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Towards a Resilient CĂ Mau (Vietnam) A design Investigation into Mangrove Aforestation

Author: Sam Khabir

Towards a Resilient Cà Mau (Vietnam) A Design Investigation into Mangrove Aforestation Advanced Master Thesis of Urbanism and Strategic Spatial Planning (MaUSP) European Postgraduate Masters in Urbanism (EMU) Author: Sam Khabir Promotor: Bruno De Meulder Co-Promotor: Paula Viganò Design Advisors: Henri Bava Christian Nolf Kelly Shannon Annelies De Nijs Readers:

Joaquin Sabaté Sybrand Tjallingii Wim Wambecq Christian Nolf

KU Leuven Faculty of Engineering Science Department of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning Leuven, Belgium

Towards a Resilient Cà Mau (Vietnam) A design Investigation into Mangrove Aforestation

Presented on 28/06/2013, Venice, Italy. Front page image: ‘Yuenan quan sheng yu tu’ (Complete map of Vietnam’s provinces), around 1890.



The tesis is submitted in order to obtain the degree in Advance Master of Science in Strategic and Spatial Planning (MAUSP), and the European Postgraduate Masters in Urbanism (EMU), a joint program between four European universities (KULeuven, TUDelft, IUAVenezia and UPCatalunya). The graduation thesis is accompanied by the Landscape Urbanism Studio, a design studio at the University of Leuven, which has its main focus on the growing cities in the developing countries and their challanges, and tries to investigate the possible solutions thourgh reseach by design. Studio Landscape Urbanism started with the three themes (Green City, Water City, Infrustructure Based Development), and framed three main groups. The design part of this thesis is the result of the contribution of the nine students working in the Green City Group devided into three groups of three persons working on Extra Large Scale, Medium Scale, Extra Small Scale. Altough, the three groups worked in parallel and at the same time with the contribution of all the members in different scales through discussions as well as production. Although, most of the strategies were developed thourgh a number of group discussions, the written part of the thesis, in which they have been more elaborated and different aspects of the projects are detailed is the result of an individual work by the Author (Sam Kahbir). In this part, it is also tried to investigate the alternatives for the current and proposed approaches and their possible impacts. Regarding the referencing, wherever the name of the groups are mentioned as XL, M or XS, they indicate to illustrations, drawings, maps, strategies, etc., that are made with the contribution of the all three members of the small groups within the the group of nine students working with the theme of “Green City”, with the following members: XL (Scale): Victoria Petrovsky, Chien Trinh Dinh and José Fernando Higuera Osorio M (Scale): Sam Khabir (Author), Dorien Pelst and Thomas Lenaerts XS (Scale): Kobe Pillen, Anne-Michèle Zeevaert and Mario Auricchio If somewhere no source is mentioned, the pictures, illustrations or stratefies are made by the author. Although, the focus of the Author is mainly as a memeber of the M scale group, since the result of the studio work shapes a part of the thesis which is made by the Author, the contribution to also the other two groups (XS and XL), in terms of strategy making, production and etc., is quite significant.

Landscape Urbanism Studio, that this booklet resulted from, was a unique experience in which students with different backgrounds and 14 different natioanlities participated in.

Sam Khabir

Howver, this booklet could not have come into existance without the support, critical feedback and encouragement of many people. First of all, I would like to thank my promotor and co-promoter, Prof. Bruno De Meulder and Prof. Paola Viganò for their critical feedbacks and support during the process of this research. Subsequently, I would like to thank Prof. Henri Bava, Prof. Kelly Shannon, Christian Nolf and Anneliese De Nijs for their help and guidance during the design process. Furthermore, I wish to thank Guido Geenen (KULeuven), Yuri Guerruts (KULeuven), Karin Helms (École nationale supérieure de paysage, versailles), Ken McCown (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Wim Wambecq (KULeuven), Annelies De Nijs (KULeuven) and Peter Aeschbacher (Pennsylvania State University), for their critical feedbacks before finalizing the thesis. In the same way, I am thankful to my colleagues in Landscape Urbanism Studio in Leuven, especially Victoria Petrovsky (Parsons The New School for Design, New York City), Chien Trinh Dinh (KULeuven), José Fernando Higuera Osorio (KULeuven), Dorien Pelst (KULeuven), Thomas Lenaerts (KULeuven), Kobe Pillen (KULeuven), Anne-Michèle Zeevaert (KULeuven) and Mario Auricchio (UPCatalunya, Barcelona). In the same way, I am thankful to all the participants from KULeuven, AHO, HCMUARC and SIUP for joining the filedwork, workshop and the exhibition in Cà Mau. Sam Khabir

©Copyright by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. All Rights Reserved

All text, images, graphics and other materials in this publication are subject to copyright. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or modified in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying or information storage and retrieval) without a written permission from the author. Permissions should be addressed to Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculty of Engineering - Kastelpark Arenberg 1, B3001 Heverlee (Belgium) or A written permission is also required to use methods, products, schemes, and programs described in this work for industrial or commercial use, and for submitting this publication in scientific contests.

Table of Content

Chapter 1. Introduction to Ca Mau Peninsula 1.1.Geomorphological formation of the Peninsula 1.2.History 1.3. Context (Landscape Logics & Challanges) 1.3.1.Topography 1.3.2.Productivity 1.3.3.Natural Resources 1.3.4.Change in the landuses

1.4.Urbanization History

Chapter 2. Challanges

2.1.Urbanization 2.2.Soico-Economic challanges 2.3.Socio-Spatial Challanges 2.4.Pollution 2.5.Climate change 2.6.Hydrology and Climate of the Ca Mau Peninsula 2.6.1.Rainfall 2.6.2.Tempereture 2.6.3.Tidal influences 2.6.4.Flooding 2.6.5.Freshwater Shortage and Salinity

2.7.Acid Sulfate Soils 2.8.Erosion

Chapter 3. Ca Mau Peninsual, Challanges and Strategies 3.1.Uniqueness of the different ecosystems 3.2.The Specificity of The Different Environments. 3.3.Shrinkage of The Mangrove Forests 3.4.Shrinkage of The Mangroves Throughout The History 3.5.Physical and Biological Characteristics of the Dominant Mangrove Species in Ca Mau Peninsula 3.6.Mangrove Reforestation Projects 3.6.1.A Comparison between North and South of Vietnam 3.6.2.Socio-economic aspects of the replantation projects

3.7.The Ecological Goods and Services of The Mangrove Forest 3.8.Ecosystem goods of the mangrove forests 3.9.Biomass Production 3.10.A successful mangrove restoration project in south Viet Nam 3.11.Mangroves and Mitigation of Climate Change Effects

Chapter 4. Toward a symbiosis of Landscape Urbanism 5

5 9 11 11 12 13 13 14 19 23 23 25 25 26 27 31 31 32 32 33 34 35 35 37 39 40 41 42 45 47 47 49 49 50 51 51 53


4.4.Mangroves & Acid Sulfate Soils 4.5.Disused and Abandonment of Shrimp Ponds

55 55 56 57 59 59 61 62 63 65 66

5.1.Ca Mau Landuses 5.2.Urbanization 5.3.Masterplan Analysis 5.4.City & The Low-Lands 5.5.Road Hierarchy in Ca Mau City 5.6.Analysis of The Greem Structure of The City

74 76 82 83 89 93

4.1.Current Trends

4.1.1.Dikes in Viet Nam 4.1.2.Costs of a coastal dike in Vietnam

4.2.An Ecological Protective - Productive Approach 4.3.Taming the water 4.3.1.Increase and changes in biodiversity 4.3.2.Socio-Economic aspects of the project 4.3.3.The Statistical Aspects of The Project 4.3.4.River Bank Defence (Design Proposal)

Chapter 5. Ca Mau City (Interprative Mapping & Analysis)71

Chapter 6. Ca Mau City (Strategies and Design) 6.1.The development of a water-based landscape 6.2.Dissapearance of the water structure 6.3.The Use of a Mangrove Plantation as a Constructed Wetland for Municipal Wastewater Treatment

6.3.1.Cleaning Wetlands & River Bank Forests (Design Proposal) 6.3.2.Making Space for Water (Design Proposal) 6.3.3.Filtering Canals (Design Proposal) 6.4.Dealing with Freshwater Shortage 6.4.1.Design Proposal (Sponge Forests) 6.4.2.Potential Benefits of Peat Swamp Forests 6.5.Framing the urban (Design Proposal) 6.5.1.Strategies: Linear City - Green Framework - Urban Platforms - Lifestyles 6.5.2.Cut and Fill 6.5.3.From Planning to Planting 6.5.4.Recycling The Low-lands 6.5.5.Urban Forestry 6.5.6.Designing The Urban Platforms

Chapter7. Conclusion Biblography

95 97 97 98 99 101 102 103 104 105 109 109 110 110 110 111 113 125 125 126



The start of the thesis, coincide with the filed trip that was organized in February of 2013, coordinated by Prof. Bruno De Meulder and Prof. Kelly Shannon, to Ca Mau city that is the capiral of Ca Mau provice in Mekong Delta region, what is in the southermost part of vietnam’s inland territory. Coming back to Leuven, in pararell with the design studio operated by Prof. Henry Bava and Prof. Bruno De Meulder, the thesis takes the advantage of the studio by using design as a research tool in order to to tackle the challanges of an expanding city in Vietnamese context which is dealing with both rapid urbanization and climate change. The considered methods are the filedwork and site observation, photograph analysis, reviewing the literates in parallel with the core of weekly design reviews.

The mangroves are an important forest resource in all of the intertropical band of the planet. Human actions has increased the threat to this ecosystems more than the global climate change itself. It is also the case in Ca Mau Peninsula in the southernmost of Viet Nam. The region of Ca Mau experienced rapid development since Vietnam’s turn to an export-led economy (Doi Moi) in 1986. Succession of productive landscape characterized by the shift from rice cultivation and small scale aquaculture production (with a minor presence of orchards), to an economy based mainly on brackish-water mono-aquaculture for the production of shrimp, a high profit export commodity. This has lead to the strengthening of the state’s financial capacity to invest in infrastructure to include Cà Mau in global clusters of production. However, the cultivation of shrimp has been increasingly threatened by the very detriments arising from it. Inland conversion of rice paddies to shrimp ponds has contributed to surface and ground water pollution, loss of mangrove ecosystem, saline intrusion into sweet water-cultivated landscape, oxidation of potential of acid sulfate soils and the “pink gold rush” has led to rapid population growth and urbanization in the urban, peri-urban and rural areas. In order to create a more resilient and economically diversified landscape, variety of vegetation based strategies are considered mainly based on mangrove reforestation with the aim of finding possible alternatives for the future developments, being aware of the significance of climate change.

Keywords: Mangrove - Climate Change - Ca Mau Peninsula



Vietnam and the world Source: Google Maps Source: Adapted by the Author Based on the World Map (Unknwon source)



Chapter 1.Introduction to Ca Mau Peninsula 1.1.Geomorphological formation of the Peninsula

Ca Mau Peninsula, the southernmost part of Vietnam, located between the east sea and the Gulf of Thailand on the west, which has a strong drainage system to each of East and West Sea. The flat, triangular peninsula, with lengths ranging from 180 to 210 km. The formation of the peninsula is mainly due to to shore deposits of the Mekong River, which are also responsible for the the creation and extention of the spit of Cape Bai Bung at the peninsula’s tip. The peninsula of Ca Mau has formed over the last 10,000 years, acquiring its shape through settling of the sediment coming from Mekong river which is carried by river and marine alluvial streams, gets pushed by marine and river streams, while the peninsula is located between the two tidal systems, the semidiurnal ride fromt he East sea which gets its highest up to 3 meters and more calm diurnal tide from the West sea up to 2.1 meters adding up to 26 meters of alluvia to the tip each year. The growing of the peninsula between two tides has generated a unique productive environment. The mangrove propagules from what is now Thailand drifted and were implanted into the newly formed banks, which resulted in complete coverage of the peninsula in mangrove forests, which was succeeded by the Melaleuca mangroves, where the mangrove and intertidal system, access to fresh water from the Mekong contributed to higher elevations, and various depressions in the peninsula to the diversity of mangrove environments.

2500BC. Mangrove forests are shaped along the growing coastline

4000BC the Coast of Mekong was still not developed. Some islands in the far north are visible.

4000BC the Coast of Mekong was still not developed. Some islands in the far north are visible.

2000-1000 BC

2500BC. Mangrove forests are shaped along the growing coastline

1000 BC - 1AD

The delta is formed by depositions of sand and sludge were a river culminates out in the ocean (Bryhni, 2013) . The Mekong Delta started forming almost 5000 years ago, but the shape Bedrock or ofelevated the delta Land as we know it today did not start to take form until 1AD. The Mangroves blue line shows the river basin of the Mekong river, great masses of water Coastline have transported sediments, and mangroves have kept soils in place, these shaped the mekong delta of today. Riverprocesses basin Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XL Group


2000-1000 BC

Bedrock or elevated Land Mangroves Coastline River basin Source: AHO Research Booklet 2013. Based on: Ngyen, V. Late Holocene depositional environments and coastal evolution of the Mekong River Delta, Southern Vietnam. Journal of Asian earth science.


Hong Kong Ha Noi




Phnom Penh Saigon

Ca Mau












Kuala Lumpur


Jakarta Bandung 1.000.000 inhabitants 5.000.000 inhabitants 10.000.000 inhabitants

Central position in Pacific - Indian interfluvium Source: Google Maps, Wikipedia Adapted by the Author



1.2.History Ca Mau Peninsula, is a part of of the Mekong Delta that is a region in southwestern Vietnam where the Mekong River flows into the sea through a network of distributaries. The history of the first settlements in the delta goes back to long times ago since the prehistory; as for centuries the empire of Funan and Chenla were the residents of the Mekong Delta. Archaeological findings reveal that the area had a great importance during the Funan Kingdom, used as trading ports and canals as early as in the first century CE and extensive human settlement in the region may have gone back as far as the 4th century BCE. The region was known as Khmer Krom (lower Khmer) to the Khmer Empire, was settled there centuries before its rise in the 11th and 12th centuries. Early in 1620s, the Vietnamese were permitted to settle in the area, by Khmer King Chey Chettha. The increase in the number of the Vietnamese settlers which afterwards followed by a war between Khmer kingdom and Thailand, weaken the Khmers and Vietnamese took the control of the area and expand their territory. As an example, Tay Son and Nguyen Dynasty wars, resulted the Vietnam’s borders to expand to Cape of Ca Mau. Upon the conclusion of the Cochinchina Campaign in the 1860s, the area became Cochinchina, France’s first colony in Vietnam, and later, part of French Indochina.

Source: Google Image


Early in the French colonial period, the French controlled and fought on the waterways of the Mekong Delta region with their “divisions navales d’assaut”, which was a tactic that remianed during the the first Indochina War, and afterwards was used by the US army. During the Vietnam War the Delta region experienced a heavy fighting between Vietnamese guerrillas and the US army’s boats and hovercrafts. Eventutally, by the independence from France, the Mekong Delta was part of the Republic of Vietnam and afterwards the country of Vietnam.

