Mangrove allocation for coastal protection and livelihood improvement in Kien Giang province, Vietnam: constraints and recommendations

Nguyen, Tan Phong, Thai, Thanh Luom, and Kevin, Parnell E. (2017) Mangrove allocation for coastal protection and livelihood improvement in Kien Giang province, Vietnam: constraints and recommendations. Land Use Policy, 63. pp. 401-407.

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A management policy adopted by the Kien Giang Province, Vietnam, is to allocate mangroves areas using contracts with local community members who are dependent on mangrove resources for both mangrove protection and livelihood improvement. However, community members have not made the best use of the allocated areas, and mangroves have not been well protected. The policy is due to be revised in late 2016, as is legally required. This study used mixed methods to review the policy and its implementation with respect to mangrove protection requirements and use of mangroves for livelihood improvement and to provide recommendations for sustainable mangrove management in Kien Giang. The policy and its implementation is demonstrated to be a constraint to achieving its goal. Limited understanding of the policy of contractees resulted in ineffective and inefficient aquaculture and mangrove protection in almost all areas. 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. Improper technical guidance on the configuration of mangrove allocations, and mangrove protection and transplantation methods resulted in the mangrove protected areas being fragmented and vulnerable to erosion. Permitted thinning and selective harvest practices should be reviewed to ensure adequate resilience and protection of mangrove areas, especially on critically eroding areas. Proper law enforcement should be put in place to ensure contracts are adequately implemented. Allocation and/or transferal of areas less than 1 ha must be discontinued in the future to avoid further defragmentation and degradation. Technical guidance on configuring allocated mangrove areas should be established and incorporated into the updated policy that would help improve the effectiveness of the policy, and address problems relating to strengthening resilience and protection of mangrove areas in Kien Giang Province, Vietnam.

Similar programs using mangrove area allocation to individuals and households in response to mangrove area loss exist elsewhere in the Mekong delta. Understanding the reasons for the very limited success of the Kien Giang program and local co-investigation in drawing lessons learnt can help guide other similar programs elsewhere in the Mekong Delta region.

Item ID: 50252
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-5754
Keywords: mangrove aquaculture, mangrove afforestation, mangrove thinning, selective harvests, coastal protection
Funders: James Cook University
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2017 22:45
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 100%
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