Monday, May 24, 2010

Imperiled mangrove forests in Vietnam

Bernama: The impacts of climate change would severely affect the biodiversity of mangrove forests across the country, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported experts as saying. Addressing a forum on the impacts of climate change and biodiversity held on May 22, Dr Hoang Nghia Son, director of the Institute of Tropical Biology said that biodiversity was a crucial base for the existence and development of countries around the world but it had been severely affected by climate change.

"Sea levels are expected to rise 1m by the end of this century which will flood up to 12 percent of Vietnam," VNA quoted him as saying. "Coastal wetlands will be heavily affected, especially in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta provinces of Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu and Ca Mau, home to many important wetland areas. Eight national parks and 11 nature reserves will be flooded, killing many species of flora and fauna," Son warned.

Dr Le Anh Tuan of Can Tho University's Natural Resources and Environment Department said rising temperatures and sea levels as well as irregular rainfall and a large number of storms and whirlwinds damaged the biodiversity of wetland areas.

"An increase in temperature will cause hundreds of trees to die and increase the threat of forest fires and slow the growth of flora. Fluctuating rainfall will change the biological cycles of flora and fauna and alternate natural flows as well. In addition, rising sea levels will mess with the ecosystem and threaten flora through salination, erosion and high tides. "Storms and whirlwinds will devastate coastal zones, destroying forests, degrading water quality and killing species of flora and fauna," Tuan emphasised.

Mangrove in Can Gio forest, shot by Tho nau, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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