Nguyen, Н В Шадрин - Integrated coastal zone management in vietnam first steps, goals, framework - страница 1

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УДК 504:551.468(597)

Tac An Nguyen1, PhD, Prof., Head of Department, Nickolai V. Shadrin2, PhD, senior res.

1 Institute of Oceanography, Nha Trang, Vietnam 2 А. О. Kovalevsky Institute of Biology of the southern Seas, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Sevastopol, Ukraine; E-mail:


Vietnam's coastal zones are some of the very overexploited in the World with consequent degradation of their eco­systems and damage to public welfare. Implementation of Integrated coastal zone management (ICM) is very impor­tant task for Vietnam. We analyse and describe the results of past of Vietnamese policies, legislative and institutional frameworks that are relevant to coastal zone issues and establishing some scientific basis for a management strategy that can be formulated and discussed: goal, objectives, action, and priority activities for the next near 10 - 20 years. Key words: Integrated Coastal Zone Management, coastal zone, Vietnam

The transition to sustainable development is the general strategic aim of human society develop­ment. This is the global general trend [37]. The intro­duction of Integrated Coastal Zone management (ICM) is regarded as an integral part of Agenda 21, a strategic plan of humanity activities, adopted by United Nations, aimed at the transition to sustainable development. The ICM strategies determine the basic principles of the transition to sustainable development in littoral regions [33]. It is especially important for countries with long coastlines. The gist of the ICM conception may be de­termined as follows [32]: ICM is a dynamic and con­stant process by which the gradual transition to sustain­able development is carried out in littoral regions. The process unites the interests of governments and local people, science and business, managers of different levels and non-government organizations when making and realizing plans of sustainable use and preservation of coastal ecosystems (land, coastline, and sea) and all resources. The main idea of such planning is to improve the living standard of local people under conditions of preservation of normal ecosystem functioning and bio­diversity. It is necessary in order that the future genera­tions will be able to satisfy their wants. Despite the common characters of the basic principles of ICM their

© T. A. Nguyen, N. V. Shadrin, 2008 practical realization must take into account the natural as well as social and cultural features of a region [31]. An analysis of regional features will also allow devel­oping the common theoretical basis of ICM. In this work the authors analyze the present situation con­nected with the introduction of ICM in Vietnam. Sustainable development, with harmony between socio­economic development and environmental protection, is the strategic orientation of Vietnam now [24, 30]. With the coastline/area ratio of 0.01, Vietnam can re­gard as a marine country [11]. Research results show that development in the coastal zone hasn't been com­mensurate with its potentiality and has created many problems [23, 35, 36], forcing us to reconsider to focus on enhancing management capacity. Marine and coastal zone management is an extremely difficult and complex mission for Vietnam, yet this country is at present very vague in theory and confusing in practice, though this is a very pressing issue with high sociality and humanity, especially in the present context where the world is towards globalization, Vietnam is integrating, preparing

to enter WTO [22, 30].

Based on the practical performance we have carried out integrated coastal management in Vietnam, together with analyses of lessons from national and


international integrated coastal management projects in recent years/ We want to introduce the coastal man­agement framework in Vietnam and the possibility of applying it into practice, with the aim to exchange and learn more about the wide knowledge and practical experience of national and international experts.

I. Awareness of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM)

1.1. Promoting ICM is to meet the pressing need of development

ICM program is designed to overcome prob­lems caused by the inherent sectoral management. It aims at balancing socio-economic development with environmental protection, solving effectively problems concerning the utilization of resources, disaster preven­tion, protection and maintainance of coastal ecological functions [7, 13, 18, and 23].

The reasons and motivation for promoting ICM are numerous, both global and local, and totally depend on the political and institutional characteristics and the development context of each nation and local­ity. Thus, there is no general framework for ICM, which can be applied everywhere, for every coastal zone. It is difficult to apply ICM experience and lessons of other countries to the specific conditions of Vietnam, because of the differences of political institution, eco­nomic development, intellectual standards, habits, cus­tom, geographical and ecological conditions among countries.

