Thai Cong Tung
Abstracts Demographic growth, urbanization, industrialization, infrastructure development...are contributing to increase stress on the natural resource base in Viet Nam today. The paper highlighted those stresses : the rural exodus to the cities due to scarce land resources in the countryside, the pollution problems in the urban environment, the migration of people to forested areas with direct impacts including the deforestation, the watershed degradation and the loss of biodiversity. Striking a balance between population growth and conserving the natural resources are necessary for a sustainable development which is to move away from resource exploitation and more toward resource management in controlling the overfishing, overgrazing, overcutting, overpumping, overhunting issues prevailing inViet Nam today.
1 Introduction With a population of 80 million inhabitants and an acreage of 331 114 sq km, overall population density in Viet Nam is 231 persons/ square km which is very high for an agricultural country. Viet Nam is now the third most densely populated Southeast Asia country (behind Singapore and Philippines) and the twelfth most populous country in the world. With 77% living in rural areas, agriculture and forestry occupy a large land base. This dependency and high population pressure on scarce arable land are exerting tremendous pressure on the natural environment. The rural exodus to the big cities to find employment as well as the industrialization are creating huge environmental problems: water, air, noise pollution. In the mountains, deforestation leads to the watershed degradation, reducing animal and botanical biodiversity, leading to soil erosion.
This diagram summarizes those issues:
Timber demand Lack of available lands Deforestation Short fallow Loss of soil fertility Marginal land cultivation Rural exodus Urban Congestion
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