Biodiversity assessment and economic resource evaluation of coastal wetland ecosystems in Northeast Vietnam

Scientists from the Institute of Geography - Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) have assessed biodiversity and economically evaluated the resources of coastal wetland ecosystems in Northeast Vietnam. Research results provide a convincing scientific basis and comprehensive knowledge about the values of wetland ecosystems to plan investment development policies and propose solutions for rational use of resources in coastal wetland ecosystems.

Dr. Nguyen Manh Ha, project leader carrying out field surveys

Economic tools for managing coastal wetland ecosystems

Improper use of wetlands will lead to degradation and depletion of all types of resources. Harmonious coordination between protection, exploitation and effective use for sustainable development of resources is a challenge for each country and territory. Economic evaluation is becoming increasingly popular and effective to solve this problem. Economic valuation of resources is a solution to "monetize" the value of resources, serving as an important basis for policy makers, authorities at all levels, and managers to choose solutions to optimize sustainable use of resources in the relationship between protection, exploitation and use.

Wetland ecosystems along the Northeast coast of Vietnam are very diverse, rich and play a particularly important role in the livelihoods of local communities. Coastal wetland ecosystems not only play a huge role in regulating climate and limiting floods, but are also the place where alluvium is deposited to form soil and actively participate in the cycle of nutrients in the ecosystems in general.

The coastal strip from Mong Cai (Quang Ninh) to the Van Uc Estuary area (Do Son - Hai Phong) is one of the largest wetlands in the northeast coastal region of Vietnam, with diverse and abundant mangrove ecosystems. This is also a favorable environment for aquatic species to live and develop. However, up to now, management and conservation work has not really been completed. Therefore, determining the economic value of wetlands in the northeast coastal region and Quang Ninh and Hai Phong to protect, exploit and use them sustainably, is urgent.

Conservation research

In order to establish an integrated model of exploitation, rational use of resources and environmental protection of coastal wetlands in the northeast region, taking Tien Yen E     stuary wetlands, Quang Ninh province as an example, Dr. Nguyen Manh Ha and his colleagues performed the task " Biodiversity assessment and economic resource evaluation of coastal wetland ecosystems in Northeast Vietnam for sustainable development” (code number: UQSNMT.02/20-21).

Within the framework of the study, scientists partitioned and determined the level of biodiversity in the coastal wetland ecological zones of the northeast region. In this entire area, 1855 species of organisms have been recorded, of which 60 species of single-celled organisms, 684 species of plants and 1094 species of animals belonging to 14 phyla, 35 classes, 148 orders, 531 families of 5 biological worlds. Rare, threatened and in need of conservation species in the northeast ecosystem have been preliminarily identified, including four species recorded according to the Vietnam Red Book (2007) and 378 species according to IUCN (2020).

Researchers have evaluated resource economics in terms of direct, indirect and unused values for coastal wetland ecosystems in the northeast. Both groups of values in the total economic value of wetlands, namely use value and non-use value, are present in the study area with different scales. The value of ecosystems in Van Don district is the largest in the region, but the value per hectare of area ranks 5th after Quang Yen, Cua Luc Bay, Cam Pha and Van Uc estuary. While Quang Yen town only ranks fourth in terms of total ecosystem service value, the value per hectare of area is high. That is because the area of ecosystems in Van Don district is very large, mainly water surface for farming and fishing. The total economic value of Dong Rui wetland ecosystems is about 83.9 billion VND a year.

Dr. Nguyen Manh Ha shared this research result is important in helping managers choose policies and mechanisms for managing wetland landscapes to serve sustainable development. From the successes of the research, scientists have proposed to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to include Dong Rui - Tien Yen area in the list of Vietnam's wetland conservation area system. At the same time, the research team also recommends implementing direct investment projects in conservation areas and waste and wastewater treatment projects in the buffer zone, establishing models of ecological economic systems in the population community to preserve biodiversity and sustainably develop the northeast coastal wetlands of Vietnam.

Several photos of the research team conducting field investigations

Translated by Tuyet Nhung
Link to Vietnamese version

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