The need for ICM in the Vietnamese coastal provinces originates from practice. It relates closely with resource uses, disaster prevention, protection of coastal ecological processes and functions and promot­ing a multi-sectoral and multi-purpose management mechanism with wide participation of local communi­ties. There are 4 common pressing causes for promoting ICM in Vietnam:

1. The critical depletion of coastal resources and environment: 1. coral reefs in Vietnam are perishing, 96 % of coral reefs are at risk, of which 75 % are seriously and very seriously threatened; 2. marine fishing yield has reduced from 1.2 ton/HP (horsepower) in 1985 to

0.45 ton/HP in 2006 [26, 27, 28]. Then the entry of

Vietnam into WTO will change some key traditional industries; increase the constraint on coastal resources and environment.

2. The desire to develop marine economy, to eliminate hunger and alleviate poverty, to increase eco­nomic benefits from marine- and coastal-based indus­

tries such as fishing, tourism, navigation and ports, and to develop an employment of unexploited coastal and marine resources such as marine transportation, extrac­tion of offshore petroleum and minerals, extensive mariculture... This is showed clearly by strategies for exploiting Van Phong bay (Khanh Hoa province), de­veloping Dung Quat economic zone and Chu Lai open economic zone, promoting continental shelf oil and gas extraction.

3. The intention to restrict and overcome the limitations of the stagnant, backward and sectoral ad­ministrative systems, to reduce the sharply increasing conflicts during the development process (Fig. 1).

4. Finally, the integration policy is promoting Vietnam to share, to shoulder the responsibility for in­ternational vital issues and to together solve the global challenges.

To carry out its commitment with international development programs, Vietnam has carried out a number of concrete actions such as working out plans for marine and coastal uses, environmental impact as­sessment and monitoring programs, natural and man-made disaster prevention plans, conservation and reha­bilitation of important ecosystems, multi-sectoral inte­grated planning, national guidelines for planning and integrated development strategies in order to maintain biodiversity and productivity of marine species and ecosystems in South China Sea. Vietnam has also paid attention to introduce ecological understandings and traditional cultural and social knowledge into coastal management and encourage community participation in the decision-making process. Documents on marine environmental protection: Law of environmental pro­tection (1994); National biodiversity action plan (1995); National strategy for environmental protection for the period 2001 - 2010, Resolution on sustainable development (2004) have been promulgated and widely implemented. A number of international cooperation programs on ICM between Vietnam and Sweden, India, Netherlands have been initiated (Fig. 2) [21 - 23]. In its policies, Vietnam is strengthening efforts to solve the questions of land-based and sea-based marine pollution. Vietnam values precautionary approach above respon­sive measures to prevent marine environmental degra­dation [9, 30]. Priority areas are development planning, sewage management and control, river basin and coastal zone management, land-based pollution and chemical control, control of excessive uses such as overfishing, excessive aquaculture, overtourism [9, 22].

Fig. 1 Current framework for marine and coastal zone man­agement in Vietnam Рис.1 Современная структура менеджмента прибрежных и морских зон во Вьетнаме

1.2. Management issues in the coastal zone of Viet­nam.

Like other countries in Southeast Asia, in the process of ICM [4, 10, 14 - 17, 19, 38], Vietnam should prioritize 4 management issues: population management, management of coastal uses and coastal ecological functions, management of those impacts which affect human and environment and administra­tion management. Current population of Vietnam is over 84 million, and it will increase to 130 million in year2050 [2, 11]. Vietnamese coast is one of the most densely populated regions in Southeast Asia. Within the next 20 years, more than 35 % of Vietnamese popula­tion will inhabit at littoral areas. This is the common tendency of all developing countries: people are mov­ing from rural to urban area, from the hinterlands to the coasts, where there are more economic, social and rec­reational development oppoturnies. Management of urbanization ex plosion in the coastal zone is one of the most difficult tasks of planning.

The Vietnam's coastal zone uses for many purposes: 1) employment of resources such as land sur­face, water surface, fishing, forest, oil and gas, mineral mining etc.; 2) use of coastal infrastructure to develop maritime industries such as marine transportation, sea ports, coastal engineering for coastal protection and national defence; 3) for tourism, recreation; 4) to pro­tect the coastal ecological functions, for conservation and protection of biodiversity. All these current tradi­tional and common uses of coastal zone can conflict with each other, cause damages to resources and envi­ronment and creat many social problems in the coastal zone [13, 23].

