Hoang Tri's message
I received the message from Hoang Tri as an attachment to an e-mail in which he advised me that he had had problems in making this posting himself.
I am asking Chris to contact Tri regarding the photos which are very small and grainy!
Dear Friends & Colleagues
As agreed in the 7th RWG-M Meeting in Pontianak, Indonesia, I start motivating our forum by posting a critical issue relating our mangroves.
Last month I was invited as member of Scientific Council to appraisal a EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) report for building a Tourism Facilities Complex in area of 200 ha where mangrove forests and seagrasses co-exist in the coastal zone (see photos). As mentioned in the report, total area of seagrasses, ‘dirty’ muddy sand will be replaced by ‘clean’ white sand for swimming and mangrove swamps will be closed by a dike system to keep raining waters for tourists. In other word, mangroves and seagrasses will be degraded by the work. However, there are some words on mangroves and seagreasses in this report.
Some members are for the work with rationales that we are in developing country, we need developing the work for creating opportunities of jobs, services and tourism-based income sources. It would contribute to reduce poverty in this areas and “Western people protect environment better because they are richer than us”.
Please give your comments, it would be highly appreciated and the conclusion of the Council will be provided in the end of October.
Photo 1: Mangroves with dominated species of Rhizophora stylosa in the tourism project site
Photo 2: Halophyla ovalis
Dear Tri, and colleagues,
Unfortunately Tri does not give us sufficient data to evaluate the costs and benefits of the proposed development. Does the complex cover all 200ha and is this the total area of mangrove or mangrove plus seagrass. He states that the mangrove will be closed by a dyke system which will result in total loss of the mangroves unless periodic drying of the area is permitted on a daily basis. He goes on to state that the mangrove will be degraded when in reality it will be lost.
To suggest that development and environment are not compatible and that Viet Nam should develop at the expense of the environment is both short-sighted and fallacious. Degradation of the environment and rural poverty are clearly linked and unless the costs and behefits to the local community of this development have been adequately evaluated the project is likely, in its present form to increase poverty rather than alleviate it.
Perhaps the developers should be encouraged to build their complex inside the mangrove as has been done successfully in Trat Province at the resort in which we held the regional working group on Mangroves in 2004.
By now, all members of the Regional Working Group on Mangroves should be receiving e-mail notification as soon as a new post is made in this e-discussion. If you received an e-mail notification of this post, it would certainly help us at the PCU if you could send us a quick e-mail letting us know that this function is working.
On another note, and sorry to "hijack" Dr. Tri's topic, I thought you may be interested in the photos below of a mangrove walkway recently constructed on Koh Chang Island, Thailand. From the images it appears that mangroves have been removed for the construction of the walkway, and I also read on the internet that truck loads of earth were dumped on mangroves to construct the road leading into the site. It would be interesting to receive some comments about this from Dr. Sonjai or the Trat/Koh Chang demonstration site managers.
Dear John, Chris and Colleagues,
Thank you Chris to post photos and notify people to joint the forum.
It is clear that we can apply Trat case into our specific cases, however there is not so many people to know that. Otherwise the cost for construction is very expensive, at least for the remote areas.
I tend to agree with John and Chris that the resort could be built in the mangroves provided that there is minimal disturbance like what had been done in Trat.
Tri - I do sympathise with the feeling that there is sometimes a need for using mangroves or other natural ecosystems because of the need for development in third world countries. I think many third world countries cannot afford a "hands off" attitude to our natural ecosystems - we often have to compromise and think in terms of multiple-use of these ecosystems so that they are preserved even if not conserved. BUT, often, this need for development is used as an excuse to exploit the natural ecosystems when it is not necessary to do so. For example, aquaculture ponds need not be sited in mangroves - they can be sited behind mangroves. So, if the resort can be constructed like the one in Trat, it could be the best solution - there is a resort but the mangroves are still preserved.
It also seems counterproductive to be planting mangroves in order to increase mangrove area on the one hand, and then clearing natural mangroves on the other hand. Perhaps another alternative is that the resort can be built in a degraded mangrove area that hasnt been rehabilitated yet?
Chris, I received notification of the posting in my email and can get to this forum via the url in that email and also via your newsletter. But, when I go directly to the homepage and try to get into the forum, I dont see any of the messages - just the names of the people who posted. What have I done wrong? On another matter, I would like to download the nice photo of our group in Pontianak that is on the home-page. How can I do this?
Thanks for your contribution.
Thanks also for letting me know about the problems you experienced accessing this discussion from the homepage. It would be a shame for people not to use the e-forum because of things like this. I’ve prepared some quick notes (please click here) with a step-by-step guide on how to access this discussion from the UNEPSCS.org homepage. I think I know why you didn’t end up in the discussion…please have a look at my notes and let me know if I am right...it is interesting that John mentioned something similar to me towards the end of last week.
Regarding how to download the RWG-M group photo, I have included it below. All you need to do is:
1. Place your cursor on the image
2. Click your right mouse button once
3. Select “Save Image As…”
4. Save the image to your computer.
Many thanks for your reply and "how to" details on e-forum and photo download.
E-forum: I did exactly the same steps you instructed the previous time I tried to get in via the webpage and came to a page which had the names of various people including John and Tri and stating the no of postings they had made but didnt have any messages. This time, when I clicked on Tri's topic, all the messages are displayed. So, it is fine now. I have no idea what went wrong the last time - I dont think we need bother about this unless others face the same problems.
Downloading photo - I don't have a right mouse click as I am using a Macintosh. I can't select the photo to save or to copy. Guess I will need to get you to send me a copy via email (jpeg is good). Many thanks.
This problem is not so easy to solve in the reality because mangroves value in term of timber is small by the view of policy makers. To mitigate the negative impacts of the planned tourist project, we should:
1. have strong evidence on economic value of mangroves and seagrass and especially benefits of mangroves and seagrass systems to local people and community in the area to convince the decision makers;
2. show the role of mangroves ecosystem in protecting the coast against seawave and typhoons, etc. and that is the most significant values of mangroves;
3. consider whether there is impact caused by the project on the mangroves and seagrass in Cat Ba national park;
In case the project will have to be implemented, we should give comments to the relevant authorities to minimize the negative impacts.
Do Dinh Sam
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