The southernmost province of Ca Mau is striving to plant 2,000 hectares of protective forest along its coastline this year in a bid to improve the ecological balance.

According to Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Van Su, since the beginning of this year the locality has mobilised 1,200 people and hundreds of local forest rangers to plant trees across 340 hectares situated along the coastline, mainly in Ngoc Hien district.

The newly-planted protective forest area is home to trees such as mam (Avicennia) and mangrove (Rhizophora apiculata).

The province now has around 25,000 hectares of protective forest along its coastline, the vast majority in Ngoc Hien. The forest coverage has reduced by 50 percent compared to 20 years ago, with trees cut down to facilitate shrimp farming.

Protective forests not only help prevent coastal erosion and landslides but also increase the balance of the natural surroundings, according to Le Dung, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee. The province aims to plant an additional 2,000 hectares of forest annually to bring the total coverage along the coastline to 32,000 hectares by 2020.-VNA