Source: Smith, Charles, East India Isles. David Rumsey Historical Map Collection


1.3. Context (Landscape Logics & Challanges) 1.3.1.Topography The territory of Ca Mau is generally flat and low. The average height of the terrain is from 0.5 to 1m above sea level. Those areas of fluvial sediment or fluvial-marine mixed sediment, marine-marsh mixed sediment or marsh sediment have a lower height (WPTA, 2012).

1.3.2.Productivity The Ca Mau province is by far Vietnam’s most productive landscape in the Mekong Delta region in terms of aquaculture. Shrimp farming is now the new production model in the entire peninsula, As an example, “Ca Mau province has more than 298,025 ha of aquaculture farms, including 265,000 hectares for shrimp breeding and the remainder for other fish farming. The province is cultivating 130,100 hectares of rice, with an average productivity of 4.152 tonnes per hectare” (Thanh Tan, 2013). Regional Aquaculture Production

Source: Adapted and Reproduced by the Author Based on Studio Delta Urbanism, Delft, 2011.


Source: TANH Introduction of Ca Mau planning context, powerpoint document


1.3.3.Natural Resources

Soil resource

Forest resource

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism, Leuven 2013. Green City, XL Group

Generally, the province’s soil is rather young that has been cultivated recently. Although the fertality of the soil itself is relatively high with the high organic substance contents, but due to the presence of the high alum poisoning it is ranked as “fertile-limited soil” for the agricultural production (Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, 2012). 34% of the total area of the peninsula is the mix of the fluvial or fluvial-marine sediment, 12% is fluvial-marsh mixed sediment, 13% marine-marsh mixed sediment, 36% marine sediment, and 2% marsh sediment. Hence, more than 50% of the soil is alkaline soil to heavy alkaline soil (Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, 2012).

Ca Mau forests divide into two main categories, coastal mangrove forest mainly in the southern provinces of the peninsula including Ngoc Hien, Dam Doi, Nam Can and Phu Tan and the alum waterlogged indigo forest in districts of U Minh, Thoi Binh and Tran Van Thoi. These are the two particular forest eco-systems in the Mekong River Delta with high bio-diversity. Specifically, the coastal mangrove forest and the Lower U Minh indigo forest have a crucial role in ecology balancing, climate harmonizing, and protecting the coastal areas. The mangrove species of Ca Mau can be identified into five environments: Fringe mangrove forests, which are the most saline kind of mangrove environment, grow as a relatively thin fringe along the coast. They are directly exposed to the tides and sea waves and therefore exposed to storms and strong winds with high energy. Riverine mangrove forests grow along flowing waters such as tidal rivers and creeks where salinity varies during different seasons while also impacted by the fresh water from the north. They can effectively protect river’s banks from erosion. Basin mangrove forests are which are flooded occasionally during dry season with high salinity in the soil. They are often short and are located in interior of swamps. Marsh and mangrove marsh are the same as basin mangrove forests, the difference is that they are more elevated than basin mangrove forests and therefore more often isolated but still receive tidal influences. In a higher relation, the mangroves were succeeded by the melaleuca forest. 1.3.4.Change in the landuses Ca Mau Province in the Mekong Delta been experiencing a big change in term of the land uses during the last ten years. Forests and agricultural land have been transformed into shrimp farms. This has been a trend in several South-East Asian countries in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and it happened in Vietnam during the 90’s. Environmental costs are very high when shrimp farms are located in mangrove area the way that Vietnam has lost over 80% of its mangroves since the 1940s (Hazarika et al., 2000). Shrimp farms have also a large impact on land, water, forest and fishery resources.

Water resources

- Surface water resource: The rain and the sea water are mainly formed the water system in Ca Mau Peninsula which are available in natural rivers and canal systems, irrigation canals, mangrove forests, indigo forests, and aquatic production fields. - Underground water resource: Underground water is considered as the major source of the fresh water with a good quality mainly using for the daily life and industrial purposes (VTPA, 2012).

Source: Adapted and reproduced by the Author. Based on the map by K.Shannon, B.De Meulder, A.De Nijs, 2009.



Rice Agriculture

The main actuvuty in Ca Mau Peninsula in western part of the Mekong delta used to be traditionally rainfed agriculture and irrigated paddy rice production (1990-1995). In addition to that, the secondary shortterm crops such as vegetables and annual fruits are also cultivated. (Hoanh et al. 2010). Bananas, coconuts and Melaleuca or Eucalypt tree crops plantings along with complementary freshwater aquaculture production for home uses or for sale reasonss are favoured in the territory. This rice production is only possible to be used in the inland parts where the salinity cannot be considered as a serious problem. The more profitable double rice-farming system includes both irrigated rice in the dry season and the wet season flooded crop. This production type is possible in areas where the salinity in controlled. Due to this reason most of the farmers can only get 1 crop per year. In locations or seasons that flooding is minimal or in areas that are depended on the rainfall, an early wet season crop and a traditional rice productionmethod is used (Ngo Tho Hung, 2012).


Rice-Shrimp farming is an alternative that is developed of the traditional combination of fish and/or shrimp fallowing by dry-season rice fields depends on expansion of rice farming into the seasonally saline areas. situation 2011 Rice- 1 crops


Rice- 2 crops Swamp Productive Artificial Forest Special Use Forest Plantation Protective Artificial Forest Mangrove

15.54 4.46%

Orchard Shrimp- mangrove Farming


Intensive Aquaculture Rice/Shrimp

Source: K.Shannon, B.De Meulder, A.De Nijs, 2009. AHO Research Booklet 2013.

The use of this option has been increased over the last two decades in the region in the places that are subject to seasonal saline intrusion. Saline water is allowed to enter to the paddy for shrimp farming during the dry season. Subsequently, by the start of the rainy season, fresh water flushes away the salt from the paddy and prepare it for rice cultivation. This model has been adapted in most of the traditional wet paddy farming patterns in many of the previous rice farms. Based on an official desicion on 2000, shrimp farming was permiteed to be implement in rice fields in the areas with the seawater intrusion occurance which was followed by an increase of the riceshrimp farming areas by 120,000 ha in CaMau Peninsula in the same year. (Based on N.T.Hung, 2012 and district survey, 2013). 1km



agriculture & aquaculture in 2011 source: Shannon et al. 2009 and APPEC 2011

Source: K.Shannon, B.De Meulder, A.De Nijs, 2009. AHO Research Booklet 2013.


Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism, 2013. Source: S.P.Anh


Source: S.P.Anh


The common model for the yearly production cycle contains one or two shrimp harvesting together with one rice crop. The freshwater rice cultivation performs as an intermidiate between the salt water shrimp production. For that reason, the salt water inundation during the dry season does not lead to persistant salinization of the soil (Clayton and Preston, 2003). The remaining organic substances from shrimp period can be used as fertilizer for rice cultivation. By the start of the wet season, salt will be flushed aways by the high amount rainfalls and the salinity level of the pond reduces, Normally the rice is harvested in the last two months of the year and by then the dikes and pond are readapted to be flooded with the salt water from the canal. (Based on N.T.Hung, 2012 and district survey, 2013).

Industrial Shrimp

One of the necessities for this intensive aquaculture model is the high investment costs, however the possible protifability is considerably high. This resulted that this lucrative model to be replaced in most of areas that were previously used for natural aquaculture or mixed with rice by industrial shrimp aquaculture over the last three decades. More than 400,000 ha in Ca Mau have been tranformed to intensive shrimp aquaculture while it terms of the distribution, it is mainly applied in the saline areas near to the coast. This system is also in the need of good technical equipments such as stable power supply as well as a good water quality and pond condition. In terms of the species, the black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon), that used to be most common specie in this region is being replaced by whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) because of its vulnerability to white spot disease and the fact of its difficulty to breed them in isolated ponds. (Based on N.T.Hung, 2012 and district survey, 2013).

Mangrove-Shrimp Farming main species

This model used to be found widely in the Mekong delta. Based on the physical aspect of pond settings and mangroves, there are mainly two faming models named mixed and separate mangrove-shrimp farming (Clough et al. 2002 ). The extensive model that is baed on the18Ă?,7Ă?07,Ó‚348ŇŚ17ÓŒ1+ wild seed and natural food attained fromCĂ€ MAU mangrove materials is mainly favoured by most of the farmers (Binh and Lin, 1995), Although, there has been an effort recently by them to shift to an improved extensive system (Clough et shrimp farming takes al., 2002 and Minh, 2001). over ca mau province The farm size in this model ranges from 2 -17ha (Minh, 2001, Clough, 2002). The area belongs to shrimp ponds are in forms of canals and ditches which acquire 15 to 50 percent of total area (Minh 2001; Binh 1994; Jonshon et al. 1999). A reseach on late 20s showed that when the mangroves cover of 31 - 50 percent of the pond area, the highest amount of productivity can be acquired to meed the yearly investments. (Binh, 1994). giant tiger shrimp

sea bass

white legged shrimp

fresh water prawn





From rice-oriented agriculture, the Mekong Delta has become the largest area of saltwater aquaculture in Vietnam. The growth is mainly been area expansion iXk_\ik_Xe`ek\ej`Ă‘ZXk`fe#Xe[`e)''/XhlXZlckli\ was using almost 300,000 ha. (Ba Vu Tung, 2008, p.3) Shrimp farmers diversify their production by rais`e^_`^_mXcl\Ă‘j_jlZ_Xj\cfe^Xk\[^fYpXe[j\X bass along with the shrimps. (Hoanh et al. 2010, p.53)




aquaculture in 2011 source: Shannon et al. 2009 and APPEC 2011.

Shrimp- mangrove Farming Intensive Aquaculture Rice/Shrimp

Source: K.Shannon, B.De Meulder, A.De Nijs, 2009. AHO Research Booklet 2013. 156

Although the assessment of the productivity in this model looks to be difficult due to the fact that beside the shrimp, the new provided environment is also suitable for other types of production such as fish, wild shrimp species and crab. However in different case studies in the Mekong delta, a natural shrimp productivity was estimated as 290 kg/ha/year (Minh, 2001), Minh (2001) and 265 kg/ha (Binh 1994). (European Commission, research for development program, 1998-2002). Overview of a Mixed Shirmp-Mangrove Farm

Source: S.P.Anh


Source: Author


1.4.Urbanization History

Ca Mau Peninsula Timeline The maps above the timeine show development in the Ca Mau Peninsula from the colonial era through today. Rivers, canals, roads and settlements are the main focus of the maps. Under the timeline there is a shorter description of the changes in agriculture, mangrove and aquaculture. Today









Viet-cong base area, American war

Colonized by France

Viet-cong base area First Indochina war

Gulf of Thailand

East Sea


15.54 4.46%




2013 83

Sources: AHO Research Booklet, 2013. Pre-colonial/colonial map: Adapted from colonial-era map (source unknown) Post-colonial map:Adapted from post-colonial maps (source unknown), Today’s Map: Shannon, K., De Meulder, B., De Nijs, A., Interpretative Mapping: Mekong Delta & Cantho; project report for BELSPO (Belgian Science Policy Office), Brussels, December 2012.


map from 1940/1950: Biggs, D. 2010, Quagmire: Nationabuilding and Nature in the MekongDelta, 1st ed. USA: University of Washington Press.p.19 + (MARTIN) Map from 1972: Univsersity of Texas Libaries, 2013. Historical maps, [online] (updated 21.june 2011) available at [accessed 01.02.2013]. map from 1990: Adapted from map 1990/ 95


From 1859 till 1954, during the French colonial period, the urban development process occured in a quite slow speed. The economical structure of the country was mainly adapted to a colonial economy. French government employed all the models to extract natural resources and raw agricultural products from Vietnam. By the end of the first World War (1888 to 1919), Frenchs invested in agriculture, mining and commerce. In the post- World War I context, France needed to quickly recover its economy and position in the world by exploiting the colonies. French imperial government abandoned their plan to “industrialize Indochina” and replaced it by focusing on exploiting mines and plantation (especially rubber plantation in the South), exporting rice and raw materials, expanding agricultural banks, encouraging agricultural production, and increasing small private ownership of land. All of these elements resulted that Vietnam’s economy to stay as a colonial agricultural economy (T.N.Q.Tran, 2010).. “This process involved an irrigation and drainage canals system with large pumping stations and flood gates (that would in theory permit intensive agriculture in a densely settled), resulted in a unique landscape” (David Biggs, 2005).

Canal network embedded in natural hydrological system The 3 most important canals from the Nguyen­era (BaoDinh, Vinh Te and Thoai Ha; shown in the lighter color)served as efficient inland links from the Mekong River to the sea. A much greater number of canals were dug during the French colonial era (shown in the darker color);they transformed the territory into a highly productive agricultural region. Source: Unknown

The light and dark grid lines represnts a hypothetical network of irrigation and drainage canals branching from a 21

backbone of navigational canals managed by water pumping stations and flood gates. The U minh forest was to be encircled by canals. The arrows show the intended drainage direction

(Source: Kelly Shannon and Annelies De Nijs, 2009) Based on colonial era map, Unknown Source


Chapter 2.Challanges 2.1.Urbanization Viet Nam’s urban development has been growing fast during the past 20 years. However, the process of urbanization has not taken place equally. Northern areas have considerably less urban population than southern areas. This model can be seen in the following maps, which clarify the distribution pattern of the population living in urban areas between 1999 and 2009. The current urban areas, including the 2 special urban areas of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, 9 urban areas of grade 1, 12 urban areas of grade 2, 45 of grade 3, 41 of grade 4 and 643 of grade 5. In 2009, 30.5 per cent of the Vietnam populatio for 26 million people lived in cities and towns, which is considerably higher compared to 1995 that only 20.7 per cent (14.9 million) were the residents of the cities. While some provinces, such as Dien Bien, Hai Duong, Hoa Binh and Ha Giang, haven’t had much urban growth, others, such as Vinh Phuc, Binh Thuan, Ben Tre, Tien Giang and Ca Mau witnessed sharp increases (Viet Nam Population and Housing Census, 2009), and has been upgraded to a second urban class.

Proportion of the population living in urban areas, 1999 23

Proportion of population living in urban areas, 2009 (Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning & Investments, 2009)

After reaching an urban proportion of the population at 10% in Viet Nam in about 1950, the urbanization speed increased by the year 1975 and 21.5% of the population lived in urban areas. However, in that period, there were strong differences in the urbanizaition trends between the North and the South. The level of urbanization decreased slightly in the North, while it increased substantially in the South. After the country was reunified, there was a substantial decline in the urban proportion of the population throughout the country until 1982, when it had fallen to 18.4%. Since then, the level of urbanization has increased gradually to 20% and by 2009 it had reached 29.6% (Viet Nam Population and Housing Census, 2009).

