Ao Chau is a natural fresh water lake situated in Ha Hoa District, Phu Tho Province. The lake is the home to 49 fish species of high economic value. It has a capacity of about 15 million cubic metres, and supports the socio-economic development of the district.
However, the lake faces water pollution due to the communities’ solid and liquid waste, household and animal husbandry activities, and the uncontrolled use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers in agricultural production. The lake’s biological resources have been threatened by water pollution and overexploitation of the lake’s resources. Deforestation in the area has also caused the problem of sanitation in the lake. The community has encroached and developed part of the lake into fishing ponds in recent years.
The project is being carried out in the three communes situated around the lake. It aims to develop a community model to protect biodiversity and promote the sustainable use of a natural lake’s biological resources. The project is developing and implementing a zoning and management plan for the sustainable management of the lake. An integrated management plan for water and land aims to conserve biodiversity, and sustainable use of natural resources in the area will be developed. A community-managed model to treat household waste and to vegetate barren land is being developed to address the issues of sanitation and water pollution. Simple technology in treating solid and liquid waste, and developing the VACR model (garden, pond, cage and forest) is being taught to the community. The project gives priority to awareness raising and education activities among the local authorities, relevant agencies, and communities, especially the school children and youth.