Management of adverse impacts which affect human coastal uses is to manage waste, pollution, natu­ral disasters (flood, storms, erosion, tidal flow.) and global climate changes. This is difficult because up to now, no one has "paid for disaster management activi­ties and compensated for natural disaster damage" [13].

The last management isssue is administrative management, the institutional issue. It includes ques­tions such as law conflicts, multi-sectoral integration and coordination, international cooperation, organiza­tional capacity, public awareness and participation, law system, land and water surface ownership, integrated planning, user conflicts, lack of alternative livehood, equality [7].

Experience from many countries show that the most of coastal management issues can be identified by proper consultative meetings with local community and authorities, and non-govermental organizations con­cerned. Of course not all management issues can be solved at once, a lot of time may be required [7].

During ICM preparations, when identifying and setting priorities for key issues, great attention must be paid to public needs for coastal goods andservices, to the conflicting uses of coastal resources, to the im­pacts of natural disasters (coastal erosion, flood, land slide, storms, drought.) on the natural ecosystems, and  to  potential  activities   such  as investment

Fig. 2 Integrated coastal manage­ment sites in international coopera­tion program: 1 - Vietnam-Sweden project (SIDA/SAREC), 2 - Vietnam-India project, 3 - Viet­nam-Netherlands project (VNICZM), 4 - project of the Envi­ronment Protection Agency Рис. 2 Районы реализации по Комплексному управлению при­брежными зонами в рамках Ме­ждународных кооперативных программ: 1. Вьетнамско-Шведский проект

(SIDA/SAREC), 2. Вьетнамско-

Индийский проект, 3. Вьетнам­ско-Нидерландский проект (VNICZM), 4. проект Агентства по окружающей среде

4. Project KHtN 08-97 (Do Sdn - Cat-0a - На t-odff,

Nam Djhli

3. VNICZM Project (2002 -2003)

3. VNICZM. Project

(2002 -гоозк'

Thfla Thien - Hut\—,

Or&Ject KHCN 064)7 DaNing -(1956-2002)

4. PEM^EA Project (2000-2004)

/IVIICZM Project

^Vipg: Тій


4. 1MO/GEF/UNDP Project (2004 -200^)

Blnh Dinh'.

4. Proving Dinh (20Qlj2tl03j

2. Vtetnam-Ii idian project (200M003)

1. Vietriam-Sneden project (2001-2004) ,

'reject of Binh

and development opportunities of private sector in aquaculture, fishery, tourism, habour.

Identifying and setting priorities for key issues is the basis for the identification of objectives and crite­ria used for monitoring and assessment of ICM pro­gram for adjustment and addition during the whole de­velopment process.

1.3. Goals and funtions of ICM program.

The goals of integrated coastal management are to achieve sustainable development of coastal and marine areas, to reduce damages of natural disasters and to maintain essential ecological processes, typical ecosystems and biodiversity in the coastal and marine areas. Integrated coastal zone management is multi­purpose oriented: it analyzes implications of develop­ment, conflicting uses, and interrelationships among physical processes and human activities, and it pro motes linkages and harmonization between coastal and ocean activities of different sectors and localities.

In sum, ICM is a dynamic process by which proper decisions are maded based on analyses and con­siderations to ensure the harmonization between devel­opment uses and the protection of marine and coastal resources, environment and ecological funtions. In other words, this is the "art" of integrating 90 harmoniously development plans with plans of envi­ronmental protection and social stabilization in the litto­ral areas.

In principle, integrated management differs much from sectoral management. Integrated manage­ment is designed based on the principle of ensuring that the decisions of all economic sectors and all levels of government are harmonized and consistent with the national coastal policies [8].

From experiences of several countries [8, 10, 29, 33, 34], the major functions of ICM in Vietnam are identified as follows:

- Area planning with the primary objective of op­timizing the economic and social development oppor-tunies that the marine and coastal ecosystems can sup­port, proposing plans for present and future uses of coastal and marine areas, with a long-term vision.

