Impacts of climate change on natual resources in Vietnam

posted Oct 23, 2009, 12:21 AM by SUSDEC A   [ updated Aug 18, 2013, 12:55 AM ]
 Land resources: Natural land area of ​​Vietnam ranks 59th out of 200 countries and territories and the natural land area per capita is extremely low (0.38 ha). Meanwhile, the area of ​​agricultural land per capita is 0.07 ha. Vietnam’s Land resources are rich in species, including 62 types of land in the 14 groups distributed throughout the regions of the country.
 
Soil erosion in Tra Vinh province

Agricultural land area in Vietnam is  26 226 hectares, accounting for 79.24% of the area of ​​natural land, of which agricultural land takes up 10,126 thousand hectares, forest land 15,366 hectares, aquaculture land 690,000 hectares and land for other agricultural purposes  26 thousand hectares, respectively. The area of non-agricultural land is 3,705 hectares, accounting for 11.20%, including 684 thousand hectares of residential land, 1,824 hectares of specialized land and 1,198 hectares of other non-agricultural land. Unused land area, which accounts for 9.56% of the natural land, takes up 3,164 hectares including 237 thousand hectares of flat land and 2,633 thousand ha of hilly land. With an increase of 1 meter of sea level caused by climate change, approximately 38.29% of the area of ​​natural land and 32.16% of agricultural land in 10 provinces in the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City will be flooded in salt water, 7.6 million tons of rice / year, ie 40% of total rice production of the area, will lost; many coastal land strips will erode into the sea and sea water spilled into the coastal plains will alter soil cultivation and thousands of hectares of land area will be submerged in salt water. Beside, climate change will also cause floods, devastated forests, landslides, resulting in bare hills, water shortage and wilderness... Consequently, Vietnam will be at a risk of facing severe food shortage.

Mineral Resources: The categories of mineral resources in Vietnam are relatively diverse. Some types of mineral including oil and gas, bauxite, titanium, coal, rare earth have significant reserves and potential to be developed into industries. The basic geological investigation and mapping of minerals of Vietnam with a scale of 1: 50,000 have only covered nearly 60% of the land area, with a depth of 100m and mainly in the scale of 1: 50,000 of ​​sea water to a depth of 100m. Therefore, so far it has been unable to estimate the potential mineral resources of the country thoroughly. Rising sea levels and storms will bring about difficulties and might engulf the mining industry.

Renewable energy: Vietnam has the substantial potential of renewable energy, especially wind, solar, geothermal, hydro energy, etc. Currently, Vietnam's hydropower contributes about 11.23% of the total primary energy and 14.3% of total final energy of the country. Small hydropower plants can reach 7,000 MW. Droughts and floods might destroy dams, deplete water in streams and rivers, which will lead to a fact that hydro-electric plants will not be able to operate.

Water Resources: There are 3,450 streams and rivers in Vietnam with the length of 10 km or more, including 206 trans-national water resources with the total average annual surface water of about 830 billion m3, which mainly flow through big rivers. The total potential reserve of underground water is about 63 billion m3 per year and distributed mainly in the plain and highland regions. The Water Resource in Vietnam unevenly distributed in space and time in the year. It is droughts which led to local and occasional large scale-water shortage in some areas.

Forest resources: in 2011, Vietnam's forest area is 13,515,064 ha (coverage: 39.7%), including 10,285,383 ha of natural forests (76.1%), plantation 3,229,681 hectares (23.9%). Nevertheless, the area of ​​primary forest has been on a severe decline and the insignificant amount left mostly concentrated in natural protection and conservation areas. Almost all current natural forests are of degraded forests. Mangrove forest area was reduced by more than half in the last decade and continues to decline.

Aquatic resources: In the waters of Vietnam, about 11,000 species that reside in more than 20 types of typical ecosystems have been detected. Of the total number of discovered species, about 6,000 ones are bottom feeders, 2,038 fishes, including 100 economic species, 653 algae, 657 types of zooplankton, 537 types of phytoplankton, 94 mangrove plants species, 225 species of shrimp, 14 species of seaweed, 15 species of snakes, 12 species of mammals, 5 species of turtles, 43 species of waterfowls. Valuable aquaculture reserve of Vietnam is estimated at about 3.5 million tons. When the temperature rises, affecting aquaculture, many sea creatures might die and many species of freshwater species will have to suffer the loss of habitat due to rising sea level. Floods, cyclones and storm caused severe damage to fishing activities at sea as well as on rivers and lakes...

                                                                                  LE MAI