Proportion of population living in urban areas, 1931–2009 Sources: From 1931–1988: Table 14, page 106 in F. Gendreau, V. Fauveau and Dang Thu (1997). Démographie de la péninsule indochinoise. Paris: ESTEM From 1989–2008 : Census 1989, 1999 and website of the GSO. 2009 : Census 2009

Urban annual population growth rate (%) in Vietnam, 1931-2008 Sources: -1931-1993:In Table 14, in Gendreau, V. Fauveau and Dang Thu (1997). Démographie de la péninsule indochinoise. Paris: ESTEM: page 106. -1994-2008 : Censuses 1989, 1999 and statistics of urban population on the GSO website.

Ca Mau’s total population is over 1.2 million (2010). The capital of the province is Ca Mau City and there are eight districts and 101 communes and towns. The average population density of the province is 226 person/km2 (Vietnam’s national density 260 persons/ km2) with 1.3 percent population growth per year. With 863 person/km2, Ca May City has the highest amount of population density the province. Currentlu, Ca Mau can be considered as a rural province since a higher amount of the population living in rural areas (20% urban population versus 80% rural settlements). From the early 2000s, wide ranges of interventions applied by the government with the goal of enhancing the economy of the province. Particularly, a noticeable area of paddies and mangrove forest has been transformed into lucrative shrimp production. This has additionally enhanced Ca Mau’s competitive advantages in shrimp aquaculture and its by-products that result in the creation of induced jobs (Shrimp processing, agro-processing and transportation). While, from the demographyical perspective and economical geography, urbanization is defined as the population migration from rural to urban areas, and the growth of concentration of people living in urban areas (Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning, 2009), in terms of society, urbanization is understood as a process of restructuring of people’s residential environment. However, urbanization not only changes the distribution of population, but also alters the socio-economic and socio-spatial patterns and distinguishes the urban lifestyles from those in the rural areas, and to the whole society. Therefore, urbanization not only occurs in quantitative terms through population growth, territorial expansion, and production development, but also in qualitative terms through improvements in living standards, and diversification of cultural patterns and needs. 24

2.2.Soico-Economic challanges The rate of the poverty in urban areas in Vietnam is still high nowadays. The contrast between the rich and poor is clearly characterized in urban areas, especially the difference in development levels between inner and suburban areas, in housing situation between the houses with all the high essentials and slums next to the rivers, canals, lakes and those being spontaneously made across the streets, industrial zones, etc. Due to the dissimilarities in socio-economic levels between urban and rural areas, migrants massively flow into the larger urban areas. Although these movements has been helping the improvement and transformation of many economical, social life and cultural aspect in the urban areas, on the other hand, it also puts a big pressure on developing infrastructure, jobs, education and environment in a sustainable way. A fast process of population growth due to this inflow of migrants causes the overload of the infrastructure, pollution, and shortage of housing. Newly-built schools, markets, hospitals and parks do not meet the demands and are not distributed evenly. Moreover, the historical sites are threatened by residents’ tend to br modernized and real-estate investors’ ambition (T.N.Q.Tran, 2010).

2.3.Socio-Spatial Challanges

A long term movement to a social-inequality in the fast-developing cities of Southeast Asia may be in its first steps (S.Zukang, 2008). Particularly, the process to a future urban inequality is based on settlement patterns and the risks of creating a permanent and residentially segregated urban ‘underclass’. (T.N.Q.Tran, 2010). Segregations that are happening voluntarily have also become a recent tendency, with the increase in the number of gated communities in both northern and southern parts of Viet Nam.

Source: Author, 2013


This tendency looks to have some forces behind, such as both supply and demands and the service that it can provide, such as a level of security or a new lifestyle. On the other hand, the developers find a great benefits with in these highly controlled developments. Rapid urban growth is responsible for many social and environmental changes in the urban environment. Migration and overcrowding while extra housing and infrastructure is not provided result in unplanned formation of slums inside or outside of the cities. (Hall, 1977). Regarding the cities in the Mekong delta, this growth is happening mostly in the low lying lands that are highly exposed to the flood risk due to the fact that the higher lands are already mostly urbanized. This makes the poor also the most vulnerable for flooding. (Pham and Pham, 2011). On the other hand, the uncontrolled urban sprawl expands towards productive (agricultural) landscapes and are a threat for the food production and environment. Apart from being a thread to the water quality of the rivers and canals, densification of the cities create a sort of stinking flows due to waste water discharches. These sewage-rivers are eventually disappearing and result in formation of the impermeable soils that does not allow the rain water to intrude in the soil that causes more floodings troughout the rainy seasons, increase the flood risk (James H. Spencer, 2010).

2.4.Pollution The environmental qualities in Viet Nam has been gradually going down, According to the Environmental Performance Index (prestigious global environmental centers), Vietnam has been facing a combination of air, water, and solid waste pollution. Heavy metals and other pollutants have been entering rivers, deteriorating the environmental condition of the areas around urban areas and alongside of the rivers that will be completely free of plants and animals. The downstream sections of major rivers show poor water quality, and most of the lakes and canals in urban areas have become sewage sinks. Poor industrial wastewater management and the lack of civic awareness are the two main causes of water pollution in Vietnam.

Source: Author, 2013


2.5.Climate change Global climate change is one of the most sigHanoi nificant challenges that we are facing with in this century. However the climatic change Haiphong has been happening throughout the history, the current rate of global warming threatens the survival of whole ecosystems. As a peninsula country, Viet Nam is situated in the tropical monsoon strip in the Southeast of Asia with an average of seven storms per year and is one of the countries with the high possibility of being significantly affected by the future climate change consequences while it is already encountering changes in the climatic elements, as well as extreme weather phenomena such as storms, heavy rains, and droughts (VARCC, 2009). That is proven by the recent World Bank Study in HCM City which among the 84 coastal developing countries that the possible sea level rise (SLR) Ca Mau Impact of 1m SLR, Vietnam. scenarios investigated on, Vietnam ranks the Source: Dasgupta et al 2007 first in the subject of the influences on population, GDP, urban extents, and wetland areas, and the second country concerning the effects on land area (after Bahamas) and agriculture (after Egypt). (Michael Waibel, 2008). Official investigation reports indicate to an annual temperature rise from 0.5C to 0.7C in the last 50 years and in terms of the sea level rise, an increase of 20 cm during the same period. At the same time a growth in the occurrence rate of tropical storms by 2.15 incidents and an enormous decrease in the amount of mangrove forest areas are all showing the significance of the climate change risks in Viet Nam (IPNORE, 2009).

Source: Google Images


The most extreme climate change influences are mainly anticipated in the agricultural & aquaculture and the water resources sectors and the flood inundationa and droughts are expected to happen more frequently as a result of the rise in rainfall intensity and decline in number of rainy days which makes the vast cultivation areas in the danger of being highly affected by salt water intrusion due to the sea level rise. The prediction is that climate change can result in seawater intrusion into the groundwater, which puts the freshwater supplement of the coastal areas in a high danger (World Bank, 2010). The rapidly growing aquaculture industries that are being supported by the coastal infrastructure and dikes are also highly in risk due to possible damages of the storm surges to the system. (IPNORE, 2009). As a consequence, climate change can lead to saline concentrations that have an extensive impact to an increase in the extinction of biodiversity to a large extend native plant species and the ones with a great economical values (IPNORE, 2009). One of the most vulnerable areas to these processes is the mangrove forest area that can negatively affect on the indigo forests and the forests planted on the acid sulfuric soil of the South Viet Nam and consequently, the primary and secondary forests could be significantly reduced (VARCC, 2009). In order to diminish the impacts of storm surge and the salinization of the agricultural areas a national sea dike has been constructed along the entire coastline of Vietnam and today The dyke system in the country is now 5700 km of rive r dykes, 3000 km of sea dykes, 23,000 km of protective band and thousands of drainage works) constructed over centuries and has been the subject of active repair and maintenance (JCA, 2010).


Source: Adapted by the Author Based on Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Study in the Mekong Delta, 2011.

2050 - 1m SLR 28

Population vulnerability indicates the vulnerability of the people to the climate change impacts. Population growth is a major driver for change in the delta, especially in terms of increasing the number of people and households exposed to climate change hazards, as well as the increase of demands on the available natural resources and its effects on sustainable lifestyles. The relationship between population change and the associated demographic trends will affect the ability of local communities and households to build resilience to climate change. Population growth can also potentially increases the of the number of people under the risk of climate change hazards and on the other hand it can also cause more difficulties for the climate change adaptations (Asian Development Bank, 2011).

Asian Development Bank, 2011

Having this in mind, based on the characteristics such as high population numbers, rates of growth or large family size, from a comparative point of view, the current rate of population vulnerability at the district levels in Ca Mau consireded as low which by 2030 and 2050 is expected to be changed and Cau Mau City and Tran Van Thoi in Ca Mau are considered to be highly vulnerable.


Agri-Aquaculture and Livelihoods Vulnerability refers to the vulnerability of agricultural and aquacultural farming, infrastructure and livelihood systems to the effects of climate change, Rural households in Ca Mau have a storng reliance on climate-sensitive resources and activities such as agricultural lands and rice farming and aquaculture. Climate change impacts like flooding and inundation together with salinity and storm surge reduce the availability of these local natural resources, making difficulties for rural households that are depended on these soruces. The most vulnerable districts are those with a large number of households that are highly dependent on water-reliant farming systems (such as the rice-based system), and are most exposed to river based flooding and inundation such as U Mihn (Asian Development Bank, 2011).

Asian Development Bank, 2011

Single farmer household in Ca Mau province are the basic economic units and considered as one of the main factors to understand the current and future effects of climate change. Their relative exposure to flooding, inundation, salinity and storm surge together with a heavy dependence on natural resources for their livelihoods make rural communities in both Kien Giang and Ca Mau vulnerable (Sinclair Knight Merz, 2011). Based on the climate change scenarios, it is expected that the situation will deteriate by 2030 and 2050. It is suggested that the vulnerability level will increase significantly in most parts in a big proportion of the region, mainly due to the increase in the flooding and inundation exposure level and the heavy reliance on water based livelihood and agri-aquacultural systems.


2.6.Hydrology and Climate of the Ca Mau Peninsula 2.6.2.Tempereture


The climate in the Ca Mau Peninsula is under influence by both the southwest and northeast monsoons. Generally, the dry season runs from December to April while the wet season spans May to November. (NEDECO, 1993). The average amount of the rainfall in Ca Mau and the spatial districution of the rainfall in Mekong Delta are as shown as bellow:

Average annual temperature in the Peninsula is close to 28째C in which monthly temperatures run from 25째C in January through to high of around 28.9째C in April.

Worldbank, 2012

Worldbank, 2012

2.6.3.Tidal influences

< 0.3 0.3 - 0.6 0.6 - 1.0 Source: Reproduced by the Author Based on: T.P.Tuong & G.T.Hoang 1986 31

1.0 - 1.5 m

Both East and West Sea tides effect simultaneously both the streams and canals in the Ca Mau Peninsula. In the East Sea the tide is semidiurnal but irregular and has large tidal range of 3 to 3.5m, which has a 15 day cycle average tidal level with a maximum in December and a minimum in July (Ian White 2002). The tidal effects from the East Sea propagate to the main and subsidiary canal systems that ary canal systems that the Worldbank, 2012 farmers can take advantage of these tidal variations to drain and flood their lands. Drainage of floodwaters can be problematic if the wet season floods happen together with the spring tides. Tides in the West Sea are diurnal with approximately tidal amplitude of 0.8 to 1.2m. This can lead to a dead water zone that may prevent water movement from the Bassac River into the Ca Mau area (Ghassemi and Brennan, 2000), 32


2.6.5.Freshwater Shortage and Salinity

Flooding is a natural and recurrent phenomenon in the Ca Mau Peninsula. It is the process which drives the evolution of the delta plain over geological time scales. However, floods also have represented a serious and widespread constraint to the human habitation and economic development of the delta. Only, the damages due to flooding in the reed plains amount to tens of billions of Vietnamese dong (VND), each year (Integrated Land and Water Development and Management Group Training Vietnam, 1997). Due to the low elevation and relief of the delta plain, floods in the Mekong Delta are typically prolonged and aggravate the problem of poor drainage. The mentioned seasonality in rainfall results in annual floods and water shortages in the peninsula. During the wet season nearly 50% of the peninsula is flooded (1,900 km2).

The low rainfall and high evaporation during the annual dry season cause serious problems and difficulties for the human habitation and activities in the Mekong Delta, that are as equally as serious as those arising from the excess of rainfall during the wet season. In the Ca Mau Peninsula, the salt water intrusion is extremely serious and most complex in the entire Mekong Delta. As it was mentioned, the land area is bound on two side by the East Sea and West Sea and two different tidal regimes affect the river flow in the canal system and restrict the transfer of fresh water from the Hau river towards the deeper interior fields. The whole of the Peninsula is salinized for 6 months during the dry season, which lasts from December to April, placing pressure on freshwater supply, especially toward the latter part of the season, as the freshwater discharge in the main river chananels diminishes, mainly due to the lack of sufficient water in the Mekong and surface water storages on the delta plain such as in backswamps and ponds become depleted and the ground water table falls. These conditions also result in further issues such as the increase in salinity.(Mekong Delta Water Resoueces Assessment Studies, 2011), Saline intrusion in coastal areas and acidification in acid sulfate soil (ASS), areas that normally happen during the dry season can also be highly harming the newly planted crops (SIWRPM, 1997; Tin and Ghassemi, 1999).

Source: Author, Trinh Chien, Victoria Petrovsky Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.

Source: Adapted and Reproduced by the Author Based on AHO Research Booklet

Source: Google Image



2.7.Acid Sulfate Soils Acid sulfate soils are the soils containing sulfides, which are mainly formed in coastal embayments and estuarine floodplains as a result of the last sea level rise (Pons, 1973). In this marine proecss, salt or brackish water containing sulfate, intrude on organic remnants from coastal vegetation, such as mangroves. Together with the iron from the sediments under anaerobic conditions, produces iron sulfides (van Breemen ,1973; Dent, 1986). Accumulation of sulfide in sediments keep on happening in mangrove swamps (Lin and Melville, 1992), salt marshes, coastal lakes and in the bottom of the sediments (Berner, 1984, Howarth, 1979). The Mekong Delta has one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest acid sulfate soils accumulation. Many of these soils are highly Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XL Group unconsolidated with water contents as high as 80%. Very large shrinkages happen when these soils are drained or consolidated. Drainage can make the land surface to fall as much as 1 m (White, 2002).