- Promoting economic development: promote ap­propriate uses of coastal and marine areas, e.g aquacul-ture, ecotourism, port development.

- Management of resources: protect the coastal and marine ecosystems, preserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable uses of coastal and marine resources.

- Conflict resolution: harmonize and balance exist­ing uses and resolve conflicts among uses of coastal and marine resources.

- Protection of public safety: protect public safety in coastal and marine areas from natural and man-made disasters.

- Ownership of public submerges lands and waters: manage government-held areas and resources wisely and with good public economic returns.

II. ICM framework in Vietnam. 2.1. Geographical scale of management in ICM pro­gram.

To establish the appropriate inland and off­shore boundaries for integrated coastal management is a very difficult question. At present there are many ideas and opinions on it. Theoretically, the extent of coastal area to be managed muss encompasses 3 element groups: fundamental environment process; administrive units; and activities affected or depended on marine and coastal resources [8].

Integrated coastal management must include coastal lands and coastal waters and islands. Five main sub-zones can be identified in the coastal zone: inland areas, which affect the ocean mainly via rivers and non-point pollution sources; coastal lands such as wet­lands, marshes etc., where human activity is concen­trated and directly affects adjacent waters; coastal wa­ters like estuaries, lagoons and shallow waters, where the impacts from land-based activities are great; off­shore waters, mainly the waters extends to 200 nautical miles offshore within the national jurisdiction; and Vietnam also has to consider to join in the management of high seas, which is beyond the national jurisdiction.

Although the natural processes in these 5 sub-zones intertwine highly with each other, it is difficult to integrate management regimes across these zones be­cause the nature of property, of goverment interests and institutions differ much in these zones. In terms of the nature of property, it is a continuum of ownership: in the inland, private property is dominant; in the coastal lands, there is a mix of public and private property; and in coastal and offshore waters, it is mainly the public property. As to the nature of government interests, it is chiefly the local or provincial interests in inland areas, whereas local, provincial and national interests are mixed in coastal lands and waters. Further to offshore waters and high seas, national and international inter­ests become most important. The government institu­tions also vary from zone to zone. On the coastal and

Морський екологічний журнал, № 3, Т. VII. 2008

offshore waters, there is usually only single-purpose provincial or national authorities operating, each con­cerns pricipally with a single use of the ocean, such as fisheries or tourism activities, oil and gas extraction, marine transportation. Because of these differencies, management of these 5 sub-zones may require inte­grated and complementary approaches and institutions, with more or less variations for each specific locality.

In Vietnam, experts say that the landward boundary for ICM should be the non tidal-affected ar­eas further inland or where the salinity is 1%o, and the seaward boundary should extend up to the 200 m deep, depending on the local management capacity. In the short term, ICM in Vietnam will be implemented based mainly on the administrative hierarchy which is com­posed of 4 levels: central, province, district/quarter and commune.

2.2. Management activities.

Coastal management activity is an integrated solution, encompassing 3 catergories: institutional and organizational arrangements, control and guidance, and direct investment for the community [7].

With regard to institutional and organizational arrangements, Vietnam should promulgate coastal laws towards the establishment of a law network necessary for coastal development and management. Moreover, it is necessary to promulgate and clarify govermental laws and policies in order to promote sustainable de­velopment in inland areas, coastal lands and waters, to protect the right of territorial uses, biodiversity, coastal biotopes and water quality. Management-related activi­ties include: identifying and clarifying legal interests and obligations; identifying the jurisdiction and respon­sibilities of management agencies, strengthening coer­cive capacity and carrying out monitoring and asses-ment.

Concerning control and guidance, it is necessary to set up incentives such as tax exemp- tion, government sub­sidization and technical support; or other measures such as no high tax or new tax, permission cost, crop restric­tion, limitation of uses of typical resources; and some other compulsory regulatory measures to promote envi­ronmental protection or prevent pollution and destruc­tive activities. Associated management activities are: application of new regulatory measures, strengthening of existing regulatory measures, establisment and appli­cation of criteria for water quality and waste, together with incentives.

