheries and many aquatic species. There are 77 Melaleuca plant species in which Melaleuca leucodendron plant is predominating throughout. The exponential growth of the population in the MD, which expands annual with 2.3%, is the primary cause of the increasing pressure on the natural resources and the tropical eco-environmental system. Many mangrove forests are destroyed for aquaculture farming (mainly shrimp, fishes and oysters), and Melaleuca forests are cut for the harvest of construction piles, rice cultivation and drainage works. Melaleuca forests are prune to fire every dry season. In general, the MD wetland area is being reduced by unplanned forest exploitation and poor management. A recent study in the MD discovered that every hectare of lost mangrove forest results in an annual loss of roughly 0.7 tons of fish caught from the sea [8].
  4. International Congress on Development, Environment and Natural Resources: Multi-level and Multi-scale Sustainability. Cochabamba, Bolivia, 11 – 13 July, 2007 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Fig. 2: The forest wetland map of the MD [6] Table 1: Areas of 11 broad habitat types at 10 priority wetland sites in the MD [1] Area (ha) Lung Habitat type Bai Dat U Minh Ha Tra Tinh Tram Lang Total Ngoc Vo Doi Boi Mui Thuong Tien Su Doi Chim Sen Hoang Mangrove 2,344 3,077 5,421 plantation Regenerating 748 1,134 1,882 mangrove Old growth 771 711 mangrove Mudflat 1,504 1,050 2,554 Nypa fruiticans 646 720 519 1,366 swamp Settlement and 283 486 1,022 2,012 12,140 2,101 47 154 557 2,225 519 agriculture Open swamp 222 727 1,019 90 20 520 23 21,027 Grassland 1,721 8,509 85 379 3,609 2,621 Grassland with 429 1,872 1,606 71 71 510 955 14,303 Melaleuca Melaleuca 1,040 5,500 2,309 3,188 568 581 2,099 970 5,514 plantation Mature 881 4,123 62 5,066 16,255 Melaleuca forest Total (ha) 5,525 7,238 2,713 10,992 22,918 14,388 861 1,644 7,740 3,280 77,299
  5. International Congress on Development, Environment and Natural Resources: Multi-level and Multi-scale Sustainability. Cochabamba, Bolivia, 11 – 13 July, 2007 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Under the population and economic pressure inhabitants of the MD are gradually encroaching upon the forest areas for conversion to aquaculture and agriculture land, timber exploitation and wildlife hunting. These human activities are threatening dramatically the forests especially in wildlife reduction and forest fire. In an investigation on forest fire in 2002 [7], about 8,212 ha of Melaleuca forest in the Upper and the Lower U Minh areas were burned, accounting for approximately 57% (17% in the Lower U Minh and 40% in the Upper U Minh) of the total Melaleuca forest area. In the U Minh coastal forest areas, the existing peat layers in the soil, 150 cm thick, has been reduced by 30 to 100 cm [9]. 3.2. Action plan for the Mekong wetland forest A four-level conservation action plan for wetland forests, meeting the objectives at international, national, regional and site level was developed (Fig. 3). By 1993 more than 75 countries, including Vietnam, became member of the Ramsar Convention. The latter being an intergovernmental agreement offers a sound and stable framework for international cooperation in the area of wetland conservation. Fig. 3: Multi-level conservation scheme for forest wetlands in Vietnam
  6. International Congress on Development, Environment and Natural Resources: Multi-level and Multi-scale Sustainability. Cochabamba, Bolivia, 11 – 13 July, 2007 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ In 2004, the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment signed a decree on the conservation and development of wetlands. The decree, called the "Strategic Action Plan on the Conservation and Sustainable Exploitation of Wetlands to 2010", provides an important legal basis for promoting sustainable management of wetlands in Vietnam. The decree is fully in line with the Ramsar Convention and stipulates that wetland conservation areas need to be managed and restrictedly exploited. Constructions in the buffer zones that impact or potentially threaten wetland conservation areas are strictly prohibited. The decree was designed to guide regional policy makers, provincial governments, managers of wetland forests and national parks, and researchers/scientists in wetland conservation and sustainable exploitation. Recently, Vietnam made strong efforts to nominate three more Ramsar sites among 65 already identified nationally important wetland areas [10]. Fig. 4: Wetland mapping and data analysis process In the last five years, the central and local governments and Vietnamese scientists collaborated with many international agencies and organizations, such as BirdLife International, EuroConsult, Mekong Committee, National Center for Tropical Wetland Research, Asian Wetland Bureau, the World Conservation Union, among others on the classification of forest wetlands, the inventory and mapping of wetlands, the mapping, and detailed description of the wetland’s diversity, and conducted applied research at regional and site levels. The Sub-Institute for Forest Inventory and Planning (Sub-FIPI) in Ho Chi Minh City has been the regional coordinator for the project “Investigation and