The west side of coastal area has most impact of erosion due to high slope of topography and muddy soils. The east coast experiences both erosion and sedimentation. All rivers have effects of erosion due to water velocity and tidal fluctuation, affected by boats and ships passing by. Rivers Dam Doi, Ghanh Hao, Cua Lon, and Song Doc have most impact of erosion with maximum an30m/yr nual average erosion distance in bank consecutively range from 1 or 2 meters. Based on the erosion intensity in the coastal areas, unprotected infrastructure such as roads, buildings or docks may be harmed or Source: Adapted and Reproduced by the Author weakened as the coastal protection damages Based on AHO Research Booklet or breaks down. It is assumed that the future climate change will increase the erosion speed in several ways. Increased storm activity associated with climate change also means increased pounding wave action along the coast and result in more erosion. Rising sea level also exposes new areas of coast to wave action. Rainfall erosivity is considered as one of the main drivers behind the erosion level (Wischmeier and Smith,1978). 35

Effects of precipitation changes on runoff and erosion changes in total rainfall quantity may happen in dissimilar ways, firstly either due to an increase in the number of precipitation days or because of increased average precipitation each day. Corresponding to a change in the average amount of rainfall during wet days is in general a change in rainfall intensities. Controlling the erosion is one of the most prominent issues (Akkerman et al., 2006). In Mekong delta the high erosion rates are mainly occuring in the curves (Le et al., 2006) causing sediment deposition in the water line, the barrier of navigation, enhancing peak flood level, as well as causing a number of large damages for habitantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life (Hai Quang Trieu, 2012). There are many sediment-related associated issued, particularly bank erosion. Farm and residential lands close to the riverbank have been damaged by the bank erosion. The riverbank zone normally provides important economic goods and services for production and consumption, as well as the land for population settlement, and social and cultural realm.

Diurnal Tides and North-West Monsoons

Source: Adapted and Reproduced by the Author Based on AHO Research Booklet

Erosion Types in Ca Mau Peninsula

Hai Quang Trieu, 2012


Chapter 3. Ca Mau Peninsula Challanges and Strategies

How the synergies between the different (proposed and existing) systems can transform the productive landscape into a more resilient and sustainable model?

Google Maps, 2012



3.1.Uniqueness of the different ecosystems Land use and water management of the Ca Mau peninsula is a particularly modified environment. The land use policy that used to insist on the rice cultivation was changed in 2000 when the conflict between fresh and saline water became more challanging that made the government to re-consider the land uses (Hoanh et al., 2003). As shown, the current land uses are closely in relation with saline and fresh water. It includes the shrimp farms in the saline water area in the southern aras while the rice production mainly exist in the fresh water area in the north. Saline and fresh water control is utilized by the operation of a complex system of dams and sluices that had been built along the nationSource: Adapted by author al highway No. 1, going across the east side of Netherland-Vietnam Mekong Delta Project, 2010 Ca Mau city. The source of fresh water for rice cultivation, fresh water crops and orchards in the northern areas is provided from the Mekong River into the main canal QLPH (Kelly Shannon, 2009). It functions as substantial tropical wetland that is distinguishing two particular eco-forest wetlands. The inland Melaleuca forest wetlands and the coastal mangrove forest wetlands, in which their dominant use is to provide the forest products, the regulation of the water balance and preservation of the biodiversity. Mangrove forests cover the coastal area that is created by coastal accumulation of sediments that are the results of the interaction between rivers and the sea and has a considerable capacity in terms of biodiversity and productivity of biological resources. Mangrove forests are capable of protecting the mainland against coastal storms and tidal flooding and have a influential role in coastal areas due to the climate change and the sea level rise. In this regard, finding an adaptation strategy to preserve the forests and their protective capacities is crucial. According to historical sources, the acreage of mangrove forests in the Mekong River Delta was formerly 240.000 ha. The U Minh Ha forest belonging to Ca Mau province and the U Minh Thuong forest belonging to Kien Giang province, both are the two most typical flooded mangrove forests of Vietnam. U Minh Forest has formed based on grasping the marine sediments. Melaleuca trees that are the main specie of U minh forest, can sustain fire, while the others cannot. During the dry seasons forests catch fire and plants die. When the flood returns Melaleuca trees grow up in inundated forestland and the original Forest change to a forest with Melaleuca tree dominance (Viet Nam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment “M.N.R.E”, 2010). 10



3.2.The Specificity of The Different Environments As it mentioned, the mangrove forests in Viet Nam are divided into two main types. Euryhaline species The costal mangroves and the inland rainforests. Although the first category is not as rich as the other type in terms of biologBrackish Water ical diversity, they provide habitats for spe- West Coast cies that are adapted to a saline tidal environment. As a whole, the mangrove forests are the hosts to more than five millions habitats and thousands of different species of fresh or salt water creatures. Providing High Sea Land Pioneer species both goods and services for coastal populations,they have a crucial role for preservNatural forest ing the coastal ecosystems. Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.

Hypicsalic Fluvisols Hypersalic Fluvisols Hyposalic-Gleyic Fluvisols

Avicenniamarina Excoercaria ahallocha Avicennia officinalis Cerios decandra (mud-clay)

Rhizophora apiculata Ceriops tagal Bruguiera Nypa

1. Avicenia alba 2. Avicenia officinalis 3. Rhizophora mucronata 4. Avicennia/rice - Malaleuca

Rhizophora -Bruguiera Lumnitzera racemosa-Ceriops tagal

Avicennia alba Avicennia officinalis Bruguiera Sexangula

1. Avicennia marina 2. Excoercaria agallocha 3. Avicennia officinalis

Green City, XL Group

It helps the livelihood possibilities to become better and protect them from natural catastrohpes by providing variety of environmental supports. It is also considered as a protection for a multitude of newly grown aquatic species, performing as a habitat for a diverse range of terrestrial fauna and a source of nutrients that support many complex food chains to sustain. The mangrove species of Ca Mau can be identified into five environments: Fringe, Riverine, Basin, Marsh, Mangrove marsh, and Peat. Fringe mangrove forests, which are the most saline kind of mangrove environments, grow as a relatively thin fringe along the coast. They are directly exposed to the tides and sea waves and therefore exposed to storms and strong winds with high energy. Riverine mangrove forests grow along flowing waters such as tidal rivers and creeks where salinity varies during different seasons and also impacted by the fresh water from the north. They can effectively protect river banks from erosion. Basin mangrove forests are partially impounded depression, which are flooded occasionally during dry season with high salinity in the soil. They are often stunted and are located in interior of swamps or drainage depressions. Marsh and mangrove marsh are the same as basin mangrove forests, the difference is that they are more elevated than basin mangrove forests and therefore more often isolated but still receive tidal influences. They are often located in interior of swamps or drainage depressions where the water is stagnant with high salinity. Growing in different type of soils and water dynamic in complex cannel systems and tides, mangrove environments in Ca Mau create diversity of patches which provides habitat, maintain bio diversity, and acts as a protector for reducing erosion and maintaining ground and surface water quality.


3.3.Shrinkage of The Mangrove Forests Above than 80% of Viet Namâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mangroves ecosystem has been cleared over since the 50s. Three main reasons of this reduction are considered firstly to the Viet Nam war, where the mangroves in the south enabled a strong protection base for Vietnamese people, as a result, bombs, fire and toxic chemicals that kills the forests used by the U.S military which caused a significant impact on the quantity of the trees. It has been suggested that the mangrove area in south of Viet Nam of the total 291 000 ha, 105 000 ha were sprayed one or several times (P.N. Hong, 2001). The second is the rapid expansion of the aquaculture industry since the early 1980s. As it explained before, Shrimp farms have become one of the main reasons behind the mangrove clearance. (IUCN, 2012). A recent analysis of Vietnamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s southern Mekong delta that is an area normally covered by mangroves, showed that from 1943 to 2008, more than half of the mangroves were transformed to shrimp farms, causing serious erosion (IUCN, 2012). On the other hand, mangrove ecosystems are highly threatened by climate change effects. Different studies suggested that between all the climate change outcomes, the possible sea-level rise can have the biggest impact to mangroves and result is the destruction of many of the remaining mangrove forests. In this regard, considering the possible climate change scenarios and adaptation strategies are crucial.

Google Maps, 2012


Google Image

Improvised Vietnam Cong operating room in a mangrove forest on the Ca Mau Peninsula, September 15th, 1970. Unknown source.


3.4.Shrinkage of The Mangroves Throughout The History



Livelihood Activities


Forest map of Cochinchine (Carte Forestière de la Cochinchine). 1917. Army Map Service (AM), Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C. 1951 Satelite information. . 2006 Aho research booklet, 2013 Reproduced by the Author



Chemical Welfare


250,000 Ha




Rice Cultivation



Shrimp Aquaculture


191,800 Ha





150,000 Ha

60,000 Ha


2010 44

3.5.Physical and Biological Characteristics of the Dominant Mangrove Species in Ca Mau Peninsula

Rhizophora mangle that is one of the most abundant mangroves species in Vietnam, grows along the coast and occasionally also in the ocean close to the coast and normally in the areas where rivers flow into the ocean. It is growing up to a height of up to 35m but normally stops to grow between 10 to 20 meters. Rhizophora mangle is mostly used for reforestation of destroyed coastlines as it grows very fast and offers a significant coastal protection against erosion. Moreover it helps fishermen and aquaculture by providing a good environment through its root system for a large number of fish and crabs, make the natural nursery activities possible, thereby supporting many commercial aquacultures. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re are considered important for erosion control, land reclamation and soil stabilisation around tropical coastlines. By trapping sediments, mangroves reduce the turbidity (muddiness) of coastal waters, allowing development of healthy off-shore coral reefs, surplus nutrients and other pollutants, particularly the ones from sewage discharges and aquaculture operations. (Kew, 2013; Austrian Mangrove Research Institude, 2013; D.M.Alomgi et. al., 2000) Avicennia marina usually grow at the landward side of the coasts where it is often dominant or occurs even in solely stands. It has rather a high physiological tolerance to salinity, able to survive in fresh stagnant water as well as the high saline water that is occuring seasonally during the dry period; it also has a high tolerance to intertidal situations and to temperature. It can be seen along the entire intertidal areas and occupies offshore reef lagoons as well as sandy or rocky sheltered embayments (D. Louppe, 2008).

Melaleuca cajuputi is a relatively fast-growing tropical tree adapted to both waterlogged and well drained soils. It can be found mainly in coastal areas of the hot humid tropics but is adaptable to a wide range of conditions such as low swampy coastal plains that might be flooded to a depth of over one metre during the wet season. The soils are often highly organic alluvial clays with poor drainage and very low fertility, and may be potentially acid sulphate (Doran, J.C., 1999). In the Mekong delta, Melaleuca trees used to cover nearly the whole seasonally inundated acid sulphate soils (1.5 million ha), mainly in Ca Mau Peninsula. The estimations suggest that only 120,000 ha of natural melaleuca forests are still remained in the Delta while ,Nowadays, they can be found even inside the cities. Mangrove Succession in East/West Coast

v 2.5m high tide level 2m 1.5m 1m

East Sea

Rhizophora apiculata 9il^l`\iXgXim`Ă&#x2019;fiX Lumnitzera racemosa

crown 4.5m-15.2m

East Coast Section

8.5m crown 3.0m-9.1m

Avicennia alba Rhizophora apiculata Ceriops tagal 8%f]Ă&#x2018;Z`eXc`j

Avicennia alba


section of eastern Ca mau cape

Aho research booklet, 2013





prop root 0.9m-1.5m stem 3.6cm-10.6cm

Ca Mau Cape has favourable conditions, especially rainfall and alluvium, for the growth and distribution of mangrove trees.


height 3.0m-16.7m



height 3.6m-10.6m


pneumatophore 3.8cm-45.7cm

buttress 6.1cm stem 3.8cm-45.7cm




Rhizophora has prop roots that elevate the plants above the water level to allow the plants to respire even whilst their lower roots are submerged. Rhizophora grows further inland than avicennia, protected by avicennia alba

Avicennia has pneumatophores allow effective diffusion of gases into the pith, as the mud of mangroves has very low oxygen content. As a pioneer species, avicennia alba plays the role of maintaining allu-

0Ç&#x160;L&j0DXFyĂżLÓ&#x2026;XNLÓ&#x2039;QWKXŇąQOÓ§LÿҝFELÓ&#x2039;WOjOŃ­Ó§QJPŃ­DYjSKVD FKRVÓľSKiWWULÓ&#x2021;QYjSKkQSKÓ&#x2022;LFk\QJŇąSPŇťQ


high tide level SOURCE: Mangroves of Vietnam, by Phan Nguyen, hoang Thi San

0.5m 0m

Gulf of Thailand


Avicennia alba

West Coast Section

Avicennia alba Bruguiera sexangula Rhizophora mucronata

Melaleuca leucadendron Annona glabra Flagellaria indica

Aho research booklet, 2013 Adapted based on Mangroves of Vietnam, by Phan Nguyen, hoang Thi San, 1993


3.6.Mangrove Reforestation Projects The mitiggation process of the mangrove forests has been however, reversed from 2001 by the national reforestation projects with an increase of over 15,000 hectares of mangrove forest by 2008. The reaming mangroves in Viet Nam are mostly fragmented with the average patch size of 100 hectare (Katoomba, 2010). The possibility of the more expansion of the mangroves is a great challenge due to the big competition with the other lucrative type of land use for the limited available land.

Source: Author Based on Mangrove Coverage in hectares between 1943 and 2008. (Source: MERC 2010)

3.6.1.A comparison between North and South of Vietnam (The role of the stakeholders) North:

The main focus considered in mangrove restoration and rehabilitation peojects vary based on the different regions (N.Powel, 2010). The plantation of the mangrove forests in the north has been done in the areas under extereme protective conditions and the priority of the mangrove restoration and rehabilitation is mainly a disaster risk approach in a form that resulted in the deprivation of the local people from their interests and rights. It can be seen in â&#x20AC;&#x153;International Red Cross projectâ&#x20AC;? that is one of the most notable mangrove restoration programs that was started from 8 provinces mainly in the northern parts of Viet Nam where 18,000 ha of mangroves planted thoughout the length of a 100km sea dike. In this case, the aim of the program was solely to mitigate the disaster risk possibilities and protect the human lives and infrastructures as well as a way to enhance and improve the sustainability of sea dikes. As an example the role that mangroves played in protecting the sea dikes in Kien Thuy District, Northern Vietnam during typhoon of 2005 was significat as the estimations show that coastlineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s restored 47

mangrove system resulted in a considerable decrease in the wave height from 4 m to 0.5 m and prevented all damage to the sea dike while in the areas without a mangrove plantation the cost of the damages were evaluated as about VND 25.4 billion (Jelligos et al 2005). The role of the Stakeholders

As it mentioned before, the mangrove restoration in the North is likely to be more monocultural with the plantation of mainly Rhizophora stylosa, Kandelia candel, and Sonneratia caseolaris trees which are the species that maximize the protection level by forming a sort of morphological architecture to mitigate the wave height. It has been argued by the stakeholders that the habitats provided by mangrove monocultures do not provide productive habitats for wild fisheries, clams and crabs (Osbeck et al., 2010). This has made serious conflicts over different priorities and interests for the use of coastal wetlands between the lucrative shrimp aquaculture and mangrove replantations. The outcome knowledge from the previouse programs like the one in Tien Hai district in the Red River Delta assume that an effective community participation is expected to be a rising extend more difficult to be occured. It has resulted in the displacement of many of the coastal communities who are influenced by having access to the mudflats to harvest non-cultivated seafood, such as clams and crabs. (N.Powel , et. al. 2010). While the considered compensations of the project for the decrease in the possibility of harvesting crabs and clams cannot deliver sufficient benefits for many of the stakeholders, As a consequence, the serious dissatisfaction of the community which increased also the illegal cutting of mangroves significantly reduced the capacity of the system for providing the protective performance for which it was originally built (M.Osbeck, et. al. 2010). South:

Rather than just being monocultures as in the case of the North, in south another approach has taken into consideration and there have been some exercises with the aim of designing and promoting the mangrove restoration and rehabilitation projects seeking multiple objectives. Many plantations are both rich in terms of the diversity of the species and also exist under a number of different land-use arrangements. Apart fromt that, the bio-physical conditions may partially explain this differentiation. The growing conditions in the north and the south are in a large extend different. The south provide a great fertile environment that can help the growth of difference species that results in more bio-diversity as well as helping the mangrove to grow rapidly. On the other hand, in the norththe higher amount of saline intrusion insidents and flood inundation into the Delta areas decreases the area suitable for mangrove restoration and rehabilitation (UNEP, 2009).