As to direct investment for the community: the government should invest directly to change public awareness, to provide the fundamental infrastructure, to carry out research and investigation, to build coastal management capacity, and to create oppotunities for solving coastal development issues. Management ac­tivities in this field are: research and development; edu­cation and training; public awareness and information dissemination; construction of public infrastructure such as roads, dikes, waste collection and treatment facilities; technical support.

2.3. ICM framework in Vietnam.

Integrated coastal management is an iterative process, with information feedback and plan review cycle [7, 8, 31]. This process aims at identifying and finding solutions for management issues. Management issues are often divided in groups and concentrated in specific management action plan such as control of resource uses, disaster prevention activities, manage­ment of ecosystems and their functions, water quality maintainance, reserve management etc.

ICM is to manage human uses, and human and natural activities of a very complex system, hence it requires specific requirements. Firstly, there must be adequate understandings of utilization process and its impacts, e.g, impact history and status and scale of each use; scale of impact and possible impacts of future uses based on user development plans; interactions between present and future uses; possibility of sustainable uses of coastal and marine ecosystems; and management measures selected for each use. The second requirement is to convince the community - the user - that their long-term interests are closely connected with the ma-gement of marine and coastal environment and re­sources. Experiences from several countries show that the implementation of integrated management will ei­ther be failed or costly if the coastal inhabitants dis­agree with or financial unable to accept the manage­ment. [1, 7, 10, 17].

Most of governmental organizations in the world have inherited administrative structures which reflect the single sectoral management [3, 4, 5, 6]. Gov­ernmental ministeries, departments and sectors such as industry, agriculture, rural development, fisheries, tour­ism etc. have attempted to gain sectoral maximum eco­nomic growth and benefits by many ways. Those man­agement systems based on sectoral benefits, with the participation of only one governmental level, without substantive and meaningful participation of community

and related stakeholders, can not reach the integrated management goals of sustainable development. The setoral management model is outdated because of stag­nancy and interest conflicts among the sectors.

ICM framework in Vietnam should point out the goals and objectives so that all stakeholders can understand, offer ideas and suggestions and agree to participate. With regards to the goals of the manage­ment program, the overall, final goals should be de­noted, whereas in terms of objectives, we just outline the attainable and measurable outcomes of a certain field in a certain management time. Management objec­tives should be set clearly and with priorites. The objec­tives of ICM framework in Vietnam have firsly to ad­dress on following fields: strengthening multi-sectoral planning and management; promoting rational uses of marine and coastal resources and disaster prevention; maintainance of coastal ecological functions, biodiver-isty and productivity of coastal and marine species and habitats [12, 20].

Coastal management activities must firstly address on 3 catergories: 1) institutional and organizational arrange­ments to facilitate the imple- mentation of management activities; 2) encourage public participation in changing human behavior and awareness, deliver policy tools, regulations and incentives according to the market-mechanism; and 3) direct participation or investment of the government.

Making decisions for coatal management is­sues will involve many stakeholders, thus a number of major organizational problems should be tackle to reach integrated coastal management. The organization has to ensure a mechanism to co-ordinate and integrate differ­ent sectors and governmental levels; allow the partici­pation of local communities; optimize resource uses for the benefits of the whole society in the short-term and long-term, with a strategic, holistic, integrated, multi-sectoral approach in order to balance between socio­economic development and environment protection to be convincible and feasible, management policies, strategies and programs need to be carrying out within the national legal and administrative framework. Gov­ernment committment and participation are necessary during ICM establishment and implementation. Fur­thermore, an effective co-ordinating mechanism among institutions and goverment authorities must be designed and established. This is a very difficult work, if organ­ized       unscientifically;        this mechanism

