WWF and Microsoft's joint mangrove project benefits local residents

Nhan Dan Online - The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Microsoft Corporation's jointly sponsored project on planting over 23,000 mangrove trees in a coastal lagoon area in Thua Thien–Hue province has benefited hundreds of local families.

Local people take care of mangrove trees in Ru Cha forest. (photo: WWF)
Local people take care of mangrove trees in Ru Cha forest. (photo: WWF)

The information was revealed at a conference co-organised by the WWF and Microsoft on June 25 to review the implementation and results of the project.

The two-year project, running from 2012 to 2014, was intended to promote mangrove trees in Ru Cha Mangrove Forest in Tam Giang Lagoon, Huong Phong commune, Huong Tra district, Thua Thien–Hue province, in a bid to adapt to climate change and conserve biodiversity in the coastal lagoon.

Ru Cha Forest has a unique ecosystem with rich biodiversity, on which the local community relies for its livelihood. It also serves as a storm shelter for locals. However, in recent years, many human activities, such as logging and land clearing for aquaculture, have limited the mangrove forest to just 4.65 hectares.

Thanks to the project, more than 23,000 mangrove trees have been planted, with more than half grown in aquaculture ponds, helping improve local livelihoods.

The project has also assisted 300 local people to receive training in planting and managing mangrove forest. In addition, it helped more than 400 other households to improve sustainable aquaculture management practices, reduce flooding and cultivate more reliable crops.

It is expected to raise public awareness of the values of mangrove trees and how to take care of and manage them. This should lead to active investment in maintaining and developing mangrove trees.

At the conference, Microsoft pledged to continue supporting the project in the future with more integrated approaches, in which the local community plays the key and active role.