3.6.2.Socio-economic aspects of the replantation projects

Socio-economic aspect is one of the most crucial factors in the restoration projects while the local participation and ownership of such projects and an effective community participation are considered the key elements to achieve a sustainable impact (Bualuang et. al., 2002; Esteban et. al., 2008). The assessment of the attitude of the local people and the level of their participation in mangrove restoration interventions is one of the least explored aspects of mangrove restoration science (Kovacs, 2000; Glaser, 2003). There are a number of reasons that calls for the participation of the locals in the restoration attempts. There are multitude cases that ended up unsuccessfully due to the lack of the need in local involvements in conservation projects (Ostrom 1990). In this regard, many of the developing countries have formed local-based natural resources management programs (Zorini et al. 2004). The development plan of the costoal areas are now also developed (Olsen and Christie 2000). Local communities that in many cases were considered as a reason for the natural resource decline (Contreras, 2000), are now being considered as the key stakeholders in such programs (Mbilea et al. 2005) and their engagement is now becoming a requirement (Pickaver et al. 2004). Although community participation plays an important role in rehabilitation, conservation and management of mangroves, economic benefits of the local people from the mangrove regeneration projects seem to be necessary in order to sustain the programs. Land ownership of planted mangroves are the most cruicial element in the preservation and management and utilization of the mangroves. Since the protection of the mangroves requirea a long-term conservation, the needs and benefits of the local people regarding both short and long term economical interests to be achieved from mangrove restoration should be considered fundamentally. This can potentially results in voluntary participation and a sustainable control of natural resources in coastal areas (Amri, 2005). Hence, it can be seen from the studies on the previous restoration projects that in many cases they are not successful in terms of socio-economic aspects(Bandaranayake, 1998) and cannot provide social benefits (Drew et al. 2005) due to the lack of the consideration of the social demands(Tomlinson, 1986). 3.7.The Ecological Goods and Services of The Mangrove Forest Providing such conditions, mangroves are a rich source of ecological goods and services as well as the benefits for different lifestyles. -Food nesting and nursery grounds The environment that the complex system of mangrove roots provide, is a host for animals including commercially important fish species, prawns and crabs, that are giving coastal communities a sustainable food source. -Improve access to safe water and sanitation Mangroves are the natural filtering systems, They can effectively absorb pollutants such as heavy metals and other toxic substances, as well as nutrients and suspended materials such as sewage. -Soil accretion thus stabilising the coastline against erosion and storms Mangroves help with the soil accumulation and stabilising the coastline by grasping 49

Source: Søren Rud, Da Loc commune village, Thanh Hoa Province, Viet Nam, date: unknown)

sediments washed downstream. This ability facilitate the protection of the coastline against erosion also by preserving the coral reefs and seagrasses that have formed dependend on the existance of the mangroves over a long period of time. Both of these vegetations act as a barrier that offers shore protection in both normal sea conditions or during typhoons. Based on the health and maturity level of the mangroves, it has been suggested by a number of studies that at least 70% to 90% of the energy of waves generated by winds can be seized by mangroves, while providing a buffer space for dealing with tsunamis. Apart from these, mangroves can absorb a significant amount of carbon dioxide (especially the wetland mangrove species), keeping the carbon in their sediments thus contributing in the lowing the global warming rate, which will be explained further in the next sections. 3.8.Ecosystem goods of the mangrove forests Mangroves not only provide ecological diversity or various habitat for wildlife but also there is a long history of the dependence of the local people on mangroves for sustainably, providing a wide range of goods and materials including firewood, medicine, food, construction materials that help with the improvement of the coastal communitiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; quality of life. All of these natural ecosystem services will improve access to food resources and increased income for the coastal communities through sustainable livelihood initiatives (ZSL, Unknown date).


3.9.Biomass Production There are a number of researches about the biomass production capacity of mangroves. Tri and Hong in 1984, estimated the biomass amount of the mangrove forests in Vietnam. “In this regard, three types of Rhizophora apiculata forests were chosen; a maturing forest, a naturally regenerated forest and a seven-year-old plantation in Ca Mau cape. Moreover, three ten-year old plantations on silty-clay soil at Ong Trang river mudflat in the Ca Mau cape and two replanted Rhizophora apiculata stands on areas sprayed by herbicides during the war in Can Gio district-Ho Chi Minh city were also studied in order to assess differences in biomass accumulation under different ecological conditions” (Phan Nguyen Honf and Hoang Thi san, 1993). The result of the reseach is as shown in the following table:

Tri and Hong, 2008

3.10.A successful mangrove restoration project in south Viet Nam One of the successful examples of the restoration projects that contains the upper mentioned factors is the one that was implement in Mekong Delta during 1997 to 2007. (Neil Powell et. al., 2010). With the aim of providing protection and enhancing the ecosystem goods and services such as aquatic resources the “Coastal Wetlands Protection and Development Plan” was initiated. Together with the mangrove restoration and rehabilitation, local communities were considered for the future management of the forests, while the forestlands were leased to nearly 8000 households and they were trained for the preservation matters, At the same time, schools, health clinics, and infrastructural development such as roads and electricity were integrated in the project. In addition to that, the involed members were contracted to protect state-owned forest stretching along 470 km of shoreline. Investigations estimate that from the establishment of this program, forest law violations have diminished from over 1700 in 2002 to 318 cases in 2006 (World Bank, 2008).

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images



3.11.Mangroves and Mitigation of Climate Change Effects Mangroves are considered as one of best natural solutions to deal with the global warming issues due to their high capacity of seizing carbon from the atmosphere and store this in the wetlands in the different layers. This is a specific attribute of the mangrove wetlands that now calls for wider attention. According to the National Geographic Magazine in 2007, â&#x20AC;&#x153;assessments argue that mangroves may have the highest net productivity of carbon more than any other natural ecosystem (about a hundred pounds per acre per day)â&#x20AC;?. (WRMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bulletin, 2008). A study in Malaysia (Ong, unknown date), showed that the different soil and peat layers forming the mangrove substrate have a high carbon content of 10% or more. Therefore, each hectare of mangrove sediment can potentially contain nearly 700 metric tons of carbon per meter depth. Clearing the mangroves and subsequent excavation of the mangrove substrate with the intention of making massive amount of shrimp farms, could result in the potential oxidation of 1,400 tons of carbon per hectare per year. Based on the same investigation, if only 50% of this amount become oxidized over a period of 10 years, in each hectare, 70 tons of carbon will be returned to the atmosphere annually. It means by transforming only 2 percent of mangroves, all of the advantages of mangroves as a sink of atmospheric carbon will be lost. A number of studies showed that the mangrove ecosystems are also threatened by climate change (Gilman et al ,2008), Hence, the assessment of the mangrove vulnerability based on the estimation of the climate change, in order to develop adaptation strategies are crucial. Based on the current predictions of the different climate change scenarios, it has been shown that the relative sea-level rise may be the greatest threat to mangrove ecosystem, while there is a less certainty about the other climate change elements and mangrove responses (Colin Field, 2007). Adaptation strategies can prevent the loss of the mangroves and enhance their resistance and resilience to climate change. Coastal management can be adapted to possible sea-level rise and mangrove mitigation (Hanneke Van Lavieren et. al., 2006). Different activities and programs can help to achieve to the long-term benefits of the mangroves. As an example, The land elevation by the ability of catching the sediments and the benefits related to the rehabilitation of the neglected mangrove areas. Enhancing the of networks of the strategic protected mangrove areas, while functionally linked ecosystems are of the available adaptation posiibilities (Gilman, et al., 2008).

loss of 1000 tons of shrimps, 250 tons of crabs and 2000 tons of fish that was about to harvest soon. (D.D.Sam et. al. 2010). Meanwhile, the same typhoon in Yen Hung district in the Quang Ninh province destroyed 29,3 km long bund surrounding the shrimp cultivation ponds and as a result damaged all shrimps in 4536 ha ponds empty of mangrove forest beyond national dike that was only 15 days away from bring harvested, The total loss in Hai Phong and Yen Hung estimates as high as 190 billion VND (N.N.Binh et. al. 2010). The more serious typhoon happened between 26th and 28th in the august of 2005, resulted in 150km of the 4m high national dike and 11km of the national sea dike to break that 2000b VND were spent for restoring the dike (General Department of Meteorology and hydrology, 2005). At the same time, salt water invaded the fields on the land side, damaged thousands of hectares of paddy and other crops together with 11,200 tons of shrimps in 21,200ha of shrimp cultivation ponds. This typhoon in this area damage cost evaluated as 233,000 billion VND (Vietnam News, 2005). On the other hand, in Bang La commune in Hai Phong city, mangrove trees have been planted throughout its 4km of national sea dike with the weidth of 150m. After the above mentioned 2 typhoons, the national sea dike system in this area was neither collapsed nor damaged. Althouhg, waves in-between the 50m gap used for the movement of fishing boats between the two planted mangrove patches approached near the dike, although weakened, Even where the national dike is only 4m higher than the water level the dike has not collapsed thanks to the mangrove forests that prevent the waves (D.D.Sam et. al. 2010). Maintanance Costs of The Dikes

Based on the official statistics, where the mangroves are planted along the dikes, the maintanance cost of sea dikes is only 1,5 million VND/km for the sea dike per year, while where there is no mangrove plantation, the maintenance cost in average is as high as 5 million VND/km for sea dike and the reconstruction of 1km of the destroyed sea dike is about 100 billion VND (N.N.Cat et. al, 2010).

The role of the mangrove forests in coastal protection and controlling erosion

A comparative approach can help in order to realize the effects of the presence of the mangroves and how can they mitigate the impacts of the storm surges and erosion. Based on the official reports the typhoon in the last day of July, in 2005 that happened in the coastal areas of the Red river delta destroyed the bund system enclosing 8000ha of brackish water shrimp cultivation ponds beyond the national dike system in Hai Phong, (Department of Fisheries of Hai Phong city, 2005).



Chapter 4. Toward a symbiosis of Landscape Urbanism “The case studies in Vietnam, areas that integrate urbanisation, agriculture, and water household based on mellennium old traditions offer an insightful addition to the debate and go beyond form and beauty (Kelly Shannon, 2004). In Ca Mau peninsula, the landscape has always had an important role in identifying the characteristics that is shaped the life and economy in the territory. Processes of landscape change in the past decades appear to threaten very directly a unique regional cultural geography. The recent occurred transformations have also had other effects in the landscape and created other spatial problems such as loss of diversity, attractiveness and most visible are the enlarged water issues such as flooding, drought and pollution, together with the recent climate changed have changed the role of the landscape ecological elements such as roads, rivers, canals, ditches, etc., as the carrying structures in the territory to a common risk. Investigating the possible opportunities in the search of the ability of assessing the urban effects throughout the contriving landscape logics that is more capable of organizing the city and enhancing the urban experience might be the lost circle in this period of time. 4.1.Current Trends 4.1.1.Dikes in Viet Nam

“Vietnam is one of the five countries in the world that will be the most seriously affected by sea level rises as a result of global climate change” (V.T.Danh, 2012). In this regard, making the dikes is a common trend in order to deal with the possible hazards. Development of the dikes in Viet Nam has been historically on northern
and central parts that
are the areas
most exposed to
typhoons. Although the predictions
of sea level rise and increases in storm
intensity and frequency
show that southern Vietnam is becoming more vulnerable to storm surge and saline intrusion. Following the result of the prediction of the Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. different climate change scenarios and Unknown Procuder Typhoon Linda in 2007, a new dike development program has been established and approved by the Vietnamese government on May 2007 with a budget of VND 20 trillion to mainly focus on the Southern parts, which will maintain and upgrade the 900 k m sea dike s ies (The World Bank, 2010).


4.1.2.Costs of a coastal dike in Vietnam

External sources were historically the main support of both the capital and technical capacity to construct and maintain dikes. Within the last decade, both local labor and local tax revenues have been
increasingly used to
develop dikes (World Resources Report). Relatively little data is available on sea dike construction in Vietnam and most of the research is based on estimationg, interviews or basic calculations. Although, the comparision between the results of these two recent investigations on 2008 shows a relatively similar cost while the considered factors in the calculation of the costs remain not clear (Hillen, 2008; ,Mai et. al. 2008). Both researches argue that the cost of the dikes are different due to the variation in the material costs, type of protection or revetments. Additionally, the labor cost are quite variable, but rather small and the two most cotly parts of a dike are argued to be the dike body and the revetment. (Andrzej Tusinski, 2012). In one of the cases a 3m wide crest dike were analysed determined the costs of dike construction by collecting data of local dike departments for the cost evaluasion of the newly constructed sea dikes. In this case, interviews with ministries and academic staff of the Hanoi Water Resources University were also used as a tool for calculations while these elements remain unknown in the second case. (Andrzej Tusinski, 2012). The costs of dike heightening per meter for one kilometer of dike stretch is as mentioned below, although the rate of conversion from Vietnamese Dongs and USD to Euro is still not clear. First case: 0.70 – 1.20 mln Euro Second case: 0.75 mln Euro


4.2.An Ecological Protective Productive Approach (Design Proposal by Green City XL Group)

One the strategies for the survaival of the peninsula against the challahanges that were identified is reforestation forestation of the mangrove trees by looking at different environments and landscape elements. As it was explained all the rivers and the canal in the peninsula are suffering a high rate of eorsion (sometimes up to 1m to 2m), that are mainly impacted by the high force of flows from the sea. So the strategy would be to re-establishing protective green mangrove structure along the major rivers and canals that also provide the inter-tidal environments which is necessary for the growth mangroves (that are also the places suffering from high salinity due to the fresh water shortage coming from the North), and are sometimes along the existing and under construction dikes, enhancing the stability and sustainability of the protection and reducing the maintanance costs.

