To Unesco home page

To sitemap

To MAB home page title2.gif (2287 bytes)
      Biosphere Reserve Information

Viet Nam


© Photo: Nguyen Hoang Tri
  General Description   This biosphere reserve is located in the coastal district southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. It covers 75,740 hectares and is dominated by mangroves, including both salt water and brackish water species. The mangroves in Can Gio have a high biodiversity with more than 200 species of fauna and 52 species of flora. The effects of the recent wars on these ecosystems have been devastating and large efforts have been made by local people to rehabilitate the mangroves. Today, it has become one of the most extensive sites of rehabilitated mangroves in the world.
One of the main advantages of Can Gio is that it provides the opportunity to work on environmental protection on a continuum of habitats, ranging from the sea to the boundary of Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest industrial city in Vietnam. The mangrove forest is regarded as the “green lungs” of the city. There are some 58,000 people living within the biosphere reserve boundaries, 54,000 of which live in the transition area (1997). The local people are of different origins and there is a mixture of cultures and ways of life. The main economic activities are agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and salt production. Some families have been allocated with forests for protection for 30 years and they use a small portion of the land for aquaculture and salt production. Other families, engaged in miscellaneous occupations, have no land and must earn their living by catching crabs and molluscs and collecting firewood.
Can Gio is the poorest district of Ho Chi Minh City. It is expected that the Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve could be a site where sustainable development, conservation and cultural socio-economic activities in sylvo-forestry and fishery management systems can be tested, refined, demonstrated and implemented. The planned research activities also focus on socio-economic aspects. Valuation of the mangrove ecosystem, its socio-economic utilization, and sustainable sylvo-forestry, fisheries and other farming systems are some examples.
  Major ecosystem type   Mangrove
  Major habitats & land cover types   Mangroves with saline water species such as Sonneratia alba, Avicennia alba, mixed communities of Rhizophora apiculata - Sonneratia alba, as well as Xylocarpus granatum, Kandelia candel, Rhizophora mucronata etc., and with brackish water species such as Sonneratia caseolaris, communities of Cryptocoryne ciliata - Acanthus ebrateatus, Nypa fruticans, Acrostichum aureum etc.; seagrass beds dominated by Halophyla sp., Halodule sp. and Thalassia sp.; agricultural crop land with rice, taro/yam, beans, coconut etc.; plantations; urban areas
  Location   10°22' to 10°40' N; 106°46' to 107°01' E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   75,740
  Core area(s)   4,721
  Buffer zone(s)   ~41,139 (of which marine: ~3,800)
  Transition area(s) when given   ~29,880 (of which marine: ~570)
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -10 to +10
  Year designated   2000
  Administrative authorities  
  Brief description   Investigation of major species planted in Can Gio (until 1997)
Initial research on socio-forestry (forestry land allocation to local people with legal contracts of 20-25 years; until 1997)
Investigation of animals in mangroves (until 1997)
Valuation of the mangrove ecosystem (planned)
Socio-economic utilisation of the mangroves (planned)
Research on thinning methods (planned)
The Vietnam-EU Project on ‘Prediction of Resilience and Recovery of Disturbed Communities in the Tropics’ (PREDICT)
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   n.a.
  Biodiversity   Ecosystem assessment, fauna, mangrove, species inventorying/inventory.
  Socio-economic   Forestry, resource use, social/socio-economic aspects.
  Integrated monitoring   Institutional and legal aspects, land tenure.
  Contact address    Nguyen Khac Ngan
51A5 Nguyen Oanh, Ward 17, Go Vap District
 Ho Chi Minh City
Viet Nam
  Telephone   (84) 8 8952 791
  Fax   (84) 8 8950 300

Last updated: 23/04/2002

To topTo MAB home pageTo UNESCO