With a community-based management approach and encouraging their participation into the process of preservation and development, Xuan Thuy National Park (XTNP) has obtained important achievements in the sustainable management of wetlands resources of the region. The opinions of the community are always listened and addressed. One of them is about management issue in the mangrove forest and the resources under the forest canopy in the park’s buffer zone.
Mangrove ecosystem in the buffer
zone plays an important role in being a shelter to protect residential areas
from storms, providing foods for thousands of people, being the feeding and living
places for many aquatic species, and thus maintaining the ecological balance of
the wetlands. Moreover, aquatic creatures such as crab, shrimp, oyster, and
gull in the mangrove forests also bring high incomes for the local community.
However, according to Ms. Tran
Thi Xuyen (Hamlet 8 – Giao An commune), there is no mechanism to monitor
aquatic resource harvesting activities in the protective mangroves, productive
mangroves and even protected area. The community does not receive institutional
supports, which in turn leads to limited awareness about the mangrove forests’ roles.
Consequently, they exploit the mangroves and resources within the mangroves
improperly and unsustainably.
In deed, there is an overlap in
forest management among the authorities including XTNP, Forest Ranger, and Commune
People’s Committee. . Meanwhile, the prevailing regulations have failed to
guide the local authorities to properly address the forest management and
protection issues. Those regulations also cannot help set up a mechanism for
interest and responsibility sharing among relevant stakeholders. As a
consequence, no stakeholder takes specific responsibilities and practical
actions on the ground to protect the mangroves, which therefore become exhausted due to the excessive
To address the problem,
XuanThuyNational Park has developed
a project to request for financial and technical supports from the Wetlands
Alliance Program. At the first stage, the project will focus on allotting the
local community to utilize and protect the mangrove resources in Giao An
commune. Accordingly, the park together with the community will build regulations,
and a core team for protecting the mangrove resources, which obviously will
facilitate local livelihoods while attaching people to the forest conservation.
An operating and supervising mechanism will also be discussed and approved by
all the parties (XTNP, Giao An council, and resource user groups).
The project was launched in early
2010 by conducting socio-economic survey, field work, and local dialogues. The
pilot in Giao An commune once succeeded will be expanded to the other mangrove areas in
five communes of the buffer zone. The project is believed to create a new direction in wisely
using the mangrove resources, sharing interests and responsibilities with the
communities, and thus turning risks into opportunities for sustainable mangrove
A small opinion of the local has initiated many actions to protect mangrove forests and aquatic resources: This helps sustainable preservation and
development of the Red River delta Biosphere Reserve area, and the first RAMSAR
site in the Southeast Asia region./.
Local people are harvesting resources in