Reforestation Along the Rivers Melaleuca Forest Protected Mangrove Forest

Source: Victoria Petrovsky, Sam Khabir Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Source: Nguyễn Việt Cường

LEGEND MANGROVE SHRIMP SILVOFISHERY 70/30 MANGROVE SHRIMP SILVOFISHERY 50/50 DIVERSIFIED rice AGRICULTURE diversified aquaculture MELALEUCA plantation (silviculture) existing melaleuca and mixed productive landscape peatland protection zone MANGROVE COASTAL PROTECTIVE FOREST MANGROVE COASTAL defense plantation natural dyke Melaleuca sediment traps riverine/Canal green structures

Reforestation orchards

Along the Canals

original marsh and proposed melaleuca plantation

Rice Production

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XL Group


Source: Nguyễn Việt Cường


4.3.Taming the water (Design Proposal by José Higuera ) Taming the water is a strategy to make a natural dike with Melaleuca timber, to grow a natural barrier along the coast line and along waterways with high risks of erosion. “This strategy can be the starting point to develop a silviculture-based economy in the region (in order to diversify the agricultural production) that is suitable to inhibit the oxidation of acid sulfate soils which it thereason of lower productivity in both agri- & aquaculture”. Past mangrove plantation programs have often been unsuccessful in the areas with sever erosion. Almost the entire areas with the planted mangrove lost in the first year due to the lack of any protection to the young plants from the waves and seasonal sediment movements following the plantations. Strong wave movement clears the seedlings from their leaves, pushes the them over and in the same way as the seasonal sediment movements, uproots the plants. The construction of te fences with the use of melaleuca tree that is one of the most accessible timbers in the Mekong as well as its wide range of environmental aspects and the fact of its resilience in the wet, muddy, saline situations can make it adaptable for making the protective fences. Since Melaleuca tree can easily grow in the ASS areas, the clearance of the lands from these trees can cause the release of the ASS materials to the water systems that can result in the death of the fishes, shrimps and other kind of habitats and also make serious difficulties for the the crop cultivations in the places that are in the risk of being intruded. The fences decrease wave energy by up to 63%, retain up to 20 cm depth of sediment each year and up to 700 ton/ha. They also protect up to 100% of the planted or naturally planted mangrove seedlings, even in the areas with severe erosion. This system allows the soil to grow 20 cm every year, being a natural dike that grows with time. It is composed with two row of fences. The primary section is to reduce the wave energy and help with stabilization of the land and protect either the natural or the planted mangrove forests against erosion. In the secondary part, the fence functions as a trap the deposited sediment in the wet season, forming enough structre to allow the creation of substrate root system of seeds and seedlings to help them grow. It also traps the mangrove seeds, allowing the natural regeneration in a protected area.

Seaward side




3 m = 40 pole size 4

3 m = 1 pole size 5 + 40 pole size 4

3 m = 40 pole size 4 x 2 rows = 80 poles

3m 0.5 m

3 m = 18 pole size 5 pushed 2 m into mud

Melaleuca Pole 5 (diameter 8 cm) Melaleuca Pole 4 (diameter 5 cm) Melaleuca branches Fishing net Bamboo mat source: (GIZ) GmbH, 2012

Source: José Higuera Based onSharon Brown et. al., 2012

Melaleuca has been used historically as a local construction material and is an oily wood as eucalyptus that makes it very resistant against humidity.

. min

2 m. min


seedling pioneer species

High tide 1 m. aprox.

seedling secondary species

20 cm/ year aprox.

High tide

4.3.1.Increase and changes in biodiversity

The melaleuca fences while reducing the wave energy, still let the animals to move freely to the protected areas. Recent studies by the “Can Tho University Research Institute for Climate Change”, 2 yeras after the first experiment the implementation of the fences in some specific areas as pilot projects, showed a significant difference between the number and amount of different species in the fences compared to those in the control area (Can Tho University 2011). Although a greater diversity found in natural mangroves after a period of 18 months, the biodiversity in between the fences became close to the one in the natural system. Crustaceans (eg. crabs), bivalves (eg. clams) and gastropods (eg. snails)


High tide



Source: Thomas Lenaerts and Josef Hosorio Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.


4.3.2.Socio-Economic aspects of the project

4.3.3.The Statistical Aspects of The Project

On the other hand, due to the low market demands for the poles while the traditional use of these timbers has been replaced by the concerete for dealing with the flooding risk, farmers are not eager to keep their forestst By providing a massive market demand the value of the melaleuca forest and motivate the farmers to manage and preserve their melaleuca farms which results in a control of the ASS exposure that can secure the protection of the coastal areas. Thinning of some of the trees for the constructiong of the fences also help the other trees to grow faster and results in a higher benefit for the farmer.

Planted Area (ha) 200 175 150 125 100 75 50 25 Years 20




















40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 Dike construction (Km)

West YEAR 5 Coast

Tidal Level: 0,8- 1,2 m

Tidal Level



Sediment trap Type 1




Avicennia alba (D) + Wave break Avicennia officinalis



Rhizophora mucronata (D) + Bruguiera sexangula

200 M

East Coast




Tidal Level: 3- 3,5 m

Rhizophora apiculata (P) + Ceriops decandra 25


200 M


Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XL Group

170 Km

Based on an analysis, for each kilometer of the coastal protection, 13 Ha of Melaleuca plantation is needed to be done. (Every Hectare provides 2500 poles). For the approximate 170km lenth of the the peninsula that there is no dike constructed for the moment, 2210 Ha of plantations are necessary, all in just one crop. The upper chart shows a strategic scenario that is developed as a pilot project for dealing with the pole demands, in which 4 different plots, including two with 200 ha and the other two of 150 ha, will be planted each one with 2 years difference. With this method on the 8th year after from plantation of the trees, the construction of the coastal defence can be started, Although, depending of the land avaliability for applying the silviculture approach, the construction can vary on time. It means, with the first harvest, 11.5 km of coastal protection can be built. With this model the whole coastline protection can be constructed 34 years later than the first planting, starting the plantation from 2019 and construction on 2025. The following graph, compares the mentioned plantation scenario for the dike construction, with different sea level rise scenarios. As it is illustrated, the total dike construction can be finalized by 2056, totally restrain the rise sea level.


Sediment trap 1

Avicennia alba (P) + Rhizophora apiculata + Avicennia officinalis

Wave break

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XL Group

The current situation of the east and west coasts the change in the soil profile after the 5th year of the implementation of the protection, while the land is elevated approximately 1 meter. The elevations were made at these points. The succession is of the different mangrove species are different according with the coasts.


Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XL Group


4.3.4. River Bank Defence (Design Proposal by Jose Higuera)

The riverline defence is a combination of “Melaleuca Fence” and “River Bank Forest” project and and River Bank Forests works in the same way as the coastline defence, but it is a single fence that is placed in the highly eroded spots in the rivers and canals. In the section bellow from Song Doc River, we can see how the soil profile would change in the 5th year. The same way as the coastal fence protection, the mangrove species planted based on the place where the defence is applied. Melaeuca fences can endure between 10 and 15 years in these conditions. By the time these structures disappear, the soil will be naturally consolidated thank to the root system of the mangroves. This is a massive use of wood from a tree that is endangered in the peninsula.

Song Doc River










Rhizophora apiculata + Avicennia oficinalis + Avicennia alba (P)

Avicennia alba (P)

Avicennia alba (P)

Sulfuric horizon 50- 70 cm


MANGROVES Avicennia alba (P)

Avicennia alba (P) + Avicennia officinalis

Sediment trap 2



Tidal level

Sulfuric horizon 50- 70 cm


2.5 1

Source: Thomas Lenaerts and José Higuera Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.

MANGROVES Sediment trap 2




Avicennia alba (P) + Avicennia officinalis

Source: José Higuera Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.



4.4.Mangroves & Acid Sulfate Soils (Design Proposal by Victoria Petrovsky and the Author)

Salinity and acidity are the two major challanges in the coastal areas with ASS (Hoanh, 2001). A wide range of researches has shown that salinity impacts agriculture and domestic uses, while the extra acidic pollution can result in more substantial problems for aquaculture. The increase of the acidic water that is released from an ASS area during the first phases of most major rainfall events can have a big catastrophic effect on the deaths and injuries to the aquatic creatures. (Callinan et. al., 1993) The impacts of these two phenomena on the welfare of the people and environment could be more complex in the coastal enviSource: Victoria Petrovsky, Sam Khabir ronments where the lifestyles are more Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. diverse such as agriculture, fish catchment, etc., that may need different water qualities. The Impacts of salinity protection on a coastal zone overlaid with ASS in the Mekong River Delta were investigated in 2003 (Tuong et al. ), The result showed that farmers in the non-ASS areas benefited from the salinity protection projects, which allowed them to increase rice intensification. On the other hand, in the ASS areas, the projects to prevent the saline water forced farmers to stop the shrimp farming, which means huge declines in household incomes and on the other hand many of the ponds will be dismissed. This also increases the acidity level of the canals, affecting the aquatic catchments from the canals. The acidity could exist in places that are far from where it originates since it is transported by water flow (van Breeman, 1973). and may also change with different soil types and land use types (Minh et al. 1997b). In order to deal with this issue, analyzing the existing soil conditions, the inland mangrove restoration intention, including both replantation and enhancement of the existing magroves is prioratized mainly in the areas with the severe acidity. Mangroves can adapt themselves to the salinity and acid sulfate soils, and at the same time trap them preventing from being exposed disturbing the landscape and agri-aquaculture production. These areas will be the the areas that is predicted as the required area for the plantation of the Melaleuca trees for coastal fence protection project (Taming the water).


4.5.Disused and Abandonment of Shrimp Ponds (Design Proposal by the Author)

Apart from diseases, the exposure of acid sulfate soil can directly or indirectly result in production failure. (Sammut and Mohan, 1996). These type of soils normally exist as potential acid sulfate soilsâ&#x20AC;? (PASS), but trapped in many of the mangrove areas which may become â&#x20AC;&#x153;actual acid sulfate soilsâ&#x20AC;? (AASS), while they are released as a result of excavation of the ground after the mangrove clearance. A number of investigations in South Asian countries have shown that acid, iron, and aluminum are directly responsible for the reduction of the pond productivity (Simpson and Pedini, 1985). The environmental impacts of the leftover ponds might be even more serious than the the source of failure itself. Although, the main aim of the recycling or the transformation of these ponds is not the disease but the remediation of acid sulfate soils which may reamin for many years after abandonment. Leaving the aquaculture ponds unused make a big challenge to the productive use of the coastal areas in the future due to the of the limited available land in the previous rice fields and mangrove forests. The attempt for reusing these areas is a complex process since many of the environmental conditions that used to be covered by the mangrove forests have been change due to the clearnce of the mangroves. (Flaherty and Karnjanakesorn 1995). Between 1983 to 1987, more than 102,000 hectare of the mangrove forests transformed to the shrimp ponds (Tuan 1996). A Recycling Approach (Design Proposal by the Author) Finding a sustainable solution for the transformation or in order to prevent the ponds from being abandoned or recycling the leftonever ones is crucial. Having that in mind and also to ease the land use conflict between mangroves and the shrimp aquaculture as well as protecting and diversifying the production an ecologinal approach is studied for the possible transformation of the current landscape, favoring intensive shrimp ponds, into a more sustainable shrimp- mangrove- orchards diversified production. Moreover, this typology is able to catch more water into the pond acting as an extention to the dike in order to reduce the pressure of the high tides into the city. One of the sustainable options for the reusing or transforming the existing ponds is aquasilviculture (Baconguis 1991; Primavera and Agbayani 1996), that seems to have a remarkable potential. In this system the possibility of multiple use of the pond is provided by making conditions for the co-existence of aquaculture and mangrove tree species in a semi-enclosed system while offering a protective attribute (Baconguis, 1991). It has been suggested that the technology can be used to make the reversion of abandoned unproductive ponds easier (Baconguis, 1991). As an example, in the Philippines disused ponds, especially the one that are left unused solely because of the existance of acid sulfic soils, are suggested to be suitable for the implementation of aquasilviculture (Baconguis 1991).


The main concept here which is partially similar to the familiar aquasilviculture ideas is to plant the mangrove trees in the shallow parts of the ponds, filling 70% to 80% of the toral size of the pond and the rest 20% to 30% can be devoted to a bigger pond next to the dike that above working as the extension of the dike for mitigating the water pressure can be also used for the brakish water aquaculture production such as shrimp, crab or brakish water fish. This way the pond can also result in its highest productivity potential. The expected timeline for reaching to a decent relation between the mangrove forestry and aquacultural products is that during the first five years the farmer will mainly get the benefits of the aquaculture products for the compensaion of the transformation costs and main activities undertaken are the maintenance of dikes, fertilisation for aquaculture production, protection of plants from pests and diseases, control of predators and replanting. During the next five years, the mangrove patches can be used as a harvestable crop for firewood, low-cost housing materials, and cattle fodder or other uses. Cutting the older tree is also crucial in order to let the sunlight to reach the ponds since its necessity for fish and shrimp production (Baconguis 1991). One of the mian benefits of this method is that it works with the flooding of the pond and if the pond contains the PASS, it can stop the further formation of AASS and diminish the possible further environmental impacts.

There are some existing practices showing successful results regarding the four existing mangrove-shrimp farming models discussed in the previous section, that experienced the same limitations on recruitment and water quality as unsuccessful farmers, indicating that improvements to management techniques and pond design may be the most important factors in increasing the total productivity level. It is proven that adaption of a different models of silvofishery farmings enables a considerably greater control over the management methods for the farmers as well as enhancing the water quality and decrease the pond bottom fouling (T.T.Xuan et. al. 2000). Although, the socio-economic aspects has to be totally investigated in order to examine the productivity of different shrimp farms, lowing the possible failure risks (N. Nguyen et. al., Date: Unknown). In order to improve the productivity and reduce the risks regarding the monocultural shrimp aquaculture, considering a diversification of other income sources such as fish products and cash crops is required. In order to examine the tivity of different shrimp farms, lowing the possible failure risks (N. Nguyen et. al., Date: Unknown). In order to improve the productivity and reduce the risks regarding the monocultural shrimp aquaculture, considering a diversification of other income sources such as fish products and cash crops is required. The existing mangrove - shrimp models are divided mainly into four different categories. The extensive what is the traditional type of integration, improved extensive shrimp, improved extensive shrimp, cu and crab and improved extensive shrimp, cum, crab and cockle. The level of the productivity of these models are showing in the following table (R.R.Lewix, 2001):


Tidal Level










Greasyback Shrimp/ Sand Shrimp

Source: Minh, 2001

Tidal Level



Orange- spotted Grouper





Red Drum Mud Crab


Waigeu Sea Perch

White Prawn

Swimming Crab

Saltwater Crocodile


Source: JosĂŠ Higuera Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.



LEGEND Based on the analysis made for the acidity of the soil and climate change vulnerability, the new typology is proposed to attain the aim of diversifying aquaculture production, in order to transform the current landscape, favoring intensive shrimp ponds into a more sustainable shrimp- mangrove- orchards diversified approach.

