Course:FRST370/Projects/Community-based mangroves and fisheries management in Kien Giang province, Vietnam

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This case study examines the tenure and stakeholders of two separate domains in mangrove forests and climate change in the Mekong delta. Kien Giang is located in Southern Vietnam and being in the hot and humid region there are many environmental impacts which in turn affect the livelihoods of people in the community. The Vam Ray restoration is the first case study that involves scientific experts collaborating with the Vam Ray community in building fences to aid in mangrove expansion. The outcome was successful scientifically, however problems in communication are hindering the true scale of this experiment, which could provide aid to other mangrove regions around the world. The second case study relates to the climate change in the Mekong delta, the various risk models have all the correct parameters however the lack of government involvement hinders the scope and management objectives.

Kien Giang Province, Vietnam

Kien Giang, Vietnam Southern region of Vietnam bordering the Mekong Delta.

Geography / Climate

Kien Giang is a province in Vietnam, and is located along the Mekong Delta. The capital city is Rach Gia which is around 250km away from the famous southern city Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City. The provinces area is about 6299km^2, and the population is around 1.7 million people, according to a survey in 2010. About two-thirds of the land is used for agriculture, 19% is natural forests and the remaining is unused.

A defining feature of the Kien Giang Province is the coastline (208km) with four distinct coastal districts. The coastline is rich in mangrove species,Vietnam is known to have some of the most documented mangrove species.

The climate of Kien Giang is generally hot and humid, with average temperatures of around 27 degrees celcius and 80-83% humidity. Average annual rainfall is 1980mm, there are 3 dry seasons with the remaining being wet.


Long ago in the 1700s Lord Nguyen separated his Kingdom into 12 separate districts. In the 1800s under the reign of Mihn Mang, Ha Tien was the name of the province that represented the south where Kien Giang is now today. During French colonization, the region was subdivided into Ha tien, and Rach Gia, Rach Gia today is the capital city of Kien Giang. Present day under the republic of Vietnam Ha Tien and Rach Gia are combined to form Kien Giang.

Government / Tenure

All forestlands are state-owned, there are no private and community ownership, these are not permitted in Vietnam.

Land use rights for management (state allocated)

  • 51% of mangrove forests are ran by Forest Management Boards
  • 29% are managed by Commune People's Committees
  • 10% are distributed to private companies
  • 10% are ran by households and other stakeholders

Common Demographics 

  • Vietnamese
  • Khmers
  • Hoa (Chinese)

Mangrove Forests

Mangrove Forests and eroded lands.



  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Provincial, district and commune People's Committees
  • Lumber Traders
  • Ministry of Wildlife


  • Local Vam Ray Community
  • Local fisherman
  • Local Shopowners

Vam Ray Restoration Project 

The Vam Ray restoration project goals were to restore the survivability of planted mangroves and manage eroded areas that were good conditions for regeneration. This project used 10 treatments of seedlings with a gradual expansion method. Gradual expansion required the use of fences transplantation and use of different species (Bruguiera cylindrica, Nypa fruticans, Rhizophora apiculata, Avicennia marina, and Sonneratia alba). Fences surrounded the treatments and were observed for mud accumulation.

This project initialized the knowledge from the foresters and biologists of Vietnam with the community acting as the monitoring program. The community involvement was necessary, as their knowledge of the Melaleuca fences were an asset. Melaleuca sticks are inexpensive and optimal for keeping mud and soil from being exported to the river. The combined efforts of the findings from scientists and expertise of Melaleuca sticks led to collaboration of more and more efficient fences. It was later discovered that increased mangrove survival was found in areas with increased mud accumulation and increases in biodiversity. Although the fence building and regeneration was a success, there were flaws in the communication process, between community members and project coordinators. Both locals and project workers were not well informed about certain outcomes in treatment levels. This especially hurt the community members since they were agreed to have improvements in their livelihoods with the use of their labour and resources.

Community and Government collaboration 

  • Collaborative funding by German government and monitored by Minh Phu Company
  • 2009 partnership between Vam Ray people and government


  • Resulted in a high survival rate of planted mangroves
  • Vam Ray community members relate the construction of poor fences due to the lack of communication between parties.
  • Local knowledge and local resources were inexpensive while being major contributors to fence building
  • Project should be expanded into greater heights and different areas, however currently only a success locally

Future Implications 

It should be noted that different districts such as An Bien and An Minh these fences proved to be ineffective. To continue successful fence building in the Province of Kien Giang, the community of Vam Ray suggested their fence designs and construction plans be implemented into provincial level policies. Another key suggestion comes from the increase of usage of local level knowledge and resources, by doing so they also hope that the community can share more of their expertise and fix communication issues.


Location: Expand to other Kien Giang district's immediately

Partnerships: Maintain good local relationships, try and expand to other provinces while implementing Vam Ray fence design provincially

Funding: Try and generate international concern about mangroves in Vietnam

The Mekong Delta (Kian Giang Region)

The Mekong Delta everyday life, there are a lot of affected stakeholders that rely on the Delta.

