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Tien Giang could lose forest buffer to climate change

Update: March, 02/2015 - 20:40
Recent sea water levels have eroded and destroyed parts of the preventive forest in the Go Cong coastal region, Tien Giang Province. — Photo vov.vn
TIEN GIANG — The mangrove forest in Tien Giang's province Go Cong coastal region could disappear forever if effective solutions are not identified and implemented immediately, worried officials say.

They say that the forest, which acts as a crucial buffer protecting sea dykes, preventing flooding, facilitating agricultural production and protecting the life and livelihoods of thousands of residents, is threatened by climate change impacts.

The online newspaper of Voice of Viet Nam (VOV) reports that the region has about 700ha of preventive forest of mainly mangroves and ban (Sonneratia pagatpat) and mam (avicennia) trees.

The report does not mention human actions that have led to deforestation, but cites officials as saying rising sea water levels have "killed" or eroded parts of the forest, narrowing its area.

For instance, numerous key spots along the sea dyke stretching more than 200km from Tan Thanh Commune to Vam Lang Commune in Go Cong Dong District are no longer protected by the forest, which has led to sea water encroachment that has penetrated the base of the dyke.

Forest trees are being uprooted or dying of other causes, the VOV report says.

It cites an official of the Tien Giang Dyke and Preventive Forest Management agency as saying there are at least 10 spots in Go Cong Dong District's Tan Dien Commune where the forest has been eroded by between four to 10 meters.

Provincial authorities say they have made all-out efforts to popularise afforestation and forest protection activities, intensified patrols to spot violations of the forest of the sea dyke, to patrol, examine and deal with any violations to forest and invested hundreds of billions of dong to build concrete dykes.

These activities are designed to defend a 3,500m-long dyke major portions of which have lost the protective buffer provided by the forest.

However, the province lacks the resources to reforest the areas affected by excessive salination. Without feasible solutions, the preventive forest along Go Cong coastal region is very likely be erased, the report says. — VNS

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