A mangrove planting project of the Vietnam Red Cross (VRC) has brought many benefits for eight northern coastal provinces since it was launched in 1996.

Under the project, funded by the Red Cross societies of Denmark and Japan, over 10,000ha of mangrove forests have been planted in these localities, contributing to protecting the environment, preventing windstorms and easing local socio-economic difficulties.

Researchers from the Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES) carried out a survey to assess the effectiveness of the project in the two districts of Nga Son and Dien Chau in the central provinces of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An respectively.

The findings showed that a total of 720 ha of mangrove forests were planted and restored in the two localities, saving nearly 20km of their dykes from natural calamities such as flooding, flood-tide and landslides.

Though the flora in the two districts only accounts for around 31 percent of the mangrove flora in Vietnam, the number of living individuals found there, such as shellfish, crab and mussels, is much higher than that of other places in the country.

This demonstrates the rich biodiversity in the areas, creates a valuable seafood source for local people and plays an active role in environmental rehabilitation and coastline protection.

With 75-80 percent of the population involved in catching creatures in the mangrove forests after harvest time, local people’s income has improved remarkably, reducing the number of labourers leaving their hometowns to seek jobs in cities.-VNA