  7. International Congress on Development, Environment and Natural Resources: Multi-level and Multi-scale Sustainability. Cochabamba, Bolivia, 11 – 13 July, 2007 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Management of Wetlands in the Mekong River Delta” [11]. The project has been carried out with the participation of several research institutes. Figure 4 illustrates the 1:250,000 scale mapping and data processing framework, which was designed for the characterization and ranking of the wetlands in the MD and the South East region. Today, each MD wetland forest managing board finished the wetland situation analysis report as part of the action plan. The analysis report consists in a detailed description of the wetland forest site; the inventory of the biodiversity values and environmental issues; policy issues and livelihood of the people;, and management strategies for the exploitation, development and conservation of the wetland. The multi-level action plan for the conservation of forest wetlands in the MD is not a rigid document. It offers sufficient flexibility for planning, exploitation and management at local level. Furthermore, it easily can be adjusted to changing boundary conditions such as climate change, the displacement of human settlements, etc. Albeit the MD site action plans are useful key instruments for: ▪ answering the policy recommendations for wetland forest management; ▪ giving an understanding and awareness of economic and livelihood values in wetland biodiversity conservation sites; ▪ revising and upgrading wetland sustainability utility planning; and ▪ integrating information for wetland forest sustainability financing mechanisms. The rapid expansion of intensified agricultural cultivation and urbanization in the MD is strongly affecting wetland forest, resulting ultimately in shrinkage of the area covered with wetland forest. Environmental problems and sustainable development in general, and wetland ecosystem in particular, can not be solved effectively if people’s knowledge, understanding, attitude and behavior are not taken into consideration. Hence, environmental education is an important issue in the successful protection of the environment. Also, natural resources conservation policies should pay sufficient attention to the income mechanisms of the local, mostly poor farmers, living at the fringe of the wetland forests. These people should share and benefit from the wetland revenues and positively stimulated by adequate government subsidy policies. 4. Conclusion and recommendation The wetland forests in the MD must be managed in an integrated and sustainable way towards the wise use of wetland values. It is a trend policy on wetland multi-level conservation, adopted by many countries in the world for preventing the further wetland forest loss or degradation. Implementing in Vietnam the above described action plan, it is believed that consultancy and support of international institutions and universities with capacity in wetland exploitation and management are essential. Their input will be of high relevance for local and central decision makers. It is strongly suggested to establish on site community-based wetland forest resources management groups. These groups need to be trained in the understanding of the
  8. International Congress on Development, Environment and Natural Resources: Multi-level and Multi-scale Sustainability. Cochabamba, Bolivia, 11 – 13 July, 2007 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ socio-economic benefits of natural ecosystems and how to use existing techniques for a sustainable wetland forest conservation and exploitation. Acknowledgments The authors like to acknowledge the critical and constructive review of the manuscript by Dr. Jan Feyen of the Soil and Water Division, Department of Land Management and Economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. In addition, the first author is grateful for the financial support offered by the IUC Programme of VLIRUOS with the CanTho University, through which he could embark on a sandwich doctoral programme between the College of Technology, Can Tho University (Vietnam) and the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). References [1] BirdLife Interantional Vietnam Programme. The Conservation of Key Wetlands Sites in the Mekong Delta. Conservation Report, N° 12, Hanoi, 1, 1999 [2] L.T. Costa, J.C. Farinha, N. Hecker, P. Tomás Vives (Eds.). Mediterranean Wetland Inventory: A Reference Manual. MedWet/Instituto da Conservaõ o da Natureza, Wetlands International Publication, Vol. I, 1996. [3] Ramsar Convention Bureau. The Ramsar Convention manual. Ramsar Convention Bureau, Gland, Switzerland, 1994. [4] Vietnam Prime Minister. Decision Approving the Biodiversity Action Plan for Vietnam. Prime Minister Decision N° 845/TTg, dated 22 December 1995 [5] Food and Agriculture Organization. Mangrove forestry guidelines. FAO Forestry Paper, 117, Rome, Italy, 1994. [6] Nhan, N. V. Wetland mapping in the Mekong Delta and Tram Chim area using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Proceedings of a workshop on balancing economic development with environmental conservation, Safford, R.J., D. V. Ni, E. Maltby and V. T. Xuan (eds.), RHIER, London University, UK. 1997:87-93pp, 1997. [7] To Thi Thuy Hang, Nguyen Thi Ngoc An. An economic Analysis of the Can Gio Mangrove Scheme in Ho Chi Minh City. Economy & Environment Case Studies in Vietnam, EEPSEA, Singapore, 205-221, 1999. [8] World Bank. Vietnam Coastal Wetlands Protection and Development Project. Report N° 19825 VN, 1999. [9] M.S. Bradford. Fire Incident Assessment. U Minh Ha Forest and U Minh Thuong National Park, Ca Mau and Kien Giang Provinces, Vietnam, 2002. Accessed on 20 March 2006 from: http://www.reliefweb.int/ochaunep/edr/Vietnamexpert.pdf [10] Pham Dinh Viet Hong. Vietnam adopts Decree on the conservation and development of wetlands. Ramsar Vietnam. 2003. Accessed on 20 March 2006 from the website: http://www.ramsar.org/wn/w.n.vietnam_decree.htm. [11] Sub-Institute for Forest Inventory and Planning. Vietnam Wetland - Classification System (in Vietnamese). Agriculture Publishing House, HoChiMinh City, Vietnam, 2004.

CÓ THỂ BẠN MUỐN DOWNLOAD

Đồng bộ tài khoản