Sunday, April 28, 2013

Vietnamese Updates: Peatlands in Vietnam in context of sustainable management in Southeast Asia (23 Apr 2013)

Peatlands in Vietnam in context of sustainable management in Southeast Asia

Thứ ba, ngày 23 tháng 04 năm 2013 cập nhật lúc 22:16

Currently, Southeast Asia has more than 24million hectares of peatlandsNaturalpeatlands mainly found in natural forests.Besidespeatlands are likely to control flood, store carbon and regulate climateIn particularly Vietnam’s area of peatland is not so large and gradually narrowedPromotingsustainable management of peatlands inSoutheast Asia including Vietnam plays animportant role for the countries in the region.

Peatland situation and ASEAN cooperation
Peatland area in Southeast Asia accounts for 60% of all tropical peat resources. Indonesia has about 21 million hectaresMalaysia is the 2ndlargest country of peatland area with total area of2.5 million hectaresThailand’s peatland area is relatively smallaccounting for about 65,000hectaresmainly in the southern provinces.Peatlands in Vietnam accounts for 36,000hectares and are located in many parts throughout the countrybut mainly located in the Mekong Delta. The U Minh forest in the provinces of Ca Mau and Kien Giang has an area of ​​approximately 24,000 hectaresIn the Philippines, there are about 11,000 hectaresIt is estimated that there are 10 to 20,000 hectares of this kind in LaosIn Cambodiapeatlands are in southern Phnom Penh  in the Mekong River system and another is located around the Lake SeaMeanwhile in Singaporepeatland area is only about 1 hectare.

The peatland has high economic value thanks to wood resourceThis contains important and diversified plants in ecosystemIn addition to reducing flows and maintaining flow of rivers during the dry seasonpeatlands are significant in controlling global climateIn particular,peatlands in the ASEAN region is estimated to store about 5of the carbon on the earth's surfaceOn the other hand, if the peatlandsare arid or degradedit is easy to be burnt. The phenomenon of transboundary smoke and haze in ASEAN are the serious environmentalproblems. That the main reason is due to the burning of peatlands.

In the framework of ASEAN cooperation on prevention of transboundary smoke and haze pollutionASEAN Peatland ManagementInitiative (APMI) has been proposedASEAN regional project "Rehabilitation and sustainable use of peatlands in Southeast Asiais aresult of this initiative which is funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF) through the International Fund for Agricultural Development(IFAD). The members of the project are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and VietnamSingapore and Brunei provide technical support for the project.
Recently, the ASEAN Secretariat and the Global Environment Centre (GEC) with support from the IFAD/GEF-ASEAN Peatland Forests Project (APFP) and of EU-SEApeat Project launched media contest on 8 April 2013 to promote sustainable management of peatlands in Southeast Asia. Submission will be accepted from April 1-December 31, 2013Themed "Peat for Life", the contest will honour individuals or journalists for their reporting on peatlands that covers sustainability, biodiversity, community livelihood and environmental issues in Southeast Asia region.

Peatlands in Vietnam decline sharply and problems management
In Vietnam, now there are two peatland areas in U Minh Thuong National Park (Kien Giangand the Vo Doi Nature Reserve (Ca Mau).Peatland area in Vietnam has been narrowed considerably due to forest fires and exploitation of resources. The forest fire in U Minh Thuong National Park in 2002 made the thickness of peat layer (0.5-1.5 min many areas reduced to half.

For sustainable management of peatlands in Vietnam as well as Southeast AsiaDr. Nguyen The DongDeputy Director General of theVietnam Environment Administration saidit is high time to get the participation and cooperation of the involved unitsagencies,organizations and individualsespecially the leadership and local community in U Minh Ha and U Minh Thuong National Parks.

The researchers proposed a number of activities to  preserve and restore peatlands such as not let the land under water throughout the yearcreating large reservoirs to actively fight against fires during the dry season,  strengthening the management of peatlands with participation of local community, increasing communication on environmental values ​​and natural resources of peatlands and capacitybuilding for managers.


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