Spatial indicators for desertification in southeast Vietnam

Hien, Le Thi Thu; Gobin, Anne; Huong, Pham Thi Thanh

Desertification is influenced by different factors that relate to climate, soil, topography, geology, vegetation, human pressure, and land and water management. The quantification of these factors into spatially explicit indicators and subsequent evaluation provides for a framework that allows us to identify areas currently at risk of desertification and to evaluate important contributing biophysical and socio-economic factors. Based on local knowledge of environmental contributing factors to the risk of desertification in the Binh Thuan Province of southeast Vietnam, a baseline 2010 map showed that 14.4 % of the area, mainly along the coast and in the northeast, is desertified with another 35.4 % at severe risk of desertification. The Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment has defined the area with a ratio of rainfall to evapotranspiration smaller or equal to 0.65, which equals 1233 km2 or 15 % of the province, as desertified area, which corresponds well with the baseline 2010 map. The developed framework incorporates the important contributing factors and therefore allows for decision support in a “what if” structure and for the projection of potentially vulnerable areas under future scenarios. With projected climate change and population growth, the desertified area is expected to increase by 122 % (or 137 850 ha) towards 2050. The developed methodology can be extended to neighbouring provinces that experience similar sensitivities to desertification.

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Hien, Le Thi Thu / Gobin, Anne / Huong, Pham Thi Thanh: Spatial indicators for desertification in southeast Vietnam. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Le Thi Thu Hien et al.

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