Establishment of Tam Giang’s natural wetland protected area (01-09-2020)

On June 05, 2020, The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the People's Committee of Thua Thien Hue province organized the ceremony to announce the establishment of Tam Giang - Cau Hai natural wetland protected area in Quang Thai commune, Quang Dien district, Thua Thien Hue province.            
Establishment of Tam Giang’s natural wetland protected area

The announcement ceremony had welcomed around 200 delegates from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE),  , agencies of Thua Thien Thue provincerepresentative from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Vietnam and environment and biodiversity experts. 

          On the occasion of Environment Day (5 June), the ceremony was organized with the 2020 concept of Action for Nature. Besides the ceremony, there was a field trip to Tam Giang - Cau Hai natural wetland protected area and activities of stocking shrimps, crabs and fish in Vung Me  (an area of protecting fisheries resources) to reproduce fisheries resources and improve biodiversity in a coastal lagoon. 

           Tam Giang - Cau Hai natural wetland protected area was established by the Decision 495/QĐ-UBND dated in February 20, 2020 by the People's Committee of Thua Thien Hue province. This is the one of two natural wetland protected area which were established within framework of the project of Conservation of important wetlands and associated habitat (2015 – 2020) funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The protected area has total area of 2,071 ha, which was included O Lau sub-area (1,270 ha), Con Te – Ru Cha sub-area (187 ha) and 23 fisheries resources protected areas (614 ha). Of which, the strictly protected sub-area is 799 ha, the ecological rehabilitation sub-area is 1,242 ha and the service-administrative sub-are is 29.5 ha.

           Tam Giang - Cau Hai natural wetland protected area has a length of 68km across the seaside of Thua Thien Hue province in the direction of Northwest – Southeast, which belongs to 4 districts of Phong Dien, Quang Dien, Phu Vang, Phu Loc and the town of Huong Tra . This coastal lagoon is typical for tropical monsoon conditions, which is the largest one in Southeast Asia. According to the research, the coastal lagoon has high biodiversity, which has 221 phytoplankton, 46 seaweeds, 18 aquatic plants including 7 species of seagrass and 11 freshwater ones, 31 species of high-class plants, including 7 species of mangrove plants. Lagoon’s fauna consists of 66 zooplankton, 46 ground animal, 230 fish species and 73 species of bird.

          In recent time, People’s Committee of Thua Thien Hue province has commended to establish 23 fisheries resources protected areas and mobilized the movement of Green Sunday to clean lagoon. After the announcement ceremony of establishment of Tam Giang – Cau Hai Natural Wetland protected area Thua Thien Hue province will build up a project of restoration of Tram Chim habitat in O Lau estuary area and make a planning of biodiversity in this area, which will be promulgated at the end of December 2020. The province will have a plan for planting 72 more hectares of mangroves in communes of Quang Thai (40 ha), Dien Hai (16 ha) and Dien Hoa (16 ha), of wich rehabilitation of 20 ha of grasslands, swampy areas for bird species living in there.

Establised of Tam Giang – Cau Hai’s natural wetland protected area has been greatly significant for conservation and improvement of typical tropical marine ecosystems in Viet Nam. Formation of the protected area will make condition to deploy activities of reservation and conservation of natural resources, to create ecological balance and maintain the natural landscape. concurrently the value of biodiversity,  biological resources and specific ecosystems in Tam Giang - Cau Hai lagoon will be conservated,  especially seagrass beds, mangroves, spawning grounds, rare wild birds and migratory bird species will be protected and restored.

           Establishment of the protected area will contribute to development of local socio-economics towards sustainability, support to enhancement of awareness of community in management,. reasonable and sustainable utilization of natural resources inside the protected area. By building up accordant mechanism and policies, there will be more advantages and opportunities for scientists, researchers and the other loving the natureto research on biological sciences and ecology in order to propose conservation plans.

Activities of ecosystem restoration in the protected area

          According to the plan, all the activities of restoring natural ecosystem in the protected area will be implemented, including restoration of ecosystem of freshwater aquatic plants at O Lau estuary in Phong Dien district. Such the activies is to stop rice production in floating islets, to solve environmental pollution, building a regime of opening and closing   Cua Lac dam, to strictly prohibit from hunting birds, to research into status of birds migrating in winter and to prioritize the rescue programs of endangered rare species. It needs to transfer to organic rice culture, to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and to support local people to develop sustainable livelihoods, including traditional fishing friendly with environment and sustainable aquaculture models. Of which, typical species and native species with high value representative of the lagoon will be focused on. Ecological tourism based on community will be promoted to reduce pressure of fishing on natural resources in the wetland for restoring ecosystem. It is necessary to rearrange fish culture cages, develop models of sustainable aquaculture in the service and administrative sub-area. 

          On the ecosystem of seagrass in Con Te of Huong Tra district, capture fisheries will be strictly prohibited. Culture ponds will be transferred step by step to be surrounded by fishing-nets in order to increase water circulation and create conditions for seagrass growing again in the ecological rehabilitation sub-area.

          Moreover, in order to protect and restore the natural ecosystems inside the protected area, some actions such as fishing in the sub-area strictly protected, the use of  destructive ways of fishing, including use of small meshes, electric pushing net or trawn and other similar method in all the sub-areas, will be prohibited. It is needed to propagandize management regulations enforced in the protected area to organizations, local community. Basic assessment and scientific research on natural resources of the lagoon should be planned annually. Also, the planning of Tam Giang – Cau Hai natural wetland protected area need to be put into the master plan of socio-economic development of Tam Giang – Cau Hai lagoon.

                                                                                                          Nam Anh

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