The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BUM) will provide 1.6 million euros for a project on sustainable management of forest ecosystems for coastal protection in southern Bac Lieu province.

An agreement to this effect was signed between Vice Chairman of the Bac Lieu provincial People’s Committee Pham Hoang Be and German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) Country Director for Vietnam Gunter Riethmacher in Hanoi on April 20.

Under the agreement, the three-year project, to be implemented in Hoa Binh and Dong Hai districts and Bac Lieu town, aims to improve the ecological functionality of coastal forests and the livelihood of people depending on them.

The objective is expected to be achieved through a combination of measures, including coastal forest rehabilitation and biodiversity, conservation of Bac Lieu bird sanctuary, institutional strengthening as well as networking among stakeholders in the coastal areas of the Mekong River Delta.

The project in Bac Lieu province is one of the two projects funded by the BMU in Vietnam . Earlier, the BMU provided 1 million euros for a wind energy development project in central Binh Thuan province during the 2008-2011 period.

On a recent trip to the province, the German Parliamentary State Secretary of the BMU, Astrid Klug, reiterated Germany ’s commitment to supporting projects in Vietnam . “Climate change is the primary concern of the BMU,” she said in a meeting with the Bac Lieu provincial People’s Committee.

Lying in the Mekong River Delta, Bac Lieu is one of the Vietnamese localities greatly affected by the climate change. Rising sea levels and storms of increasing magnitude threaten the poor rural population as well as their rice and shrimp production.

Over the past 20 years, large areas directly behind the protected mangrove forests have been converted into shrimp farms. The land is sold or leased to investors while the local residents are increasingly being pushed into the hinterland, endangering the protective function of the coastal forests./.