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Title: 'Ecosystem service modelling to support nature-based flood water management in the Vietnamese Mekong River Delta'.
Authors: Loc, Ho Huu
Tomscha, Stephanie Anne
Keywords: Ecosystem service model
Nature-based solution
Ecosystem-based adaptation
Floodbased crop
Issue Date: 2021
Series/Report no.: Sustainability;pp. 1 - 28
Abstract: Deltas are among the most productive and diverse global ecosystems. However, these regions are highly vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change. Nature-based solutions (Nbs) have been increasingly adopted in many deltas to improve their resilience. Among decision support tools, assessment of ecosystem services (ES) through spatially explicit modelling plays an important role in advocating for Nbs. This study explores the use of the Land Utilisation and Capability Indicator (LUCI) model, a high-resolution model originally developed in temperate hill country regions, to map changes in multiple ecosystem services (ES), along with their synergies and trade-offs, between 2010 and 2018 in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD). In so doing, this study contributes to the current knowledge in at least two aspects: high-resolution ES modelling in the VMD, and the combination of ES biophysical and economic values within the VMD to support Nbs implementation. To date, this is the highest resolution (5 by 5 m) ES modelling study ever conducted in the VMD, with ~1500 million elements generated per ES. In the process of trialling implementations of LUCI within the VMD’s unique environmental conditions and data contexts, we identify and suggest potential model enhancements to make the LUCI model more applicable to the VMD as well as other tropical deltaic regions. LUCI generated informative results in much of the VMD for the selected ES (flood mitigation, agriculture/aquaculture productivity, and climate regulation), but challenges arose around its application to a new agro-hydrological regime. To address these challenges, parameterising LUCI and reconceptualising some of the model’s mechanisms to specifically account for the productivity and flood mitigation capability of water-tolerant crops as well as flooding processes of deltaic regions will improve future ES modelling in tropical deltaic areas. The ES maps showed the spatial heterogeneity of ES across the VMD. Next, to at least somewhat account for the economic drivers which need to be considered alongside biophysical valuations for practical implementations of ES maps for nature-based solutions (Nbs) in the upstream VMD, economic values were assigned to different parcels using a benefit transfer approach. The spatially explicit ES economic value maps can inform the design of financing incentives for Nbs. The results and related work can be used to support the establishment of Nbs that ultimately contribute to the security of local farmers’ livelihoods and the sustainability of the VMD.
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