Located in the coastal district southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. Main advantages of Can Gio is that it provides the opportunity to work on environmental protection on a continuum of habitats, from the sea to the boundary of Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest industrial city in Vietnam. The mangrove forest is regarded as the “green lungs” of the city.
Declaration Date: 2000
Surface Area: 71,370 ha
Administrative Division: Ho Chi Minh city
History and uses during the Vietnam
The mangrove forest in Can Gio was originally over 2000 years old, was dense and the interior was cold, foggy and dark, and full of dangerous animals. During the war, they were used to hide personnel to launch attacks on the city, thus, it was extremely difficult to penetrate or patrol. This lead to the Americans dropping chemical defoliant or dioxins on the area like agent orange, significantly damaging the mangrove forest, in an attempt to maintain control.
- The successful model of using households living inside the mangrove forest to protect forest and use open-water for doing fishing and aquaculture in small ponds for livelihoods
- The snail and shellfish culture are friendly using the mangroves for local development.
- Salt pan, eco-aquaculture and handicraft production and marketing are good practices
Covers about 40 thousand hectares of planted and natural mangroves in destroyed areas during the Vietnam war, this is a luxury mangrove in Vietnam.
There is diver habitats including mangroves, wetlands, salt marsh, mud flat and sea grasses .
18 mollusc, 27 crustacean, 45 fish and three amphibian species have been recorded at the site. An Estuarine Crocodile Crocodylus was found in around 1990, although there have been no records since then. Dugongs sighting occur seasonally in seagrass beds at the site, although reports are not confirmed.The intertidal mudflats and sandbanks at the biosphere reserve are an important habitat for migratory shorebirds. Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola, Common Redshank T. totanus, Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus and Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus occur here. Several globally threatened and near-threatened waterbird species have been recorded as well.
The mangrove forest gives a lot of ecological services including protecting the shore lines, extension of mud flats and as a “green wall’ to protect the city from storm surges, typhoons and sea level rise.
It is situated in a recently formed estuary complex of tidal flats, where the Vam Co, Saigon and Dong Nai rivers discharge into the sea. The topography of Can Gio is low-lying and dynamic.
Other documented values
The mangrove forest at Can Gio performs many valuable ecological functions, including coastal stabilisation, and protection against coastal erosion, oil spills and storm surges. The mangrove forest is a source of fuelwood and construction materials.
Being close to Ho Chi Minh City, Can Gio Biosphere Reserve has great potential as a site for tourism, public education, scientific research and training. Already, the site receives a large number of visitors from Ho Chi Minh City. Can Gio could also serve as a demonstration site for mangrove afforestation projects elsewhere in Vietnam.
At the national level
It is one of the most important of wetland conservation site of the country