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Clam farmers to pay protection fee

Update: November, 24/2014 - 09:35
Clam breeding has yielded a significant income for residents, providing around VND100,000 (US$5) per day. — Photo nguyenlanhung

HCM CITY (VNS) — Clam co-operatives have been asked to pay a fee to protect mangrove forests that play an important role in white-clam breeding in the Mekong Delta.

"Mangrove forests have reduced tidal erosion for alluvial ground and transformed organic matter into fresh food for clams. They have also reduced organic pollution from domestic aquaculture and agriculture," said Professor Hoang Nghia Son, head of the Institute of Tropical Biology, who spoke at a conference held in HCM City last week.

"More than anyone else, farmers who breed clams should bear the responsibility to protect, plant and take care of mangrove forests," he added.

The conference, which discussed the linkages between clam breeding and mangrove forests, was held to build the first stage for Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) policy, which would require clam co-operatives to pay an annual fee to protect and develop mangrove forests.

Clam breeding has yielded a significant income for residents, providing around VND100,000 (US$5) per day.

There are nearly 94,000ha of mangrove forest in the Mekong Delta and 150,000ha around the country, and over 2,100 clam grounds in the delta area.

"Many farmers don't recognise the benefits from mangrove forests for clams, and this national conference is necessary to build a policy," said Andrew Wyatt, Mekong Delta programme manager at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The conference was organised by the Institute of Tropical Biology, IUCN and Mangroves for Future.

Attending were more than 100 delegates, including scientists, representatives from the clam co-operatives and Mekong Delta provinces' departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Science and Technology, and management boards of national parks. — VNS

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