Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Scientists have created a map that warns against land degradation risks in northern mountainous provinces of Điện Biên and Lai Châu.
The research, led by Associate Professor Phạm Quang Vinh at the Institute of Geography under the Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology, investigates and assesses the status of land degradation in these localities using remote sensing technology and geographic information system (GIS) mapping. The goal is to safeguard socio-economic development and ensure sustainable land use.
According to experts, land degradation in Việt Nam in general and in the northwest region occurs following various natural and social impacts.
The warning map against land degradation risks was made based on the combination of a map on current land degradation status and a map showing potential factors causing land degradation.
The map on current land degradation status demonstrates land degradation types and levels. It was created based on analyses on natural factors such as geological, geomorphological and hydrological conditions, ecological diversification and socio-economic factors such as methods of cultivation, land use, population density and urbanisation.
The land degradation risk level is divided into three levels: high, medium and low risk.
Areas at low risk account for 48.9 per cent of the two provinces’ areas, comprising mostly flat terrains such as deltas and valleys.
Areas at medium risk account for 31.64 per cent of the total researched area (589.128ha).
Areas such as Than Uyên, Tân Uyên, Sìn Hồ districts of Lai Châu Province; and Tủa Chùa and Tuần Giáo districts of Điện Biên Province are warned to be highly exposed to severe land degradation. These areas, making up more than 19.4 per cent of total natural area, are located mainly on high positions with high density of rivers and streams, relatively thin soil layer and a large volume of rain.
Experts also found out that natural factors such as slope, rain volume, and plant layer affect the land degradation in these two provinces.
Land degradation is occurring in many major areas in Việt Nam, especially in mountainous areas which make up three quarters of the nation’s land fund. According to experts, causes of land degradation range from erosion, soil with low fertility, acid soil, saline soil, soil emaciation, flooded land, landslides, desertified soil, to polluted soil. — VNS