Mangrove forest in Trà Vinh Province. – VNA/VNS Photo
TRÀ VINH – The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Trà Vinh plans to grow new forests from now to 2025, increasing the province’s total forest area to 10,000ha and reaching a forest coverage rate of 4.2 per cent.
To meet the targets, the province is providing funds to individuals, households and organisations responsible for growing new mangrove forests and protecting existing forests.
Individuals, households and organisations who grow new forests on an area of more than 0.3ha will receive no more than VNĐ37 million (US$1,600) per hectare to buy seedlings.
This is 4.5 times more than the financial assistance given previously.
Individuals and households responsible for protecting forests will be given VNĐ500,000 ($21) per hectare a year. The money will be provided for up to 15ha to individuals and 30ha to households.
Phạm Minh Truyền, director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the support policies aim to protect the environment and protect against the impact of high tides, rising sea levels, and erosion along the province’s 65km coastline.
These support activities have helped to create livelihoods for households, especially shrimp – forest farms, that have provided sustainable incomes in coastal areas.
The province has more than 9,160ha of forests, mostly mangrove forests, and a forest coverage rate of 3.63 per cent, according to the department.
Of the total forest area, more than 4,000ha are planted by households in the coastal districts of Duyên Hải, Cầu Ngang, Châu Thành, and Duyên Hải Town.
The households also breed black-tiger shrimp or other aquatic species in the 4,000ha of mangrove forests.
The shrimp – forest farming model requires low investment cost, has a low risk of disease, is environmentally friendly, and is sustainably efficient.
Households that breed shrimp or other aquatic species in mangrove forests earn an average income of VNĐ70 million ($3,000) per hectare a year, according to the department.
Last year, the province turned nearly 3,800ha of protective forests into commercial forests to improve incomes for households who protect and exploit forest resources.
The move was done to improve the management and protection of forests.
The province has sought donations at home and abroad to grow forests and train human resources for forest management and protection.
It has also encouraged the use of advanced techniques, including the use of digital forest data at all management levels.
In 2015 - 20, the province’s coastal districts of Duyên Hải, Cầu Ngang, Châu Thành, and Duyên Hải Town planted a total 625ha of new forests.
The province’s People’s Committee has zoned a total area of 23,984ha for forest development. – VNS