A mangrove forest in Nam Thái Commune in Kiên Giang Province’s An Biên District. — VNA/VNS Photo Lê Huy Hải
KIÊN GIANG The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kiên Giang has undertaken four coastal afforestation projects, planting mangroves, to prevent erosion, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Three are in Hòn Đất and Kiên Lương districts and Hà Tiên City and one is in An Biên District’s Nam Thái Commune.
They cost a total of VNĐ356 billion (US$15.4 million) and are being carried out under a national target programme on climate change response and green growth in the 2016-20 period. They are expected to be 84-90 per cent complete by next year.
One of the projects, in Hòn Đất’s Bình Sơn and Bình Giang communes, for instance, involves the creation of mudflats and planting of 50ha of new forests. It is expected to be 88.5 per cent complete next year.
When they are finished, the four projects will help prevent coastal erosion, bring back mangrove cover, develop forestry – aquaculture, and improve the lives of people in coastal areas, according to the department.
Some 80km of the province’s 200km of coastal dykes are badly eroded.
The erosion occurs particularly in areas where there is no mangrove forest to protect the dyke.
Hoàng Văn Tuấn, deputy director of the department, said the province had planted more than 600ha of new mangrove forests this year.
It costs VNĐ100 million ($4,300) per hectare, including the cost of tending them for three years, according to Tuấn.
Once the trees are fully grown, they will be handed over to the province’s forest management boards.
The province has allocated mangrove forests and forest lands to local people and organisations to protect and use them for aquaculture.
They have to ensure there is forest cover on 70 per cent of the land and can use the remaining 30 per cent for breeding aquatic creatures.
Kiên Giang has zoned 79,853ha, or 12.6 per cent of its total area, for forests. It currently has 71,000ha of special-use, protective and other forests. VNS