In Vietnam, mangroves have experienced consistent deforestation pressures from the 1960s onwards, particularly from the use of wartime defoliants in the south and subsequently throughout its coastline and from conversion to aquaculture production under economic reforms (doi moi) beginning in 1986. Although mangrove replanting and conservation has been carried out by a range of mass organizations and non-governmental organizations (such as the Vietnamese Red Cross and Women’s Union) from the mid-1970s onwards, the multiple types of negative impacts of mangrove loss have come into clear focus in recent years within the context of climate change.
The development of new policies and laws focused on coastal forests and their environment has created a new policy arena to identify innovative and effective participatory approaches for coastal spatial planning, as well as creating effective institutional arrangements for the governance and management of mangrove forests. Given that mangroves along the Red River Delta coastline are an important focus both because that coastline faces intense storm events that create significant flooding risk and damage to existing sea dikes, as well as their climate mitigation/adaptation potential, the provincial governments are newly directing significant attention to mangrove planting and management setting ambitious targets.
This intervention, supported by the Tenure and Global Climate Change (TGCC) Program, is to be implemented under the umbrella of the Vietnam Forests and Deltas (VFD) Program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and managed by Winrock International. The aim of this intervention called “Our Coasts – Our Future” is to support the development of coastal spatial planning at the commune and district levels so as to facilitate better mangrove conservation and protection given their key role in climate change mitigation and adaptation.