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Spatial statistics
National parks
Biosphere reserve
Land cover
Mekong Delta
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Ho, H. L., Park, E., Tran, N. T., Nguyen, T. H. D., & Nguyen, T. C. (2021). An enhanced analytical framework of participatory GIS for ecosystem services assessment applied to a Ramsar wetland site in the Vietnam Mekong Delta. Ecosystem Services, 48, Article 101245.
Public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS), though proven valuable in ecosystem services (ES) research, is occasionally criticized for being expensive in terms of time, cost and administration efforts in case the post-hoc sophisticated spatial analytics/statistics are targeted. This study, based on the enhancement of the pre-developed PPGIS analytical framework, seeks to address these critiques by introducing an in-expensive effective data collection strategy, while substantially facilitating geo-spatial analytics. The U Minh Thuong National Park (UMTNP) in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, a world’s renowned Ramsar site, was chosen to demonstrate the framework. The respondents participated in the participatory mapping on paper maps, using color markers to hand-draw (as polygons) their self-perceived areas associated with different categories ES. By collecting 2D data, the post-hoc spatial analyses could have utilized more meaningful statistical methods. In this study, we introduced the uses of three methods: Ordinary least squares (OLS), Geographically weighted regression (GWR) and Moran’s I to assess the spatial autocorrelation of ES across the landscape. In addition to participatory mapping, the respondents were also engaged in completing a semi-structured questionnaire, which was subsequently analyzed using principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis. These two multivariate analyses serve to reveal the structured diversity of the people’s perceptions towards the importance of different ES. It was shown that Provisioning ES was the most highly regarded benefit, followed by Regulating, Supporting and Cultural. Regulating and Supporting ES, the two indirect material services share relatively similar appreciation patterns while Cultural ES was unexpectedly the least credited, a stark contrast lineagainst the government designated eco-tourism and historical functions of UMTNP. Geographically, the core areas of the national park have the most overlaps between Provisioning and Regulating services. Supporting services, on the other hand, were the most associated with Provisioning and Regulating services in peripheral areas. Cultural services were synergized with the other three types of ES in the areas reserved for eco-tourism activities. The revealed spatial synergies can determine the areas where potential conflicts between extractive and non-extractive uses could occur, contributing insights for sustainable management of UMTNP and other protected areas worldwide. In addition, this study also contributes to promoting the PPGIS method in ES research and other human geographical studies, those relying on community participation.
This is the original draft, prior to peer-review, of a manuscript published in Ecosystem Services. The published version is available online at
Grant ID: 
Start-up Grant for New Assistant Professor (Grant no.: SUG-NAP EP3/19)
Funding Agency: 
National Research Foundation, Singapore
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