Land-use change and socio-ecological drivers of wetland conversion in Ha Tien Plain, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Nguyen, Hoang Huu, Dargusch, Paul, Moss, Patrick and Abdul Aziz, Ammar (2017) Land-use change and socio-ecological drivers of wetland conversion in Ha Tien Plain, Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Land Use Policy, 64 101-113. doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.02.019

Author Nguyen, Hoang Huu
Dargusch, Paul
Moss, Patrick
Abdul Aziz, Ammar
Title Land-use change and socio-ecological drivers of wetland conversion in Ha Tien Plain, Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Journal name Land Use Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0264-8377
Publication date 2017-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.02.019
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 64
Start page 101
End page 113
Total pages 13
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Subject 1107 Forestry
3305 Geography, Planning and Development
2309 Nature and Landscape Conservation
2308 Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Abstract The loss and degradation of wetlands in the Mekong Delta has been caused by a combination of human activities (social systems) and natural events (ecological systems). However, the complexity and interaction of these socio-ecological factors are poorly understood. This study provides a better understanding of the complex social-ecological factors affecting land-cover change in the Phu My Lepironia grassland conservation area, part of Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve, Vietnam. A systems thinking approach was used to determine the interaction between the social system and land-use and land-cover changes. Results indicate that ensuring food supply and improving income are the key endogenous drivers of wetland degradation in the study area. Over-exploitation of wetland resources and inappropriate agricultural practices are accelerating wetland conversion and degradation. The conflict and unclear land tenure, coupled with a desire for higher income, has driven the community to convert and reclaim large parts of the wetland. This process is also driven exogenously by wetland access and the fluctuation of commodity prices, which in-turn results in transition from traditional to extensive cropping systems and expansion of cultivated land into the protected wetland. The relationship between people and wetlands must be central to the development of wetland policies and wetland management approaches. This will improve how land use policy supports sustainable sources of food and income for the local community and concurrently reduce pressures on wetland degradation. Any efforts made to protect the remnant wetland grassland and its diverse ecosystem by regulation should be supplemented by developing and sustaining the relationship between social systems and ecological systems.
Keyword Conversion
Land use
Mekong delta
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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