will be prolix, overlapping, time- and money-consuming. The ICM framework (Fig. 3) will deliver this coordinating mechanism, establish and maintain an effective communication system among institutions, governmental authorities and levels. Management sys­tem will operate through national, provincial and local governmental authorities. Its structure is an integrated system of governmental authorities of all levels, from central to local, to guide the ICM process, allow the vertical integration of planning activities of different govermental levels, and ensure public participation. It is tasked and able to settle conflicts and supervise the ICM plan. All these must be carefully consider and well prepared, otherwise reformations will be counteractive in the short-term because the administrative system is usually very sensitive to the "violation" and "division" (decentralization) of power and of functions. However, this management system is new and limited by the lack of information and appropriate professional staff. Lessons learnt from several countries recommended not establishing a new administrative system, not to sepa­rate the coastal zone into a part of itself, but to promote co-ordination and cooperation among institutions through agreements with national coastal management agency. This agency comprises representatives of na­tional and local goverments and local community, with support from a secretariat and a national consultative council, which consists of consultants selected for their ability to contribute in the settlement of technical and professional issues. The national coastal management agency will be responsible to the Government and for the approval of the principles and objectives of coatal management. The ICM framework with a management system coordinated 4 management levels: central, pro­vincial, district and local would be suitable for the cur­rent political, economic and social contexts of Vietnam (fig. 3). Through an operation sytems of commune, hamlet, people's and social organizations and local community, district level is the governmental unit di­rectly steering the management interventions of local coastal environment and development issues under the leadership of the central and provincial levels. ICM centres in the locality are not responsible units, but just co-ordinating centres to together manage and resolve coastal environment issues. The concrete outcomes of ICM program depend largely on the operation of dis­trict level, especially on the coordination and coopera­tion among functional units of all levels and their ca­pacity to deal with problems. The district level is the

Морський екологічний журнал, № 3, Т. VII. 2008

principal authority which creats development stability and effective coastal protection. Its most important tasks are to consult, prepare and officially approve documents which define functions and tasks, give de­tailed instructions for development and management, receive and provide information, all that must be suit­able to the context of each locality. The manual han-book must instruct detailedly the functions of each level, organization and individual, popularize and give guidances how to use the manual "Instructions for sus­tainable coastal development" to all organizations, stakeholders and coastal communities.

III. Conclusion: ICM is the challenge on manage­ment awareness and management mechanism in Vietnam.

The most important factor in all efforts to achieve ICM is the political will of the government. This can only attain when the top-ranking politicians and managers - the decision makers - are aware of and realize the long-term economic and social benefits of ICM process.

Coastal management is difficult because of the essence of nature: the different features of land and ocean, in objectives of uses, functions and the nature of property. To develop political will and to improve planning and management processes of suistainable coastal uses are among the primary challenges in Viet­nam. To increase the political will in the short term, we need to:

- Improve the information exchange on the eco­nomic, social and ecological importances of the coastal zone among scientists and policy-makers.

- Increase our scientific understandings on the functions of different coastal ecosystems and those re­sources they created in the coastal zone.

- Increase awareness of policy-makers, planners and managers from different agencies about their com­mon interests in promoting sustainable coastal uses.

- Develop management methods for coastal multi­ple uses which allow different sectors to reach their goals in a compatible and sustainable manner.

Coastal sustainable development depends on the awareness of the economic, social and ecological importances of the coastal zone; on sustainable coastal planning and management ability of decision-makers; on the integration of multiple-use management with social, cultural, legal and administrative structure of the coastal zone, and with the maintainance of the integrity of coastal ecological functions and coastal ecosystems.

National co-ordinating mechanism

Ministries and general departments




State Steering Committee on ICM

i-ordinating mechanism

Departments and agencies

Provincial People's Committee

Local bodies

Consultative board

Bureau (Ministry оГпашгаї Resources and Environment)

Provincial Steering Committee on ICM

Team of Specialists and Experts

District People's Committee

Communal People's Committee


Office (Dept. of Natural Resources and Knvironmenl)

Local Community

Project groups

Besides, we should invest significantly in research and study to get more understandings and knowledge on the strategic value of Vietnam coatal zone, improve moni­toring; and in building human resources to better apply planning and management tools.

Fig. 3 Proposed ICM framework for Viet­nam

Рис. 3 Предлагаемая структура Ком­плексного управления прибрежными зонами во Вьетнаме

Acknowledgements. We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Environment Protection Agency (Viet­nam) and Ministry of Education and Science (Ukraine) for funding the joint ICM project. Thank all the colleagues and the local community for their cooperation and partipation in the ICM project.






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