Research Ojectives

The major goal of this project was to provide a sound future land use management framework that considered socio-economic development, population growth and expected impacts of climate change on land and water resources. This framework linked climate change mitigation – through the reduction of GHG emissions – with adaptation strategies to secure food supply in a changing environment. As a basis, present and past land use practices and the use of water resources in the VGTB were analyzed with a focus on possible climate change impacts. This in-depth analysis allowed deriving carbon-optimized land and water use strategies for the VGTB as well as for the larger region of Central Vietnam. Furthermore, upscaling methods allow for translating the VGTB results into a broader context, suitable for regions that are similarly affected by the pressures of climate change (extreme flash floods and droughts, SLR and land use dynamics (deforestation, land degradation). Transdisciplinary analysis considering the various concepts of space in different disciplines (compare physical "watershed" versus "province" scale). Alternative land use strategies have been developed in order to optimize their impact on climate change mitigation on the one hand and their adaptation potential to climate change impacts on the other.

The interactions between socio-economic development, population growth, land management practices, GHG emissions, climate change impacts and hydrology have been investigated and integrated in a knowledge database for the Vu Gia-Thu Bon watershed which is representative for a considerable number of similar medium sized catchments in Central Vietnam and in the tropics in general. The results, databases and strategies considering climate, agriculture, socio-economic development and ecosystem services, form an excellent basis to be further used in research projects and by the local and national governmental institutions. Different land use scenarios quantify and compare the tradeoffs between reducing GHGs, maintaining ecosystem services and contributing to the overall development of the regional economy of the involved provinces Quang Nam, Da Nang and Kon Tum. Optimized agricultural management and planning practices significantly help to reduce the vulnerability of both the population and the ecosystems under pressure.

The insights gained for Central Vietnam are made available and transferable to other similar regions. The research results are additionally applied within land management plans with emphasis on risk prevention strategies. Here, the characterization of a feasible environmental monitoring network is especially important.

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