Mekong River Basin: Case Study of the Nam Can District, Vietnam - Environmental Security Assessment

The Greater Mekong River Basin, which extends into the six countries of China, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Viet Nam is one of the world?s most biodiverse river basins, ranking second behind the Amazon.

The study area for this ESA lies in South East Asia in the Lower Mekong River Basin. The focus is on one district in the Ca Mau Province of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, namely the Nam Can District.

The Nam Can District was selected as one of the study areas for the IES ESA because it serves as a good representation of the issues in the globally important Mekong River Basin. A portion of the Nam Can (Bai Boi Nature Reserve) and neighbouring Ngoc Hien District (Dat Mui Nature Reserve) comprise the Mui Ca Mau National Park. This national park is considered to contain "the most ecologically valuable and largest salt-marsh forest in Vietnam and is home to more than 100 rare and endangered species of fauna. The entire Ca Mau Province is famous for its bird sanctuaries and brackish cajeput and mangrove ecosystems" (VietNamNet, 2009). Mangroves are vital for this region not only because they sustain rich biodiversity but also because of their ecosystem service of providing coastal protection against for instance, devastating climate change impacts. Due to these characteristics, the National Park has high potential for conservation, "conservation education and scientific research" but also for sustainable development such as "recreation, ecotourism", production forests etc. (Vietnam National Parks, 2009). 

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Author(s)Jeanna Hyde Hecker,
PublisherInstitute for Environmental Security
Place publishedThe Hague
Date / Journal Vol No.15 January 2011

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