In Vietnam, deforestation is an important issue that needs to be solved as soon as possible because this is serious affect the forest ecosystem which have a great impact on environmental quality. The area of forest in Southeast Asia fell from 66% to 49% of the total land area of the region between the 1960s and the late 1990s. According to the World Bank (1995) report on Vietnam’s environment, the total area of forest damaged was larger than the land area of the country (Howard 1998, pp. 249-53).
By 2000, researchers estimated that the forest area could fall below 40%, in particular about 33%. However, the period of 2010-2015, the forest was managed worldwide than in the previous period, mainly because countries have improved the legal framework and issued many appropriate policies. As a result, Vietnam ranks ninth among the 10 countries with the highest increase in forest area in the world, with an average increase of 129,000 ha/year, according to The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) report (2015).
The negative aspects of forest ecosystems and the environment are evidence that natural ecosystems are being destroyed. This essay will clarify the importance of forests, the causes of deforestation in Vietnam and its effects, and measures which prevent and reduce deforestation as well as improve forest covers in Vietnam. Firstly, the definitions of the forest ecosystems, the vegetation, and the deforestation will be introduced. Then, this essay will describe and evaluate the process of deforestation in Vietnam including causes, impacts, and solutions for this process. There are many types of ecosystem in nature such as the forest ecosystems where there is the vegetation system and affected by deforestation. Firstly, forest ecosystem is defined as an area dominated by trees and other species such as animals, birds, bacteria and insects that live together as a community. This combines with natural factors such as climate, soil, and unique plant and animal species for each forest region.
As a result, there are hundreds of different types of forests around the world such as rainforest ecosystems and mangrove ecosystems. There are many stories in a forest ecosystem to facilitate the lives and development of the species (Forest ecosystems – More than Just Trees, 2012, pp. 1-2). Secondly, a basic factor of ecosystems that can reflect the effects of the natural environment is the vegetation (Billings, 1952, pp 251–65).
This is created from many plants that live in an environment and have a close relationship between them and this ecosystem. The vegetation types can be different depending on each region (Mishra et al., 1997, pp 16–25). Moreover, ecological forests are an important role in preserving the organisms in this ecosystem (Nepstad et al.
, 1999, pp 505–8; Achard et al., 2002, pp 999-1002; Gascon et al). This is because the forest ecosystem is the place to provide and maintain the life for plant and animal species, in particular, it is possible to conserve rare and precious plants and animals (Myers et al.
, 2000, pp 853–858). These issues are effected deforestation that is defined as human activities such as burning or cutting down trees in forest area while the forest is an important factor in preventing soil erosion and flooding (Li et al. 2003, pp 146–152; Armenteras et al., 2009, pp 1411–1419). In order to determine the diversity of the forest, research is based on the diversity of plant species in the forest ecosystem, and the diversity varies greatly from place to place due to the biological change and change of environment (Whitmore, 1998; Chapin et al. 1993, S78–S92; Heady, 1958, pp 402–416). The causes and effects of deforestation impact on people and the environment in Vietnam.
According to Vo Quy and Le Thac Can (1994, p 10) the rapid population growth is an indirect cause of deforestation because when the populations increase rapidly, people have to migrate to new lands and begin to reclaim land for cultivation, breeding, and housing while there is no control in using the forests for the individual purpose and connect between governments and residents either, so the forest areas in Vietnam are overexploited and unimproved after being used. As a consequence, the forest cover is reduced, the soil is prone erosion. This can damage property and people due the flood occurred. Secondly, due to the development of the economy in Vietnam, people need to expand the area of land and harvest timber for export purposes in international markets (Allen and Barnes 1982, pp. 181). This has contributed to the deforestation and it has become an important factor in tropical deforestation in Vietnam (DeFries et al., 2010, pp 178–81; Lambin and Meyfroidt, 2011, pp 3465–72). As a result, a large number of organism species can be extinct by human activities as deforestation.
Specifically, the rich populations of deciduous tropical forests are not only reduced but also become poorer and less diverse due to deforestation (Forest Ecosystems – More than Just Trees, 2012, pp 130). The measures to reduce and prevent deforestation include establishing of regulations on using the forest land, implementation of population policies to improving people’s awareness, and applying penalties for offenders. The government has implemented policies that restrict using the forest land for agricultural or industrial purposes and promulgated regulations on the expansion of forest areas in each locality throughout the country (Meyfroidt and Lambin, 2008, pp 1319–36). Furthermore, authorities required people to restore the forest area by replanting the lost forest cover as well as the forest in other places.
For example, the government allows local people to manage the forest land to encourage that people can exploit and use forest land reasonably. This helps people reduce poverty and have higher living conditions for people do not illegally exploit the forest. In addition, governments can impose administrative penalties or detentions to offenders (Forest Protection and Development Law of Vietnam 2004). The government has renewed the forest sector management system in new ways to accommodate the management and the protection of forest resources.
Specifically, leaders have organized training of forest rangers and provide courses which can improve the knowledge about forest protection for citizens. Moreover, the government provides the necessary equipment for people who are forest rangers to protect the forest area and can be against illegal logging according to the Forest Protection and Development Law of Vietnam (2004). In conclusion, the diversity of the forest ecosystems including the vegetation, and other organisms in Vietnam as well as in the world are strongly influenced by human activities which is deforestation. This has become a serious issue for the natural environment in Vietnam. This essay has explained about the forest ecosystem, the vegetation and deforestation in Vietnam. It has also presented the causes which are overpopulation and economic development, and described solutions such as providing the policies for residents and creating the regulations to decrease and prevent deforestation in Vietnam.
It is recommended that although the government has issued some measures to reduce and restrict deforestation in Vietnam, these measures have not been high effectiveness in reducing deforestation. So, the government need to be more strict management and strictly handle cases of illegal forest exploitation. Likewise, people should be aware of the consequences of deforestation on the natural environment and the lives of organisms including human.