Geography / Demographics

The Mekong Dellta is found in Southwestern Vietnam, the total area is around 40500 square kilometers. The Mekong Delta is multi-landscaped with flat flood plains and hilled zones. This area is very diverse in species richness having discovered numerous species of plants, mammals and lizards.

The main demographics are: Vietnamese, Cambodians, Thai and Chinese ethnics.


The Mekong Delta is crucial for Vietnam fisheries, supplying over half of the output amount (~58% of all of Vietnam). The Kien Giang Region is especially strong in economic development, and results in economic and employment growth.


  • Representatives of the local government
  • Provincial managers
  • District Staff
  • Commune Staff
  • Seafood Exporters
  • Farmers
  • Fisherman
  • Small business owners
  • Local community members

Climate Change in the Mekong Delta

Climate Change is apparent today globally with the increase in green house gas emissions mainly by human causes. This leads to changes such as precipitation fluctuations, increased temperature and an increase in extreme weathers. An increase in sea level is concerning for anyone near the Mekong Delta as this can lead to more flooding and increases in salinity. The delta is especially weak to the negative impacts of global warming, being in a monsoon heavy region with high risk of floods. The outcomes of the monsoons and floods lead to devastation in agriculture and aquaculture crippling the livelihoods of the community people in the delta as well as having negative impacts on economic processes.

Management Plans 

The management plans start with analyzing adaptive capability, this is done by using various indexes such as income levels and community employment rates. The tactics employed are water resource management, better agriculture management and natural disaster control. This area is relatively new and basin development plans are in the works.


Most risk accessed data seem to incorporate all the correct parameters, however these issues are still just suggestions and not direct solutions. Problems come from many areas such as governance and international placement. Three key challenges are poor collaborative efforts, conflict of interests and weak initiation to new problems that arise.


  • Get International footing, either funding or more press
  • Fix government issues and work top down


Nguyen,T. P. (2018). Melaleuca Entrapping Microsites as a Nature Based Solution to Coastal Erosion: A pilot study in Kien Giang, Vietnam. Ocean and Coastal Management, 155, 98-103. doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2018.02.005

Nguyen,T.P.,VanTam, N.,Quoi, L.P., & Parnell, K.E. (2016). Community Perspectives on an Internationally Funded Mangrove Restoration Project: Kien Giang province, vietnam. Ocean and Coastal Management, 119, 146-154. doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2015.10.008

Nguyen, T. P., Luom, T. T., & Parnell, K. E. (2017). Developing a Framework for Integrating local and scientific knowledge in internationally Funded Environment Management Projects: Case studies from Kien Giang province, Vietnam. Local Environment, 22(11), 1298-1310. doi:10.1080/13549839.2017.1342617

Nguyen, T. P., Luom, T. T., & Parnell, K. E. (2017). Mangrove allocation for Coastal Protection and Livelihood Improvement in Kien Giang province, Vietnam: Constraints and Recommendations. Land use Policy, 63, 401-407. doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.01.048

Phong, N. T., Parnell, K. E., & Cottrell, A. (2017). Human Activities and Coastal Erosion on the Kien Giang coast, Vietnam. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 21(6), 967-979. doi: 10.1007/s11852-017-0566-9

Sinclair Knight Merz Staff, Asian Development Bank Staff, ADB Online Publications, & Asian Development Bank. (2013). Climate risks in the Mekong Delta: Ca Mau and Kien Giang provinces of Vietnam. Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Philippines: Asian Development Bank.

Van Cuong,C.,Brown, S.,To,H.H., & Hockings, M. (2015). Using Melaleuca Fences as Soft Coastal Engineering for Mangrove Restoration in Kien Giang, Vietnam. Ecological Engineering, 81, 256-265. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2015.04.031

Van Cuong, C., Dart, P., Dudley, N., & Hockings, M. (2018). Building Stakeholder Awareness and Engagement Strategy to Enhance Biosphere Reserve Performance and Sustainability: The Case of Kien Giang, Vietnam. Environmental Management, , 1-15. doi:10.1007s00267-018-1094-6

CDBRP (2010aa) Biomass and Regeneration of Mangrove Vegetation in Kien Giang Province in 2010. CDBRP, Rach Gia

General Statistics Office (2012): Statistical Yearbook of Vietnam 2011. Statistical Publishing House, Hanoi

 "Physical and Geographical Features". Mekong River Awareness Kit. Convention on Biological Diversity. Archived from the original on 2009-08-08. Retrieved 2010-06-18. |section= ignored

Mekong Delta Archived 2012-09-21 at the Wayback Machine. on ARCBC (ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation) site

Seekiefer (Pinus halepensis) 9months-fromtop.jpg
This conservation resource was created by Course:FRST370.