Capacity building for sustainable development in North Vietnam

Establishment and application of a geographical information system (GIS) including spatial remote sensing applications, to support sustainable environmental planning in the northern coastal provinces of Quang Ninh and Hai Phong

Funding agency: Belgian Federal Science Policy (BELSPO) - T4/02/65d

Research associate: Lieven Verbeke

Promoters: Robert De Wulf, Luc Hens (VUB)

Duration: 11/2000 – 09/2001


Project objectives

The overall aim of the integrated project is to elaborate a GIS database concerning environmental issues of the Quang Ninh / Hai Phong region. In the end, this database will be used for analyses and governmental decision support. Capacity building for research of the environment and support of the national and local authorities is a second goal of the integrated project. The project’s specific objectives are:

  1. Development of a GIS database of the Quang Ninh / Hai Phong region
  2. Construction of maps for supporting sustainable environmental planning
  3. Capacity building at the Vietnamese institutes participating in the project
  4. Organisation of a workshop to present the results of the project
  5. Publication of the workshop reports
  6. Scientific support from Belgium and carrying out several expert missions to Vietnam
  7. Elaboration of a report concerning the importance of Remote Sensing techniques and GIS for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
  8. Support of two Vietnamese researchers that are obtaining a PhD degree

FORSIT will take care of land cover mapping and change analysis. Therefore, a methodology for classifying remotely sensed images will be developed. More detailed, the specific tasks are :

  1. Development of a methodology for the classification of satellite images
  2. Development of a methodology to perform a change analysis on the landcover maps made
  3. Incorporating very high resolution sensors (IKONOS) in the classification and analysing process
  4. Carrying out a field mission to the area of interest
  5. Production of land cover / land change maps of the Quang Ninh / Hai Phong region (1/50.000)
  6. Production of detailed maps for two core areas: Cat Ba Island and Hai Phong harbour (1/10.000)

Project partners

  • Unité d’Hydraulique Agricole,  Faculté de Sciences Agronomiques de Gembloux (FAGEM) (
  • Département de Géomorphologie et Télédétection - Université de Liège (Ulg, Belgium,
  • Vietnam National Centre for Science and Technology - Institute of Geography (Vietnam)
  • Marine Remote Sensing and GIS Department - Hai Phong Institute of Oceanography (HIO, Vietnam)
  • Hanoi University of Science (Vietnam)
  • Spacebel (

Key publication

Danckaert, F, Van Coillie, F., Verbeke, L., De Wulf, R.. “A Zoning Plan for Cat Ba National Park, Vietnam.” Tropical Forestry Research in the New Millennium : Meeting Demands and Challenges : Proceedings of the International Conference on Forestry and Forest Products Research. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Forest Research Institute Malaysia, 2003. 494–495.