Mangrove reforestation (Design Proposal Overview)

MANGROVE SHRIMP SILVOFISHERY 70/30 MANGROVE SHRIMP SILVOFISHERY 50/50 DIVERSIFIED rice AGRICULTURE diversified aquaculture MELALEUCA plantation (silviculture) existing melaleuca and mixed productive landscape peatland protection zone MANGROVE COASTAL PROTECTIVE FOREST MANGROVE COASTAL defense plantation natural dyke Melaleuca sediment traps riverine/Canal green structures

Reforestation orchards Along the Canals original marsh and proposed melaleuca plantation Rice Production

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism, KUL, 2013. Green City, XL Group

Proposed Typology (by José Higuera)


Housing and Orchards


housing & orchard



Orchards Canal



Source: José Higuera Studio :andscape Urbanism, KUL, 2013.

diversified aquaculture MELALEUCA plantation (silviculture) existing melaleuca and mixed productive landscape peatland protection zone MANGROVE COASTAL PROTECTIVE FOREST MANGROVE COASTAL defense plantation natural dyke

Source: Sam Khabir, Trinh Chien, Victoria Petrovsky Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.


Melaleuca sediment traps riverine/Canal green structures orchards


original marsh and proposed melaleuca plantation

5.Ca Mau City (Interprative Mapping & Analysis)

How to make a levelled landscape to sustain the productive bluegreen structure while creating a varied green framework for urban development?

Source: Nguyễn Việt Cường



5.1.Ca Mau Landuses

Source: Bingmaps, 2013


Source: Author Adapted from google map 2013


5.2.Urbanization Process of Urbanization in Ca Mau Living along the rivers

Densification along the canals

Densification along the roads Source: Author

Source: Nguyễn Việt Cường, 2012.

Source: Adapted and reproduced by the Author

Source: Nguyễn Việt Cường, 2012. 75

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Unknown Producer




Today Source: Aho research booklet, 2013. Reproduced by the green city, M group Studio Landscape Urbanism, KUL, 2013.

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Unknwon Producer



French Colonization Map Source: Unknown



5.3.Masterplan Analysis

Water Structure

Source: Ca Mau, Department of Construction

While the city was firstly shaped strongly based on the presence of the water netwroks which was follwed by the grid structure of the French colonial period, developing the city detached from the water. With the aim of being a 2nd class city, the new master plan of Ca Mau city is made for 2025 in which, From the observations it can be seen that Ca Mau is developing following a more concentric model and the hirarchy of the old roads and highways and a serie of planned ring roads pulling the developments even more further disconnected from water. A linear pattern is also visible which is reinforce by the distribution of mainly public governmental buildings toward the newly built road (Ng么 Quyen), approaching the large scale industies including Petro Vietnam in the west and a more symbolic road (National Road #1), towrad Ho Chi Minh City in the east side of the city. Although, Ca Mau like many of other Vietnamese cities has formed by its contextual landscape elements such as the water, it seems to be neglected in the proposed model as their absence within the city is quite substantial. One of the other elements that is quite obvious in the proposed plan is the large scale water pond system that could be interpreted as the increasing fresh water demands inside the city. However, the logics behind the positioning of the proposed ponds remains unclear. The green structure looks to be formed to a large extend fragmented together with the oversized patches positioned mainly in the outskirts of the city, raise the question of the needs of the qualititive green spaces within the city. 81

Residential Areas

Public Buildings

Green Spaces



5.4.City & The Low-Lands

Urbanization Low-Lands Masterplan 2025 Existing Roads Planned Roads Fresh Water Brackish Water Polluted Water 0




Source: Author Studio Landscpae Urbanism, KUL 2013.

8 KM






Source: Google map, 2013. Adapted by the Author



How to create a landscape which is both resilient to challenges such as climate change and pollution, as well as sustaining and enriching life in the growing urban tissue?

Source: Google maps



5.5.Road Hierarchy in Ca Mau City


Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Unknown Producer

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Sections adaoted and re-produced by the Author



Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XS Group


5.6.Analysis of The Green Structure of The City

As it can be seen, Ca Mau is postentially a quite green city, with different type of green structures. The main structure, or the first green layer of the city which is the most present layer within the city, are the linear structure of the boulvards from the old French colonial period, which are planted with mainly Melaleuca trees, are able to tolerate a lot of shade especially in the sidewalks, are one of the most productive green structures within the city. The use of streets as a public space for the everyday activities has been happening in the Vietnamese culture as traditionally, trading, religous festivals, performance, music and gabling have taken place on the streets of Viet Nam (Lisa Drummond, 2013). The other two layers are the more hidden layers, which could be called as the second layer of the city. These layers could be found mostly within the built fabric. As an example, in the previous page, a large building plot coming from the colonial grid structure can be seen in which, the inner part is not filled. These are the mainly unused spaces that are now green but mostly not used. To refer to other example, it can be referred to the green micro patches that can be found mostly in the historic center. These are mostly the spaces by accident in which trees, grasses, etc are growing but not valorized and left unused.

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XS Group

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XS Group


Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Unknown Producer


6.Ca Mau City (Strategies and Design)

Source: Nguyễn Việt Cường



6.1.The development of a water-based landscape Historically, the cultivation and urbanization pattern of the cultural landscapes used to have a strong relation to the logics of their watersheds, with the water flow being one of the most key elements forming the landscape relations (Kerkstra et. al., 1993; Picon, 2005, Shannon 2007). Water infrastructure systems, including different ways of storage, distribution and recycling of water were historically due to great realization of the landscape such as geography, topography, hydrology, climate and ecology (Buuren et. al., 1993). A system of artifical canals, ditches, creeks, reservoirs, ponds and damns was established during the process of urbanization and cultivation. The formation of these atrificial water structures, made the underlying natural physical landscape structure more eminent to become main visual and spatial element of the structuring and organizing cultural landscapes (A.Stokman, 2008).

6.2.Dissapearance of the water structure

Although the growth of urbanisation pressure resulted in the disappearance of a visible form of water structre in many of the cases. In almost all fast growing urban areas and to a large extend those of the developing countries this process can be seen occuring in a much shorter time than in the Western countries. In Ca Mau, the typical development towards the disregarding the water from the originally water-based urban settlement patterns becomes clear. (Antje Stokman, 2008). In the rural areas farmer’s house is attached to the watercourse, either a stream or a artificial canal used for irrigation and drainage as well as transportation. Open water channels are being used for wastewater disposal resulting in very bad sanitation and health situation. The ponds in the adjacent of the houses are used for both for waste water disposal or aquaculture products, These ponds are normally connected to the adjoining waterways using a single sluice gate. These gates, are built either from wood or cement, are composed of a series of boards that are raised and lowered to let the water to flow in or out of the pond. In many of the cases the necessary infrastructures and many of the residents are managing the wastes by themselves. As the population grows with a high speed ratio, under the urbanization pressure, these individual techniques are not helpful against the growing water pollution issues. The same process can be seen in the uran areas while the rivers and canals are being used as a place for the waste disposal. In order to deal with these critical problems, while the urbanization growth is still happning rapidly and the pollusion is becoming a dominant thread to the waterbodies, considering a approach that can deal with this issue in a sustainable way is fundamental.

6.3.The Use of a Mangrove Plantation as a Constructed Wetland for Municipal Wastewater Treatment During the past few decades, wetland technology is considered as a low cost alternative for the treatment of municipal, industrial and agricultural effluents. In the same way as other wastewater treatment wetlands, the main process is the nutrients and pollutants removal from wastewater. In this system mangroves are involved in different processes such as plant uptake, litter decomposition, retention in sediment and microbial activities. Mangrove sediments act as an efficient trap for preventing the nutrients especially phosphorus and heavy metals. Moreover, mangrove plants are very productive, considerable amounts of nutrients can be bounded in the biomass. Thus, it has been suggested that mangroves can be utilized as an alternative low cost, easy-maintained, simple and effective method for sewage treatment. Comparing them with the other common plants used in the wetland system, mangroves can result for the following reasons: 1. being the long-lasting tree species with high growth, they have a high potential biomass sink for nutrients; 2. hey are innately tolerant of periodically inundated water conditions 3. being tolerant against severe environmental situations such as high temperature, fluctuating salinity and shifting anaerobic/aerobic soil substrate. 4. having large above ground roots that help to trap small particulate pollution. Therefore, it is expected that by using a suitable engineering model and construction to the natural mangrove wetland, it can be used as an appropriate constructed wetland system for wastewater treatment. The result of a study in Thailand proved that mangrove plantation had shown a good potential to be used in the constructed wetlands to treat municipal wastewater. In total, the removal action within the newly planted mangroves and the natural forest system were not significantly different. In general, results showed that a mangrove plantation could be used as a constructed wetland for municipal wastewater treatment in a similar way to the natural mangrove system can. Therefore, the use of mangrove plantations for municipal wastewater treatment is applicable. (K.Boonsong, S.Piyatiratitivorakul, P.Patanapolpaiboon, 2002).

Ca Mau 2025 needs 165ha 2015





106.200 m³/d 1ha wetland cleans 250m³ waste water per day

waste water production





119.000 m³/d

Source: Author


off-stream (constructed) wetland

6.3.1.Cleaning Wetlands & River Bank Forests (Design Proposal by the Author)

inlet sediment removal (maintenance required!) flow control ephemeral zone organic matter removal (optional)

main river tidal system

macrophyte zone sequence of vegetation bands pollutant treatment

Source: Author Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.

wetland water treatment



outlet deep (open) aeriation pond with submerged vegetation



sediment pond 45-75cm

ephemeral zone 15-20cm












macrophyte zone 5-15cm

outlet pond 45-75cm


main river tidal system IN RO AD W AY















Source: Author, Dorien Pelst, Thomas Lenaerts Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.

In the Ca Mau, due to the massive mortality and low growth shrimp farming issues have resulted in reducing the water quality (Shengli and Jian, 1997), A number of reseaches acknowledged that the concentration of aquaculture facilities and the destruction of mangrove forests also had significant impact (Qingyin etal. 1997). The waste production in ponds can be specified by an increase in the amount of nutrients and suspended solids (Boyd and Tucker, 1998). As a consequence, there has been some attempts for waste water management from shrimp farms (Boyd, 1997). However the worsening of the ecosystems are mainly the consequence of waste waters from domestic and industrials (Twilley, 1992; CalderoĂ&#x201A;, 1996), In order to deal with the above mentioned issues, Along the main tidal waterways, constructed wetlands will treat the water from the urban, aquaculture and the industrial pollusion. Other river banks have the continuation of the large-scale mangrove structures and can provide occasionally floodable areas based on the mangrove-shrimp farming principles and with the model dike extention model that was explained previousely.


Source: Dorien Pelst Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.










Source: Thomas Lenaerts Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.





Design Reference: SWA Group. Kunshan City, Jiangsu Province, China


6.3.2.Making Space for Water (Design Proposal by the Author and Dorien Pelst)

Source: Author, Dorien Pelst, Thomas Lenaerts Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.

Apart from the water pollusion issue, the water system is exteremely threatened by possible climate change effects. It is becoming increasingly more obvious that alternative water solutions are required. The essence is to give water more space both in and outside of the city. It also means that in case of hazards, it is also possible to control the floods while the safety of the inhabitants defines the limit of space the water will have. Considering the significance of climate change as a key driver of the flood risk, the estimation impacts of the sea level rise scenarios and the changes in the rainfall patterns, strategic locations were ideantified based on the landscape logics such as topography, in order to define the place that can be occasionally flooded and at the same time be productive and spatially qualified and desirable. The upper scheme shows all the provided spaces for the water in case of severe climate changes and the darker blue is the salt water in the south and the fresh water areas in the north which will be explained later.


6.3.3.Filtering Canals (Design Proposal by the Author, Dorien Pelst and Thomas Lenaerts)

Source: Author, Dorien Pelst, Thomas Lenaerts Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.

A relatively new approach is to use natural mangrove wetlands as bio-filters (Massaut, 1999; Rivera-Monroy etal. 1999). Although the realization of the concept of mangrove plantations as filter for absorbing phosphorus and nitrogen is relatively inadequate (Massaut 1999), several reseaches showed their potential in eliminating nutrients from waste water (Alongi, 1996). Rajendran & Kathiresan (1996) also showed that shrimp pond wastes could increasethe biomass production of seedlings of certain mangrove species. Thefore, the feasibility of combining shrimp farms and mangrove plants to stop the erosion, enhancing the water productivity and waste treatment have been proposed (Massaut, 1999). This strategy is applied in a local scale, where the dark green strips on the map are the filtering canals and they are small-scale mangrove structures. The light green on the map is where the people live and they have their orchards, which are the higher lands. So the filtering canals are added to the irrigation canals where there is no housing. The idea is that these filtering canals, should be connected to the rivers and tidal system since the mangroves are also depended on the tides in order to grow and survive, and on the other hand mangroves can absorb antibiotics and the pollutants that is the result of shrimp farming. So in this way the whole system of small filtering canals work. Also the east-west direction of the canals is to have a sort of barrier and water catchment that in the case of sea level rise and the high tide, they can be controlled in this horizontal structure, protecting the city from floodings. 102

6.4.Dealing with Freshwater Shortage

6.4.1.Sponge Forests (Design Proposal by the Author)

(Proposal by the Author, Dorien Pelst and Thomas Lenaerts)

Location of Ca Mau on the edge of the two water system means the lack of fresh clean water during the dry season and floodings during the wet season. This graph shows the distribution and the demands. So there is average enough fresh water but not just at the right time so the strategy is to look at the ways to redistribute the water flows. Peat covered catchments can act as sponges, absorbing and storing water during wet periods, preventing floods, and releasing water gradually during the dry season over a long period of time (Franz Fuls.2013). However, the amount of water in peat is in relation with the level of the water table that after the dry season naturally drops to a lower level. Since the roots make the lateral infiltration easier, peat can simply retain keep considerable amount of rainfall. Considering the water shortage issues that Ca Mau is dealing with and the changes in the rainfall patterns that will occer due to the climate change (as discussed in the first section), Based on analysing the topography, the spatial distribution of the rainfall and positioning of the fresh water area, locations were identified strategically for melaleuca sponge forest replantation that can catch the rainfall water and release it gradually during the freshwater shortage periods for both urban and agricultural purposes.

Source: Author, Dorien Pelst, Thomas Lenaerts Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.


J F m a m J J a s o nd

In Vietnam, U Minh forest like to have similar characteristics which has a long historical background. During the colonical period, the French engineers realized U Minh forest and its inundated peat soils as a huge natural sponge, They saw the forest as a water reservoir for the dry season to provide the water supply for agriculture as well is its ability to absorb fresh water in the flood season and prevent salt water intrusion in the dry season. They even suggested the construction of underground storage tanks in the marine clay below the peat to make a sort of artificial reservoir that may act as a mechanical pumping during extreme drought. (David Biggs, 2005)

Worldbank, 2011 AVERAGE

Source: Netherlands-Vietnam Mekong Delta Masterplan, 2010-2011 Adapted by the Author and Thomas Lenaerts


Google Image

Google Image


6.4.2.Potential Benefits of Peat Swamp Forests
 While the various uses of peat forests and their exceptional features are familiar, the significance of their performance in the local and ecological systems is in many cases poorly valorized. Mitigation and Water Storage Removal

Nutrients are often adsorbed onto the surfaces of suspended particles and deposited along with them. These nutrients are likely to be transformed into biomass quickly. Meanwhile, peat is very effective in absorbing metals particularly when using peat soils for agriculture.

