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Some geographical issues of the coastal zone in Vietnam

SUNday - 06/04/2014 01:08
Coastal zone is understood as the transitional zone between the land and occean, constituted of the coastal land and coastal water, where the interaction among lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere occure strongly. It is a sensitive and vulnerable zone, that  has been exploited by human for  a long time and by many forms of use.

The coastal zone lies along 28 coastal provinces and cities, including 136 districts, occupying 14.4% of the area and 21.0% of the population of Vietnam with a population density of 379 persons per square kilometer. Its natural resources and conditions are abundant and diversified with many National parks, Biophere Reserves, Conservation Areas, Internationally and Nationally recognized Cultural and Natural Heritages. However, it is facing with many enviromental problems. With regard to economic development, the coastal zone in the South has grown faster than the North (in 2009, the South’s GDP per capita is twice higher than the North), showing the evident spatial difference not only of natural conditions of the coastal zone but also of its socio-economy.   
Concerning the basic geographical issues of the Vietnam coastal zone, the paper foucuses on 3 issues, including characteristic natural resources, natural hazards and coastal zone-use planning and reservation.

The characteristic natural resources of the coastal zone are denified as natural heritages, space resources, and position resources, which are important for sustainable socio-economic  development. However, they are not adequately examined  and the use of these resourses are not suitablely planned. Natural hazards (storms, flooding, coastal erosion, earthquake tsunami, sea level rise), which are great threats to life and property of local people in the coastal zone, should be adequately  aware  and prevented by effective measures. Marine and coastal spatial planning is an effective tool for integrated and united management of natural resourses and enviroment in the coastal zone. It should be based on sound study and comprehensive analysis of spatial variation of natural conditions, socio-economic and enviromental factors, characteristic natural resources and risks of natural hazards.

Le Duc An
7th National Conferences on Geography, Thai Nguyen University, 2013
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