Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)Volume 4 Number 4 (2012)
The Conservation and Development of the Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve: Adaptation to Climate Change
Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve, established in 2006, and located in the lower Mekong Delta, is very vulnerable to the effects of climate change and sea level rise. It is already affected by increased sea surges overtopping dykes and is likely to be further severely affected by sea level rise resulting fromclimate change. Coastal erosion and soil salinity fromsaline intrusion and seawater inundation has affected coastal land and reduced agricultural production. The lengthening dry seasons predicted to occur with climate change is likely to increase acidity in soils and water, drastically changing the local environment and influencing productivity. Technical assistance and capacity building from the Kien Giang Conservation and Development of the Biosphere Reserve Project helps the Provincial decision makers understand the importance of balancing conservation and development with adaptation to climate change.
The Project has produced significant results in coastal protection using localmaterials but research is needed on mangrove forest restoration. Raising awareness continues to be a key focus, informing local governments and communities about the need to integrate adaptation into other environmentalmanagement activities, especially those involving primary agricultural production. Environmental awareness has been a priority in the education system of the Province.
The Biosphere ReserveManagement Board focuses on integrated,multisectoral planning and encourages the commercial sector to address sustainability of the natural resources and conservation of the environment when initiating development projects. Even though such integration is a relatively new concept in Vietnam and will be challenging to achieve, the Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve is in a good position to build on its successes to date and act as a case study that can later be scaled up across other Provinces.
Keywords: Biosphere reserve, Climate change, Vietnam.