Rehabilitation and Sustainable Management of Mangrove Forests through International & Cross-Sector Collaboration

Viet Nam has suffered a drastic decrease in mangrove forests in recent decades driven by the growth of aquaculture. The governments of the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam have decided to resolve this issue through cross-sector collaboration between the forestry and fisheries sectors of both governments. Through this cooperation, the two governments will help local people restore and sustainably manage mangrove forests while also improving their livelihoods through eco-friendly aquaculture.

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Mangroves provide multiple benefits to ecosystems and people. These include nursery habitats for important fish species and provision of food resources, as well as carbon storage and coastal protection. Despite these benefits, Vietnamese mangroves have seen a nearly 38% decrease in recent decades. Mangrove forests have been destroyed or degraded due to reasons such as conversion to aquaculture and coastal development. Although there has been progress made in mangrove management, there is still a strong need to restore and sustainably manage mangrove forests.

In this context, the two presidents of the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam have agreed to cooperate on restoring mangroves in Viet Nam during their Summit in 2019. As a follow-up to this agreement, the two governments have joined forces to address mangrove deforestation in a more sustainable and effective way. In particular, the two sides decided to develop Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects that address mangrove deforestation through cross-sector collaboration between the two governments. In these projects, the Korea Forest Service of Korea will share its experience and expertise in successful reforestation while the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) of Korea will transfer aquaculture technologies to Viet Nam. Both government agencies of Korea will cooperate with the forestry and fisheries sectors of the MARD and will work together to restore mangrove forests and promote eco-friendly aquaculture in Nam Dinh and Ninh Binh provinces of Viet Nam.

The forestry sector project is aimed at restoring and sustainably managing mangroves to protect coastlines and local residents from natural disasters such as storms. The fisheries sector project is intended to establish aquaculture infrastructure by providing nursery habitats for fish and shellfish and to develop mangrove mudflat aquaculture for livelihood improvement as well as to promote the sustainable management of fisheries resources.

More specifically, the two governments will restore and sustainably manage 330 ha of mangrove forests and will also engage in activities including joint research, capacity development and livelihood improvement. In addition, they will also collaborate to improve aquaculture production through the transfer of advanced aquaculture technology such as nursery rearing.

Through these joint efforts, local residents will gain multiple benefits. The mangrove reforestation and eco-friendly aquaculture are expected to protect local people from natural disasters and to help stabilize marine ecosystems as well as to increase local people's incomes. Equally important, restoration and sustainable management of mangroves will help increase carbon storage.

The Korean government is also exploring ways to scale up these projects including through REDD plus.

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Year: 2021
Level of government: National/Federal government


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