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Land Use and Climate Change Interactions in Central Vietnam (LUCCi)

Submitted by Dominic Meinardi 6th February 2014 14:59

Project background

The research project “Land use and climate change interactions in Central Vietnam” is set to last for five years (July 2010 to July 2015) and aims at providing a scientific basis to develop optimized land use and water resources management strategies. To develop such strategies, interdisciplinary research methods are applied which consider both natural and social science approaches.

On the one hand, greenhouse gas emissions from different land uses and land covers are quantified and on the other, possible climate change impacts on existing land uses are analysed and suitable adaptation strategies are developed. Data collection and scenario development is conducted in close collaboration with the national and local stakeholders and during the last phase of the project, these strategies will be jointly implemented in the project region and offered to be transferred to further Central Vietnamese and other similar regions.

Study area and climatic context

The project area is located in Central Vietnam and comprises the whole Vu Gia-Thu Bon river basin. Regarding the administrational entities, the study area consists of different Vietnamese provinces, namely Quang Nam, Da Nang, Kon Tum and Quang Ngai.

Although the City of Da Nang and the south-eastern part of Quang Ngai do not belong to the river basin, they were included in the study area, as they are relevant in terms of agricultural production and socio-economy. Thus, in total the project area has a size of 12,382 square kilometers and is bordering the Thua Thien-Hue Province in the north, the South-China Sea in the east, in the South the Kon Tum and Quang Ngai Province and in the west the Lao P.D.R. border 

Rainfall totals 2000-4000 mm per year, which accounts for 60-80% of rainfall during the rainy season from October to November.

The topography is characterized by the highland in the west with mountains reaching up to 2000 m a.s.l. as well as extensive lowlands along the coast in the east (see Topographic Map). About 75% of the area is covered by forest, agricultural land accounts for around 11% (220.040 ha, of which 61% is used for rice cultivation) and 5% is urbanized (MONRE, 2010).


Adaptation context

Socio-economy in the VGTB basin is diverse, including changing primary sectors, agriculture, forestry and fishery, handicraft and strong growing secondary and tertiary sectors. Local economies depend very much on agriculture, the industrial and tourist sector is currently strongly developing. The commodity production and exchange is limited, and trade and services are developing at a low rate of growth (MoNRE, 2011). 

In the agricultural sector, cropping activities account for ca. 70% of the total value of agricultural output. Rice is the dominant staple crop and is mainly planted in the lowland areas. The planted areas for other staple crops, including maize, sweet potato and cassava are relatively small, being also mainly concentrated in the lowland districts and some midland districts near lowland areas. Annual industrial crops are despite their small planted area important for the local economy, especially peanuts which accounts for two thirds of Quang Nam’s 14,500 ha planted area. Other annual industrial crops planted are mainly used for the local population’s own needs. Other than annual crops, perennial crops are not the main economic activity of the province. In detail, cashew nut, tea, green pepper and coconuts are the four main perennial crops of the province.

Typical animal raising activities in the QN province are buffaloes, cattle, pigs, poultry and goats from which pigs and cattle are the main livestock activities in the province. Like in other regions of Vietnam, animal activities are typically undertaken by small scale farm-households.

The forestry sector has a large potential for development in Quang Nam province. Forest land accounts for a high proportion of the total area. However, the forestry activity still mainly depends on harvesting natural products and its contribution to local economy is low. Given the natural favorable conditions of the coastal line, the fishing sector has great potentials to develop and raise its contribution to the QN economy. The fishery sector already accounts for ca. 24% of the total output value of the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector.

The political system of Viet Nam can be divided into three main systems that of the Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV), the State and the socio-political organizations (mass organizations).

The administrative system is divided into four levels: national, provincial, district and commune which is in a hierarchical order following a top-down interconnection. Nevertheless, on each of the four levels, there is a horizontal interconnection. Vertically seen, the Vietnamese government and the People’s Committees on the different levels (e.g. provincial People’s Committee)are of huge importance. Horizontally seen, institutions like e.g. MOST, MARD, MONRE and MOFA on the national level are important, DOST, DARD, DONRE, DOFA, IMC, Steering Committees, on provincial level, DARD, DONRE and IMEs on district level and on commune level SARD and SONRE. Decision-making processes regarding land-use and climate change in Viet Nam involve various institutions on multiple levels.

The leaders of the People’s Committee cooperate strongly with the branch offices of the national ministries. On provincial level these are the departments, on district level the divisions and on commune level the sections of the corresponding ministry.