The Annotated Ramsar List: Viet Nam


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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Viet Nam on 20 January 1989. Viet Nam presently has 6 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 104,973 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Ba Be. 02/02/11; Bac Kan Province; 10,048 ha; 22°24′N 105°36′E. Ba Be is a National Park and an ASEAN Heritage Park. The Man and Biosphere Committee of Viet Nam is currently supporting the designation of Ba Be as a Biosphere Reserve. Ba Be National Park supports the only significant natural mountain lake in Viet Nam and is the most important wetland in the country’s protected area system because it is the only site that has a natural lake surrounded by a mountainous karst ecosystem. It supports a number of globally threatened species such as the endangered Francois' Langur (Trachypithecus francoisi), the endangered Big-headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum), and is home to endemic species such as the Vietnamese Salamander (Paramesotriton deloustali). The site is recognised as an Important Bird Area, supporting more than 1% threshold population of the endangered White-eared Night Heron (Gorsachius magnificus), a species which also has a very restricted habitat range. Ba Be Lake is important for regulating water supply; it provides water for irrigation in the dry season and helps to mitigate floods from four rivers during the wet season. Archaeological evidence from mountain caves indicates that Ba Be was inhabited from the late Pleistocene some 20,000 years ago, up to the Le-Mac dynasties in the 16th century. Threats to the site include infrastructure development, hunting of birds, fuel and solid waste pollution, and clearance of forest for agriculture. The Provincial People’s Committee of Bac Kan Province is responsible for the management of this site. BirdLife International – Viet Nam Programme provided valuable assistance in the listing of this site. Ramsar Site no. 1938. Most recent RIS information: 2010.

Bau Sau (Crocodile Lake) Wetlands and Seasonal Floodplains.
04/08/05; Dong Nai; 13,759 ha; 11°28'N 107°23'E. Cat Tien National Park. A freshwater complex and transition zone between the Great Annamite ecoregion and lower Mekong Delta with Vietnam's last remaining lowland semi-evergreen forests representative of the Indo-Chinese region. Bau Sau is a key habitat for 50 very rare IUCN red-listed species like Siamese Crocodile, Asian Arowana, Black-shanked Douc, Asian Elephant, Wild Gaur, Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon and Smooth-coated Otter, 131 endemic fish and 6 species of turtles, tortoises and terrapins. Several red-listed birds include Pseudibis davisoni, Cairina scutulata, Grus antigone and Leptoptilos javanicus, and plants Dipterocarpus dyeri and Diospyros mun. Despite human activities such as subsistence fishing, hunting and collection of wood products, it is the best-conserved and almost pristine habitat of the national park as a result of enhanced protection by local management. It also serves as a floodwater retention reservoir with significant flow regulation protecting populated downstream localities. An ecological threat arises from invasion of exotic Mimosa pigra and water hyacinth bringing succession from open water to swamp vegetation. Conservation efforts include control of invasive species, crocodile census, waterbird surveys, awareness raising and range patrolling. Ramsar site no. 1499. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Con Dao National Park. 18/06/2013; Ba Ria-Vung Tau; 19,991 ha; 8°42’N 106°38’E; National Park. Con Dao is an archipelago of 14 islands located some 80 km off the coast of southern Viet Nam. Con Son, the largest of the islands at 5,700 ha, is situated at its centre. Con Son and Hon Cau are the only two islands in the archipelago with year-round freshwater supplies. The site supports a representative range of coastal and terrestrial ecosystems that are important for the biogeographic region. There are low montane Melaleuca forests inland, while along the coast there are dry forests as well as shallow marine waters, coral reefs, seagrass beds, intertidal flats and mangrove forests. These wetland habitats are particularly intact and support a high biodiversity. Some 355 coral species have been recorded, of which 56 are classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Also present are the critically endangered mangrove, Bruguiera hainesii, and the critically endangered Leatherback Turtle Dermochelys coriacea and Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricate. The archipelago has been inhabited for 4,000 years. Traditionally managed capture fishing is allowed, and local people have also adopted other livelihoods including tourism-related ventures. Con Lon was established as a prison island in the 19th century by the French colonial government, and the prison camp is today preserved as a national historic site. Ramsar site no. 2203. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Mui Ca Mau National Park
. 13/12/12; Ca Mau; 41,862 ha; 08°41'00"N 104°47'32"E. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, National Park, BirdLife IBAs. Situated at the southernmost tip of Viet Nam, Mui Ca Mau supports the largest remaining area of mangrove forests (13,400 ha) and intertidal mudflats (26,000 ha) in the Ca Mau Peninsula as well as the Indochina Mangroves biogeographic region. Originally, the site held some 1.6 million hectares of natural wetlands but the vast majority of the mangrove was destroyed during the Vietnam War and, later, by conversion to aquacultural ponds and agricultural land. Rehabilitation efforts began in the late 1990s as a result of the decline in shrimp production and the later establishment of Mui Ca Mau National Park. Most of the aquacultural ponds inside the park have been abandoned and now support extensive areas of re-colonising mangrove forest. It is the only place in the country where two different tidal regimes interact, which contributes to the aggradation that is building new mud-flats and creating favourable habitats for many species, such as the critically endangered Four-toed Terrapin Batagur baska, the endangered Hairy Nosed Otter Lutra sumatrana and the endangered Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor. The site also provides important stopover and wintering habitats for a large number of waterbirds. Ramsar Site no. 2088. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Tram Chim National Park. 02/02/12; Dong Thap; 7,313 ha; 10°42'49"N 105°30'12"E; National Park. One of the last remnants of the Plain of Reeds wetland ecosystem, which previously covered some 700,000 ha of the Mekong Delta in southwestern Viet Nam. The site is one of the very few places in the region where the Brownbeard Rice (Oryza rufipogon) communities survive. The wetland supports 9 bird and 5 fish species that are globally threatened, including the critically endangered Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis and the Giant Barb Catlocarpio siamensis. The site regularly supports more than 20,000 waterbirds in the dry season, and more than 1% of population of 6 waterbird species, especially the Easter Sarus Crane Grus antigone sharpii. The near natural landscape of the park serves to break wave energy during the flood season, helping to protect the houses of about 20,000 people along its eastern and southern dykes, as well as having a significant capacity to mitigate the damage from floods and droughts for the downstream part of the Mekong Delta. The beautiful landscape of the park attracts visitors internationally. The site has historical values as during the American-Vietnam war many battles took place in the plain. The park is a rich source of grass for fodder, trees for fuel and, most importantly, fish, which provide the main source of protein for local people. Ramsar Site no. 2000. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Xuan Thuy Natural Wetland Reserve. 20/09/88; Nam Ha; 12,000 ha; 20º10’N 106º20’E. Strict Nature Reserve. Delta and estuary islands supporting the last significant remnants of coastal mangrove and mudflat ecosystems in the Red River Delta; includes land enclosed by sea dikes, with fringing marshes. A critically important area for migratory waterbirds and shorebirds, regularly supporting several globally threatened species. Human uses include fishing and aquaculture yielding up to 10,300 tonnes per year, rice production yielding 40,000 tonnes per year, duck rearing, bird hunting, and reed harvesting. The mangrove forest is of considerable importance in maintaining the fishery, as a source of timber and fuelwood, and in protecting coastal settlements from the full impact of typhoons. Ramsar site no. 409. Most recent RIS information: 1992.

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