The presence of peat swamp forest can to a large extend reduce the peak floods by Store and Carbon Sequestration

Source: Adapted by the Author

Source: Adapted by the Author

reducing the speed of the water flow as well as providing a vast flood storage area (by the spatial means) and to a very limited degree dependent on the peat saturation level.

When a peat swamp area is flooded, the reduction in water velocity associated with
it spreading over a wide area, together with
the retarding effects of vegetation, allows wetlands store floodwater suspended sediments to settle. Water flowing back into rivers will then be largely sediment free. The water from floods held in peat swamps is released gradually over a long period. Intact peat swamps can contribute to maintain the water level in rivers that run through them during dry periods. Saline intrusion is related to base flows in rivers. By maintaining base flows in rivers, peat swamps can prevent the intrusion of saline water up rivers and maintain fresh groundwater.

Source: Adapted by the Author

Source: Adapted by the Author

This attribite of the peat forests has been identified and obtained a great importance in recent years due to the the increase of CO2 levels that is one of global warming factors. Large amount of carbon can be stored in tropical peatlands. It has been estimated that 5,800 tonnes of carbon per hectare can be stored in a 10-metre deep peat swamp compared to 300-500 tonnes per hectare for other types of tropical forests. Tropical peatlands, besides acting as stores of carbon, actively accumulate carbon in the form of peat.

Source: Adapted by the Author

According to the result of a physical-chemical reseach on the peat samples in Ca Mau peninsula, the evaluation of the the carbon organic materials in the peatland of U Minh Ha region was shown that an average value of 53.64% of carbon in each peat layer. Peatlands in U Minh Ha region have different thickness of peat layers, therefore, carbon content in each peatland area has a different amount of carbon content. In areas with peat layer thickness of 70 cm, the carbon content is up to 813.58 tons/ha, and in areas with peat layer thickness of up to 120 cm, the carbon contained in peatland is of 1,482.69 tons/ha. This investigation also showed that the peatlands in UMH region, especially in UMH Natioanl Park, have stored a great amount of carbon that has the potential to be transformed to carbon dioxide (CO2) and be release to the atmosphere if peatland is drainaged or converted to agriculture for a long period of time.

Source: Le Phat Qui, 2010



Overview of The Proposals

Source: Author, Thomas Lenaerts, Dorien Pelst Studio Landscape Urbanism, KUL, 2013.



6.5.Framing the urban (Design Proposal by the Author, Dorien Pelst and Thomas Lenaerts)

6.5.1.Strategies: Linear City - Green Framework - Urban Platforms - Lifestyles The massive migration from rural to urban areas together with the expansion of the road infrastructure will form a strong trend of urbanization in the area. In this context, throughout the urbanization history, there has always been a close relation and synergysm between the water and road infrastructure. While the main activities used to be traditioanlly water-based, roads are a way of investments that are attracting the further urbanization resulting in a constant shift from one to the others. The main aim here is to investigate how to maintain the spatial qualities and producticity of the rual areas that can lead to a preserve a particular type liveliness, activieis and social

of the re-interpretation of the existing landscape features and logics such as micro-topography are defined that are characteristically requalified within a newly designed green framework as urban platforms, generating a specific identidy and encouraging different type of lifestyles. Developments are concentrated within these distinct urban patches, both connected to the vast infrastructural network as well as the water network, structralized by the enriched landscape. This radial pattern is coupled with city-scale landscapes, generating an interplay between green continuities and urban entities. 6.5.2.Cut and Fill: â&#x20AC;&#x153;In lands where the difference of a few centimeters creates completely diverse conditions, the primitive manipulation of topography becomes a powerful tool. Traditionally, marginal height differences in topography dictated where to build and where to not build. However, the seemingly insatiable need for land for urbanization has led to a process of land-filling where the overall absorbency of the territory is significantly modifiedâ&#x20AC;? Source: Green City, XS Group (Kelly Shannon, 2009). Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. In this context, the process of urban development is always in a tight relation with the availablity of the higher safe grounds. The scarcity of land, can be compensated with the cut and fill strategy. While providing the safe lands for construction by moving the ground, make the lower land available for other uses. 6.5.3.From Planning to Planting: By Complementing and continuing the existing/ planned boulevard structure with the melaleuca trees, the green structures are dragged into the heart of the city. As the secondary layer, the plantation of the trees according to the hirarchy of the boulevards, secondary and tertiary roads can act as a guide for the future developments.

Source: Author Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.

interaction and at the same time be densified in order to deal with the rising housing demand in the urban fringe. In this way, the urban is formed and served by these natural elements. In this regard, on the contrary of the Masterplan 2025, a relatively dense linear growth is proposed in between the water network and new road infrastructure, having intensive economical and spatial relations strongly connected to these two landscape features. While dealing with major water and climatic issues and potentially providing economical and productive opportunities, these new landscape strategies also reinforces the different characters and logics of the area so that as a framework it embeds and guides the ongoing urbanization process. In order to preserve the spatial qualities of the water-based developments and at the same time using the benefits of the infrastructural investments, specific locations with the help 109

6.5.4.Recycling The Low-lands: Newly created low-lands during the cut and fill process can be reused following the typical garden-farm system of Vietnam. In this case, the idea of the edges effect is played out in a permaculture design by creating ponds work as micro rain water collectors in between the houses to be used as a source of fresh water for domestic uses, irrigation or as a fish pond and as a source of food production.

Source: Green City, XS Group Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.


Source: Adapted by the Author Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.


6.5.5.Urban Forestry

Increased realization of the possible urban forestry benefits has resulted in more programs designed with the intertion of gaining these benefits (Phillips and Garcia 1994). A better clarification of the different types of benefits can increase the possibility of attaining these outcomes (L.M.Westphal, 2003). Oftenly, parks, urban agriculture gardens, forests and other type of city greeneries are managed on a site-by-site, unplanned basis. Urban forest and agriculture can be considered as a sort of green infrastructure (K.L.Wolf, 2004), and it can be adequately planned and managed only if urban citizens and the decision makers realize thereal potential and services that trees and green space can offer. (L.M.Westphal, 2003). The urban forest is an urban resource system that can be cultivated and stewarded on all the lands within a municipality, including private and public property, as well as in all socioeconomic zones (K.L.Wolf, 2004). benefits and service

Urban forests can be organized the way to have direct effect on the urban economy. The easiest way to evaluate the marketable goods, or the value of purchase substitutes. For instance, to mention some of the possible products of the urban agro-forestry actitivies can mention the foods production and medicinal materials, hence contributing to urban food security that can also fdecrease the distribution costs if it needs to transported from other areas. Available non-timber forest products includ fuels,handicraft and building materials. Older trees can be removed to avoid property damages. Urban timber prodocts can also offer materials for furniture makers, homebuilders and other purposes. Services

Ecological aspects can offer a wide range of services to human societies. Ecological economists have investigated the models of environmental services that are provided by the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forests, wetlands, other natural areas (Daily 1997). The study results show that the functional urban tree planting and management can be utilized to prevent floods, stabilize soils, reduce erosion, diminish specific kinds of air pollusion and facilitate the recharge of the the water tables all with economic consequences. For instance, they can catch the rainwater, therefore lowering the quantity of released water to the ground and the runoffs to the stormwater collection systems and as a consequence reducing the city the construction costs of the making the new pipes and storage facilities with a higher capacity for dealing with the possible climate change effects.

the lifetime of the paved surfaces longer especially in such a climate with a higher amount of sunshines which can damage the pavement. A recent study showed that repaving could be delayed to 10 years on a well-shaded street and potentially twenty-five years on a heavily shaded street. (The Center for Urban Forest Research, 2010). Trees linings on the sidewalk perform as a protection for the pedestrians motivating people to walk more and at the same time, providing shades enhance the culture of using street as a public space and outdoor activities in the Vietnamese context. Increased pedestrian traffic enhance the neighborhood interactions and fosters the development of community identity. While more interactions can be further occured in common spaces populated by trees and vegetation. According to the Human-Environment Research Laboratory, a higher amount of people use common spaces that include trees than those without, which create opportunities for more community interaction. Furthermore, residents who actively participate in the activities related to the trees and vegetation, in the shared spaces are more likely to have strong social ties with the neighbors. The more residents socialize with their neighbors, the stronger their sense of community identity. The urban forest, therefore can provide a particular location for social interaction in the neighborhoods.. (K.L.Wolf, 2004).

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism, KUL, 2013. Social Benefits

Studies have shown that the urban agro-forestries can provide a large number of social benefits including health benefits, crime reduction, neighborhood improvement, social interaction, and wildlife preservation. Healthy urban forests can improve neighborhoods at a greater amount by reducing the vehicle traffic, noise pollution (trees act as a buffer to reduce noise pollution can potentially absorb auo to 50 percent of urban noise), and motivating pedestrian traffic, and stimulating more community relationships. Trees can contribute to reduce traffic speeds if they are strategically planted. Shades of the trees tree can also make 111


6.5.6.Designing The Urban Platforms

Source: Author Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.


114 Between the Two Water Design concept by the Author, Dorien Pelst and Thomas Lenaerts Designed and Produced by Kobe Pillen

Source: Kobe Pillen Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XS Group

Living with the Wetland

the relation to the water structure, in the intersection of the river and the boulevard, a small dock platform is created to have a strong connection to the river. A tower is re-enforcing the place as a landmark. It indicates the development area and gives an indentity to the entrance of the city. At the other side, a community centre is introduced. One of the major landscape elements is the the productive patches within the development: orchards, private or common vegetable gardens and rice fields coming from the large landscape figures. It generates quality, providing food security and social benefits. The wetland are treating the water and perform as micro rainwater collectors from the roofs, enhancing the the neighborhoods inner life.

The eastern development is established between the highway and the river intrupted by a natural wetland structure. The new planned highway is cutting through these different landscapes (river, development platform, wetland), providing different experience entering the the dense city-center. The inner small wetlands are created using the existing topography and the cut and fill principle. A secondary structure is formed perpendicular to the highway, two main boulevards that organize and distribute the new development platforms and activities. These two boulevards are connecting the highway to the river. Along the first one, public services buildings are distributed such as a school or a local market place that can motivate the local events. In order to enhance

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XS Group


116 in The Forest

Design concept by the Author Designed and Produced by Mario Auricchio

Source: Mario Auricchio Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XS Group

Living with the forest

The higher buildings along the roads are a mix of housing and commercial activities. The other buildings are organized around a system of open spaces providing semi-private gardens and orchards used by local neighborhood members. The juxtaposition of the street, the melaleuca forest, buildings and orchards in the back of them provide a strong relation between each other. This relation is even more obvious looking at the proximity between the forest and the road, facing the development as a part of it.

The development in the west is established between a road and two different systems: melaleuca forest and mangrove shrimp farming. This as a result from the interaction of two different water systems, the brackish water from the river on the West side and fresh water coming from the East and designed sponge forest patches using the lowlands, create a green continuity helping biodiversity. On the contrary, the highlands are used for new developments.

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XS Group


118 with The Wetland

Design concept by the Author Designed and produced by Anne-Michèle Zeevaert

Source: Anne-Michèle Zeevaert Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.

Living with the water. The development in the south, is developed between a main boulevard coming from the city center leading to the south of the peninsula and the canal enhanced by a water-cleaning wetland. Perpendicular to these two main infrastructures, a system of water rooms enlarge the canal. These landscape lines cross the main boulevard along the development platforms creating an integrated landscape system. These green corridors link the road to the water, working as green aperture from the road generating a physical relation to the canal. Public green spaces such as sport facilities, leisure platforms, cultural and educational equipments or boat-bus stops are concentrated around these corridors giving the possibility for the population to keep the realatio to the landscape. The development is organized and served by a system of secondary roads in parallel to the main one.

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XS Group

That gives the possibility to keep traffic and commercial activities along the main road and give hierarchy to the use of spaces. Living with water is introducing the link with the canal by permaculture ponds giving water for common vegetable gardens and orchards following the traditional Vietnamese farm systems VAC synergy. VAC is an acronym formed from three Vietnamese words meaning, garden or orchard, fish pond, and poultry shed. A particular effort have been done to respect the existing topography and exiosting built fabric. In the typical VAC garden-farm, buildings or trees work as windbreaks to protect the system. Within the garden a variety of fruit trees are grown, such as bananas-trees. Fish or prawns are raised in brackish ponds and canals. The most common forms of livestock raised are buffalo, pigs and poultry or ducks. As a complex synergy, the permaculture ponds are integrated in the daily life of the inhabitants providing food and water for the vegetable gardens and orchards, refreshing the air, making a qualitative productive urban dynamic into the new development.

Source: Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. Green City, XS Group



Source: Author, Dorien Pelst, Thomas Lenaerts Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013.



Source: Author, Dorien Pelst, Thomas Lenaerts Studio Landscape Urbanism,KUL, 2013. M Scale Model

Chapter 7. Conclusion In Vietnam, the fundamental character of mangrove restoration and rehabilitation is mainly formed by a worldview that is focused mainly on a single aim, mitigating the the possible sea level rise impacts and coastal storms. Mangroves are, however, located in a context with a particular complexity. This complexity is due to different elements such as variety of stakeholders with a wide range of interests and priorities. The experience from the previous practices in mangrove restoration, shows that in many of the cases neglecting this crucial factor that mainly goes back to the socio-econimical aspects has resulted the project to fail. In this regard, a wide range of studies are necessary to take these elements into consideration. While dealing with boad issues in the scale of the peninsula, this excersice is an attempt to investigate an alternative for the current rigid proposed master plan for the development of Ca Mau City to 2025. In this regard, different strategies are considered for addressing the challanges in approperiate scales. The vegetation-based strategies developed to deal with the issues such as climate change, Shrimp mono-aquaculture, food security, erosion, mangrove forest mitigation and etc., in the scale of Ca Mau Peninsula, give the possibility to the smaller urban/rural areas to develop in a more sutainable, qualitative, productive and diverse way. By providing the conditions that mangrove can offer a wide range of ecosystem goods and service, it is possible to stimulate the interests toward the forestry traditions while not ignoring the lucrative aquaculture trends. On the samller scale, the different types of vegetations, not only adds a quality to the landscape but also define and guide the urban growth in a more productive and sustainable way. This productivity can be seen in the different ways, such as provididing the food security, enhancing the economy and promoting social inclusion by enabling the possibility of neighborhood shared activities such as urban agriculture and forestry or even can be seen in the shades that the trees provide during the day time and can be used by Vietnamese, who culturally treats the road as public space while a wide range of formal or informal activies are occuering everyday on the streets. Although, it has to be noted that the mentioned strategies are not a replacement for the current plans Ebut rather trying to show the possibilities and potentials through the theory of “Landscape Urbanism”.

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Sam khabir towards a resilient cà mau  

Sam's Thesis

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