The Philippines will plant more areas of mangrove to prevent a repeat of the vast damage caused by typhoon Haiyan earlier this month.

A spokesman of President Benigno Aquino said on November 24 that the move is one measure of a comprehensive environmental protection programme in the wake of the typhoon.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said they hope to begin planting soon because it takes five to seven years for mangroves to grow.

The country’s government has been encouraging the protection of mangrove areas not only for their natural defence against storm surges and waves but also because they halt the erosion of coastlines, act as nurseries for marine life and even serve as carbon sinks against global warming.

The country is readying the programme, which will include "no-build zones" in coastal areas, even if it means moving residents from such places, the spokesman said.

He added that geo-hazard mapping by the environment department will identify which areas are vulnerable to natural disasters like storms and floods.-VNA