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 Development of a Computerized Aid to Integrated Land Use Planning at Regional Level - A Case Study in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Chu Thai Hoanh

Sub.-Institute for Water Resources Planning & Management

Land use planning is an essential activity in any country. The greatest challenge in land use planning is how to incorporate the diversity in land use, including `biodiversity' and `sociodiversity', into the planning process. The objectives of this study are to develop and implement a method and corresponding software system for integrated land use planning at regional level in irrigated areas, and to test the method and the system in a case study. 

A Computerized Aid to Integrated Land Use Planning, "CAILUP", was formulated. CAILUP focuses on integration in land use planning at different hierarchical levels, of bio-physical and socio-economic factors, of  local expertise and global (international) expertise, and computer technology and land use planning. The CAILUP approach takes into account the diversity in land use by integrating promising land uses for agriculture, fisheries and forestry with land uses for other purposes. 

CAILUP consists of four units: a core expert unit, a database unit, a GIS unit and a model unit. Simulation modelling is the technique applied in CAILUP to achieve integration. The mathematical model comprises 14 sub-models, each represents an analytical step assessing the impact of interventions in land use on water resources, production,socio-economics, environment at farm and at regional levels. Outputs from the model are linked to GIS for spatial and temporal analysis. 

CAILUP was developed and tested successfully for the Quan Lo Phung Hiep region in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Water management to prevent salt water intrusion and to increase the supply of fresh water from the Mekong river is considered a key intervention for development of the region. Main objectives of water management are to increase total food production and income, to improve living conditions and to limit negative environmental impact. CAILUP was used in analysing the effects of different construction schedules and land use strategies. 

To be developed and applied successfully, CAILUP requires suitable conditions in terms of human resources, data and information, hardware and software packages. Although these conditions have been adopted,development and applications of CAILUP are still confronted with many challenges, each deriving from the existence of two alternatives in three main issues: integration, modelling and applications.

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