The coastal district of Duyen Hai in the southern province of Tra Vinh, where large areas of mangrove forests were destroyed to plant coconuts and breed shrimp, has recovered its mangrove forest with the help of local households.
The destruction of mangroves has also led to the death of on-land forests that have been left unprotected from saline intrusion and strong winds. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hoang
TRA VINH —
Duyen Hai, which has a coastal line of 55km and has the largest area of submerged forest in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province, planted 200ha of new forest last year, according to the district Forest Protection Bureau.
Of that figure, 110ha were planted with capital from the Government for its project to plant 5 million hectares of forest nationwide. Local households contributed funds to plant the other 90ha.
In recent years, local households have contributed funds to re-plant mangrove forests in an area under aquaculture cultivation, mostly for shrimp and crab farming.
Duyen Hai now has more than 6,140ha of mangrove forest, with forest coverage at coastal areas reaching nearly 40 per cent.
Previously, thousands of ha of land were deforested for coconut and shrimp farming.
Mangrove forests declined from 19,000ha in 1975 to 5,429ha in 1992.
To deal with deforestation, district authorities and the district's Forest Protection Bureau have mobilised local households to grow new forests and participate in protecting existing forests.
Over the past five years, the district has offered 20 training courses on techniques to plant various kinds of mangrove trees.
It has encouraged local residents to plant nearly 757ha of new mangrove forests.
In addition, local residents have also contributed their own funds to afforest mangrove on 344ha of land.
Besides encouraging local households to plant new mangrove forests, the district authorities have also allocated a total of 330ha of existing mangrove-forested land for 250 local households to protect.
These households can earn an average revenue of VND25 million (US$1,200) per hectare a year from farming shrimp and other aquaculture species in mangrove forests and from harvesting products from mangrove forests.
The district has also set up 31 forest management teams, which have been operating effectively.
In addition, the district will work with the province's sub-department of Forest Protection to invest VND9 billion ($420,000) for a project to preserve the ecosystem of the 200-ha mangrove forest in Long Khanh Commune during the 2011-20 period.
The Long Khanh mangrove forest is an eco-tourism site with many species of fauna and flora.
According to the Forest Protection Bureau, the forested areas in the district, however, are still small and scattered, and there is a shortage of people who can act as managers of the forests. —VNS