Land crab management for conservation and tourism development in UNESCO Cu Lao Cham - Hoi An Biosphere Reserve, Vietnam

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Thao, Le Ngoc
Abelshausen, Bieke
Tri, Nguyen Hoang
Land crabs, Gecarcoidea lalandii, native to forest and tidal areas, are considered a tropic factor sustaining the food chain and food web in marine-mountain ecosystem/ecotone, and a valuable source of nutrition for tourism and livelihood development. Land crab populations are used as indicators for forest and marine ecosystem health and are considered a contributing factor to the sustainable development of island communities. Cham Island, located in Quang Nam province in central coastal Vietnam is explored as a case study to examine the influence that socio-economic development and natural disasters have on land crab populations and the associated benefits for sustainable development. Attempt for solutions have been offered and implemented by governments, managers, the scientific and grassroots communities to aid in the conservation and sustainable development of this valuable resource. One example, resulting from cooperation between these various actors is the establishment of community management land crab teams, responsible for the sustainable exploitation and protection. Regulations, embedded in the governmental and social organization of the community, serve the purpose of a controlling mechanism by the development and implementation of criteria, indicators and parameters. These include exploitation area, exploitation seasonality, specie’s size, reproduction patterns, and eco-labeling. Besides, local authorities are testing a mechanism for cooperation between the four forces (Government, Scientist, Entrepreneur and Community) in the land crab management, conservation and development. They are promoting one of eight islands to create a sanctuary as a land crab bank of the UNESCO Cu Lao Cham - Hoi An biosphere reserve.
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