Strengthening resilience of Mekong Delta coasts with mangrove
On the afternoon of June 10, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Dutch Embassy in Vietnam and the Asian Development Bank held a workshop on "Mangrove afforestation in the Mekong Delta”.
Mr. Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, Director of the Department of International Cooperation (MARD) opened the workshop: in order to enhance the response to climate change, the Party and the Government has issued many documents directing, assigning tasks to the agricultural sector to implement schemes and projects to protect and develop coastal forests.
Accordingly, ADB and the Government of the Netherlands have committed to support the Government of Vietnam in strengthening resilience of the Mekong Delta coasts as well as its people with mangrove afforestation. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is currently developing a project to "Restore and sustainably manage coastal forests in the Mekong Delta and increase adaptability to climate change" in the five coastal provinces of Bac Lieu, Soc Trang, Tra Vinh, Ben Tre and Tien Giang. The proposed project has a total estimated capital of 64 million USD and is expected to be implemented from 2023 to 2029.
According to the Forestry Project Management Board, the project will plant 3,500 hectares of new forests, and restore 1,000 hectares of forests; the project will also develop a sustainable forest management plan for all forest owners, define forest boundary markers. A model of coastal forest co-management for existing forest area and new planting area will be implemented.
In addition, the project is expected to provide technical solutions to create land; build 5 high-tech incubators; plant 3 million scattered trees; set up a forest management and monitoring system; build 25 sustainable aquaculture farming models; build 25 coastal forest eco-tourism models; conduct capacity building and institutional development, forest governance.
The Dutch Embassy and ADB are supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to prepare content and mobilize the Green Climate Fund to co-finance the project.
In order to support MARD and ADB in the early stages of project development, the Dutch Government has appointed Royal HaskoningDHV and Wetlands International to conduct a study on “Mangrove afforestation in the Mekong Delta”, with international lessons learned from a comprehensive overview of the success and failure factors from other mangrove afforestation projects.
In an interview with Vietnam Agriculture Newspaper at the conference, Mr. Tran Quang Bao, Deputy Director of the General Department of Forestry, emphasized the importance of the mangrove ecosystems in preventing coastal erosion, mitigating the adverse effects of the rising sea level, thereby contributing to stabilizing people's livelihoods.
However, with the current interntional development trend of socio-economic, the area of mangroves, especially natural mangroves, has greatly reduced, affecting livelihoods and reducing biodiversity.
Mr. Tran Quang Bao assessed that the project to restore and preserve mangrove forests along the Mekong Delta proposed by the Government of Vietnam, in collaboration with the Dutch Government and ADB is very significant because the Mekong Delta is heavily affected by climate change.
“However, due to the unique topography and flow regime, the restoration of mangroves in the Mekong Delta is facing difficulties. Therefore, the role of local authorities in the project implementation is paramount" said Mr. Bao.
Accordingly, Mr. Tran Quang Bao said that first and foremost, localities participating in the project need to review the land areas where the project can be implemented, and then assess the impact of mangrove afforestation on people's livelihood.
Mr. Willem Schoustra, Agricultural Counselor of the Dutch Embassy, said that the Netherlands has been a partner of Vietnam in implementing the master plan for the Mekong Delta. The project on mangrove afforestation is most ideal for the agenda of the two countries as well as the agricultural transformation process that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is aiming for.
Authors: Quynh Anh - Tuyet Anh
Translated by Nguyen Hai Long
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