A brief history of mangrove distribution and coastline development in soc Trang Province, Vietnam, to address coastal management strategies

Olivier M. Joffre*, Klaus Schmitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Coastlines and their mangrove forests change over time under the influence of human and natural drivers. To design appropriate mangrove reforestation interventions, we use the Vietnamese province of Soc Trang, at the Bassac River mouth, as a case study to understand coastal zone changes. Our research, covering 1904–2007, is based on historical material from the French colonial period (topographic maps, reports), satellite images, and onsite interviews with key informants. Since 1904, the coastline and mangrove forests have changed significantly, including a sequence of deforestation and reforestation in some areas, changes in tree species composition, transformation of the coastline landscape from sand dunes to mangrove forests, and large-scale accretion at the river mouth. The natural processes of accretion and erosion have changed over time for the same area in Vin Chau District, thus influencing mangrove cover and reforestation programs. Damage to the mangrove forest during the Vietnam War due to defoliants was localised to specific areas along the coastline, and damaged trees were later cut for local use. Deforestation for fuelwood, expansion of farming areas, access rights, and usage of the mud flats during the French colonial period, followed by reforestation that modified the original species composition, are the main drivers of coastline changes. These drivers influence the coastline and mangrove cover dynamics in different ways. The knowledge of historical processes and coastal dynamics is important in developing climate change adaptation strategies, which combine such site-specific measures as effective mangrove protection and management, mangrove rehabilitation, and engineering measures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWater and Power
ISBN (Electronic)9783319904009
ISBN (Print)9783319903996
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in Global Change Research
ISSN (Print)1574-0919
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1621


  • Coastal erosion
  • Coastline change
  • Land cover change
  • Mangrove
  • Mangrove rehabilitation
  • Mekong delta
  • Shrimp farming
  • Vietnam


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