In Vietnam, ecosystem process assessment has been considered for some time in the field of natural resource management and environmental science, however the actual study of how ecosystem processes work in coastal and estuarine ecosystems has been limited to non-existent. The overall aim of this study is to build an understanding of key coastal ecosystem processes related mainly to carbon and nitrogen cycling in a coastal estuary to assess the potential for the use of process measurements in environmental management decision making.

The project specifically focuses on the conservation of a case study area, Dong Ho lagoon in Ha Tien, Vietnam. This site exemplifies the anthropogenic impacts and management issues facing most of the Mekong coastline and other parts of Vietnam. Dong Ho lagoon is located in Kien Giang Biosphere Rreserve and belongs to the Mekong delta. As a major food producing area of Southern Vietnam, Kien Giang province and areas such as Dong Ho are under growing pressure from the national government to increase food production (typically rice and prawn aquaculture). In addition, the Dong Ho area is witnessing significant increases in population and planned tourism development will further add to the population pressures in the area. Against this backdrop Dong Ho lagoon and its management represent a unique opportunity to understand the interactions and complexities of anthropogenic activities on ecosystem function and sustainability.

Funding: Australia Award Scholarship

Advisors: Assoc Prof Ron Johnstone, Dr Josh Larsen

Project members

Hong Le Vu

Hong Le Vu

PhD candidate