USING ECOLOGICAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC INDICATORS TO ASSESS THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE RED RIVER DELTA BIOSPHERE RESERVE, VIETNAM
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The Red River Delta Biosphere Reserve has been recognized as model of sustainable development since 1989 when Xuan Thuy Ramsar Site was founded. However, a number of studies have showed issues of “unsustainable development” such as water pollution, overuse of agrochemicals (VEPF, 2005), mangrove deforestation (Beland et al. 2006), poverty differentiation in the area (EJF, 2003). This has raised a question of whether the biosphere reserve actually fulfills the requirement of being a model for sustainable regional development. The objectives of this study, therefore, are to define the sustainability of a biosphere reserve and construct a conceptual framework to select indicators for sustainability. I used keywords to search and collect documents that answer two questions: what are the definitions of sustainable development and how one can evaluate it. I mainly used the approach proposed by Annette Schmidt (2004) to review literature. I selected mangrove reforestation to examine efforts of biodiversity conservation; and agriculture and aquaculture to analyze use of natural resources. Analysis shows that conflicting planning of mangrove reforestation, sea dike construction and the expansion of aquaculture has been the main factors that lead to inefficient replanting of mangroves. However, mangrove reforestation has played important role in enhancing awareness of local people on wetland resources. The main issues of agriculture are salinity intrusion, overuse of agrochemicals, and conflicts with aquaculture owners. Water pollution, low productivity, and poverty differentiation are major issues of sustainable development of aquaculture. These issues will be used to develop criteria for sustainability of the biosphere reserve.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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