Managing mangrove dominated muddy coasts through integration of local and scientific knowledge in Kien Giang, Vietnam and Brebes, Indonesia

Nguyen, Tan Phong (2016) Managing mangrove dominated muddy coasts through integration of local and scientific knowledge in Kien Giang, Vietnam and Brebes, Indonesia. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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The literature showed that local knowledge and scientific knowledge, when integrated adequately and properly, produce enormous benefits for natural resource management in comparison to the different knowledge systems being applied independently. Muddy coasts, characterised primarily by fine-grained sedimentary deposits, have been over-exploited or increasingly made vulnerable to climate change, storm surge, and sea level rise. Both scientific knowledge and local knowledge systems have been used in mangrove dominated muddy coast management. Both systems, each having advantages, have had limited success in mangrove dominated muddy coast management, with a low level of local involvement, and minimal integration of the different knowledge systems. A question is whether or not sustainable management of mangrove dominated muddy coasts can be sustainably managed by integration of local and scientific knowledge with a high level of participation.

The overall aim of this research is to identify mechanisms for integrating local and scientific knowledge for managing mangrove dominated muddy coasts in a sustainable way. The mechanisms identified address the adverse effects of climate change using sustainable management of mangrove dominated muddy coasts, while protecting local livelihoods. The field research was undertaken in Kien Giang, Vietnam and Brebes Regency, Indonesia between May 2013 and May 2016. The research applied mixed methods (survey methods and participatory action research methods) to achieve the overall aim. The term 'scientific knowledge' as used in this thesis is scientific understanding of coastal dynamics, published sources of information, the results of the previous studies in Kien Giang Province, and conventional practices or management policies issued by government agencies. Local knowledge is built up over generations by those living near the site in question. The mixed method approach contributes greatly to developing a more complete picture of human activities and coastal management, thereby, achieving research goals in a timely manner.

Scientific understanding was use to systematically collate, link and justify local knowledge for investigating the relationship between human activities and coastal erosion. Improper technical guidance on the configuration of mangrove allocations, mangrove protection and afforestation methodologies, and permitted thinning and selective harvests led to the creation of substantial gaps and disconnections in the established mangroves, making the entire coastline vulnerable to coastal erosion and degradation. Poor aquaculture pond construction, poor construction of new and upgraded sections of the sea dyke system, mangrove afforestation using only a single species, mangrove cutting for commercial and domestic uses, and construction of local boating channels, although not recognised locally as significant contributors to coastal erosion, have jeopardised the structural integrity of the mangroves and contributed to coastal erosion. The interaction of anthropogenic activities and physical processes are significant contributors to erosion. In the second case, local knowledge was brought together with relevant scientific knowledge into developing ecologically based, cost effective strategies for successfully controlling coastal erosion in Kien Giang Province, Vietnam. Ecologically based and cost-effective strategies included seven different types of Melaleuca fences, a method of gradual expansion with ten treatments constructed gradually over time and ecological mangrove restoration using five local mangrove species for transplantation.

Developed from the results and conclusions from the research activities in Kien Giang, a six stage practical framework adds a new dimension to the literature in relation to the integration of local and scientific knowledge in natural resource management. While the integrated knowledge was a new knowledge in the current integration frameworks and was made available for local use, in the framework proposed in this research, detailed consideration of the successes and failures in relation to the application of the product of different knowledge systems in the local context provides new knowledge, adding to the production of different knowledge systems. In addition, the integration framework promotes a high level of integration of local and scientific knowledge, local ownership, and sustainability that are the ultimate objectives that development projects are seeking, and assists in overcoming the challenges facing the current management strategies for managing mangrove dominated muddy coasts sustainably.

The framework was applied in Brebes Regency, Indonesia for investigating its current strategies for managing mangrove dominated muddy coasts. Inefficient nursery operation, wrong choice of mangrove species, improper afforestation techniques, and poor coastal protection measures contributed to limited success in coastal erosion control in Brebes. Inadequate monitoring and evaluation of coastal protection program resulted in significant challenges for further mangrove afforestation. Lessons from the mistakes were not learnt, leading to failures being repeated and ineffective management of the eroding muddy coasts in Brebes.

Likewise, the results of the previous chapters and the practical framework were applied for developing sustainable management of mangrove dominated muddy coasts in Kien Giang and Brebes. In Kien Giang, sustainable management of mangrove dominated muddy coasts in Kien Giang is guaranteed using the current 30/70 mangrove allocation policy and developing and implementing technical guidelines for allocated and private mangrove areas. The 30 (use) /70 (protection) configuration of mangrove areas for allocated mangrove areas and the 70 (maximum use) / 30 (minimum protection) for private coast lands in Kien Giang, if undertaken properly, would assist significantly in establishing a continuous mangrove belt along the Kien Giang coastline. In Brebes, the strategic plan for establishing a continuous mangrove belts for adaptation to climate change and livelihood protection includes restoration of abandoned ponds, stabilisation of two delta areas, and configuration of active ponds at a ratio of (at most) 80 % (on the landward side for aquaculture activities) / (at least) 20 % (on the seaward side for voluntary mangrove establishment). Although not ideal, twenty percent is the minimum that the communities were willing to designate to voluntarily establish mangrove areas for protection.

In summary, the research achieved successfully the overall aims and objectives and reasonably answered the research questions. Significantly, the framework developed in this research provides theoretical and practical contributions to the literature regarding the integration of local and scientific knowledge in natural resource management. The framework contributes to overcoming the challenges that development projects face, and also contributes to developing sustainable management processes for the mangrove dominated muddy coasts of Kien Giang, Vietnam and Brebes Regency, Indonesia.

Item ID: 49877
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Brebes (Indonesia); coastal management; coastal protection; Kien Giang (Vietnam); local knowledge; mangrove management; mangroves; muddy coasts; natural resource management; scientific knowledge
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Publications arising from this thesis are available from the Related URLs field. The publications are:

Appendix 4: Nguyen, T.P., Nguyen, Van Tam, Le, Phat Quoi, and Parnell, Kevin E. (2016) Community perspectives on an internationally funded mangrove restoration project: Kien Giang province, Vietnam. Ocean & Coastal Management, 119. pp. 146-154.

Appendix 4: Nguyen, T.P., Tong, V.A., Quoi, L.P., and Parnell, K.E. (2016) Mangrove restoration: establishment of a mangrove nursery on acid sulphate soils. Journal of Tropical Forest Science, 28 (3). pp. 275-284.

Appendix 6: Nguyen Tan Phong, , Parnell, Kevin E., and Cottrell, Alison (2017) Human activities and coastal erosion on the Kien Giang coast, Vietnam. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 21 (6). pp. 967-979.

Appendix 6: Nguyen, T.P., and Parnell, Kevin E. (2017) Gradual expansion of mangrove areas as an ecological solution for stabilizing a severely eroded mangrove dominated muddy coast. Ecological Engineering, 107. pp. 239-243.

Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2018 04:09
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 70%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050207 Environmental Rehabilitation (excl Bioremediation) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 80%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies @ 20%
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