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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Environ. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2019.00186

Linking earth observations for assessing the food security situation in Vietnam: a landscape approach

  • 1Spatial Informatics Group, LLC, United States
  • 2Space Technology Institute (Vietnam), Vietnam
  • 3University of Colorado Denver, United States
  • 4Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Thailand
  • 5Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA), United States
  • 6Institute of Water Resources Planning, Vietnam
  • 7Forest Inventory and Planning, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam

Land cover change and its impact on food security is a topic that has major implications for development in population-dense Southeast Asia. The main drivers of forest loss include the expansion of agriculture and plantation estates, growth of urban centers, extraction of natural resources, and water infrastructure development. The design and implementation of appropriate land use policies requires accurate and timely information on land cover dynamics to account for potential political, economical, and agricultural consequences. Therefore, SERVIR-Mekong led the collaborative development of a Regional Land Cover Monitoring System (RLCMS) with key regional stakeholders across the greater Mekong region. Through this effort, a modular system was used to create yearly land cover maps for the period 1988 - 2017. In this study, we compared this 30-year land cover time-series with Viet Nam national forest resources and agricultural productivity statistics. We used remote sensing-derived land cover products to quantify landscape changes and linked those with food availability, one of food security dimension, from a landscape approach perspective. We found that agricultural production has soared while the coverage of agricultural areas has remained relatively stable. Land cover change dynamics coincide with important legislation regarding environmental management and sustainable development strategies in Viet Nam. Our findings indicate that Vietnam has made major steps towards improving its' food security. We demonstrate that RLCMS is a valuable tool for evaluating the relationship between policies and their impacts on food security, ecosystem services and natural capital.

Keywords: Food security, Land cover & land use, Earth Observation, land cover change, SERVIR

Received: 27 Jun 2019; Accepted: 07 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Poortinga, Nguyen, Tenneson, Troy, Bhandari, Ellenburg, Aekakkararungroj, Ha, Pham, Nguyen and Chishtie. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Ate Poortinga, Spatial Informatics Group, LLC, Pleasanton, United States, apoortinga@sig-gis.com