CBA Viet Nam: Minimizing Climate Change Impacts for Sustainable Aquaculture in Con Truong, Hoang Chau Commune
Aquaculture is the main activity and source of income for the 8,264 residents of Viet Nam’s Hoang Chau community. The nearby Truong Islet plays a key role in the aquaculture development of the region, as it prevents ocean waves and winds from reaching Hoang Chau Commune and its small mangrove forest area, which helps to preserve local biodiversity. Due to climate change impacts, including saltwater intrusion from strong winds and high waves brought upon by global warming, the region’s ecosystem is very fragile. Local shrimp banks are constantly affected by the sea (winds, waves and salt contamination) and inland factors (water pollution from Ma River headwater and human activities). All these factors are destroying sea dykes, and the cost of reinforcing the degraded dyke is high. Since the 1970s, limited financial capacities have prevented shrimp farming methods from evolving, and they remain highly dependent on climate conditions. Climatic impacts have led to a reliance on natural resources, resulting in their overexploitation. To face these challenges, the local community is looking for appropriate production models that can adapt to extreme climate change.
This Community-Based Adaptation project aims to promote sustainable fisheries development by testing climate change adaptation models in aquaculture and fishing. Thanh Hoa Fisheries Association initiated the project after extensive discussions with local residents through a participatory process actively involving the Hoang Chau community. The project aims at testing climate change adaptation models in aquaculture and fishing for sustainable fisheries development in Truong Islet, a brackish water region in Thanh Hoa Province and Hoang Chau Commune.
* This project is part of Viet Nam's Community-Based Adaptation portfolio. *
Thanh Hoa is a province in the north of Central Vietnam, with 102 kilometers of coastline, 17,000,000 square kilometers of ocean surface and a population of over 3.6 million. The coastal and gulf area is favourable for aquaculture development. Ponds, lakes and shallow areas for aquaculture and riziculture make up 7,500 hectares. About 480,000 people rely on aquaculture for their primary income. The annual gross of fisheries products is 75,000 tons, 45,000 tons of which come from ocean exploitation and 30,000 tons from aquaculture. The potential to develop aquaculture is great, yet crop failures are common due to frequent natural disasters, exhausted coastal resources, polluted water and diseases.
Located in the southeast of Hoang Chau Commune, Hoang Hoa District, Truong Islet has a crucial role to play in aquaculture development in both Hoang Chau and Thanh Hoa Province as a whole. The Islet has a brackish water aquaculture area of 300 hectares, accounting for 1/10 of the total brackish water aquaculture area in the Province. From an economic and social perspective, the Islet has a crucial role in preventing wave and wind impact on inner regions, including Hoang Chau Commune. From a biological perspective, Truong Islet has significant biodiversity on land and in the water.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the mangrove forest area in Truong Islet was relatively large (about 200 hectares), with many kinds of fisheries species like shrimps, crabs, oysters, and lots of fishes.
Shrimp farming first appeared in Truong Islet in the 1970s. At present, there are 5 divisions with 137 households doing aquaculture in Truong Islet, both natural resource exploitation and farming fisheries products. Hoang Chau fishermen are facing several challenges, including the impact of climate change. The change in salinity due to saltwater intrusion results in slow development or massive death of fisheries species. The residents have to make higher dykes to cope with higher sea levels. The temperature fluctuations weaken fisheries species and make them susceptible to disease and death. Small floods, which now come earlier in the year, make the residents harvest shrimp prematurely, affecting their economic value.
Fisheries resources in the region are seriously degrading. In recent years, Ma River has been polluted due to human activities, affecting the aquaculture in Truong Islet. Aquaculture in Truong islet is at high risk because of environmental pollution and unpredictable weather. Aquaculture techniques have not changed ever since they started this trade: they still use the conventional methods although breeds, climate and natural resources conditions have changed considerably as a result of environmental degradation and the negative impacts of climate change.
To address these challenges, this Community-Based Adaptation project implements the following key activities:
- Improve farming techniques in aquaculture and fishing to adapt to climate change
- Plant mangrove forests to reduce impact of natural disasters, to protect the surrounding banks and prevent erosion caused by sea level rise
- Protect and regenerate natural fisheries resources for sustainable exploitation of natural fisheries resources in the project area
- Experiment with a community revolving loan programme to assist affected fishermen in aquaculture development and disaster emergency
- Enhance community capacity and awareness on climate change and sustainable aquaculture issues
Key Results and Outputs
Outcome 1: Building and testing models to adapt to climate change in brackish water aquaculture and fishing
Design and test 3 Models with suitable species and crops (Output 1.1) and include 20 households that will benefit from these models (Output 1.2).
Outcome 2: Mangrove forests and resources are managed and used in a sustainable manner
Design a commune plan (Output 2.1) that plants at least 20 hectares of mangrove forests (Output 2.2), including beekeeping models that directly benefit at least 20 households (Output 2.3).
Outcome 3.0: A revolving loan programme is developed and managed by the community
Enroll at least 20 households in the loan programme in the first year (Output 3.1), and at least 30 more households by the end of the project (Output 3.2). Repay the investment for experimental models, to be put in the loan programme for revolving (Output 3.3).
Outcome 4.0: Training and awareness raising activities on CC issues and sustainable fisheries are conducted
Hold at least 4 awareness raising workshops for at least 300 participants (Output 4.1), at least 12 training sessions and 10 community workshops for at least 500 participants (Output 4.2), and about 50 community meetings to discuss project issues and activities (Output 4.3). Form and operate groups of key fishermen for monitoring environment protection, mangrove forest protection, exploitation of fisheries resources protection (Output 4.4) Develop and apply community regulation procedures (Output 4.5) while strengthening working relationships with related water management agencies to manage the water source and protect community’s rights (Output 4.6)
Outcome 5.0: Fisheries resources are regenerated.
Build a crab bank model at 3 different locations around Truong islet (Output 5.1) and organize 3 fish and shrimp releases in the project area (Output 5.2).
Reports and Publications
Monitoring and Evaluation
The Vulnerability Reduction Assessment (VRA) will be measured at the planning stage of the project, at the mid-point, and at the end of project. Given that the VRA is qualitative and is based on the community perceptions, the first VRA was conducted to establish a baseline during the Project planning phase as described above. A second VRA will be done at mid project after all the project model building activities have been completed. A final VRA will be done at the end of the project to assess the overall impact of the project on the community adaptive capacity.
The VRA questions that will be used are as follows:
- Rate the impact of climate change (extreme weather and early small flooding, temperature rise, sea level rise and salinity) on your income from aquaculture and fishing
- Rate your ability to cope with the negative impacts of climate change 3. Rate the impact on your livelihood if climate change impact doubles
- Rate how effective you think this project will be in reducing your risks from increasing natural disasters and temperature rise, sea level rise and salinisation.
- Rate your confidence that the project will continue to reduce climate change risks after the project ends.
The Impact Assessment System (IAS) indicator will be measured at the end of the project using the following components:
- The number of hectares/models of aquaculture development applying the project techniques in sustainable aquaculture and fishing to adapt to CC impact
- The number of hectares of mangroves protected and planted
- The number of innovations developed/applied under the project (4) The number of policy recommendations proposed in environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources (fisheries and mangroves) for sustainable aquaculture and fishing in the climate change context
The targets for the above are as follows:
- Three (3) models will be tested by the project.
- 15-20 ha of mangroves will be protected and planted.
- 2-3 innovations developed/applied under the project
- Three to four recommendations on policies in sustainable aquaculture and fishing in the climate change context will be proposed to local authorities.