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October 17, 2019, 7:32 pm

WWF and Microsoft help local people in Thua Thien Hue adapt to climate change impacts

(16:18:18 PM 25/06/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - Thua Thien Hue – In a workshop today, WWF and Microsoft celebrated the achievements of the 2-year project “Enhance mangrove forest to adapt to climate change and conserve biodiversity in coastal lagoon areas in Thua Thien Hue province” (which started in 2012) and announced the continuous support to the project over the longer term with a more integrated approach, in which the community plays an important role and is actively involved.

 

Located along Tam Giang lagoon in Huong Phong commune, Huong Tra district, Thua Thien Hue province - Ru Cha, where the project has been carried out, is a unique ecological system, having cultural and historic values and significantly performing as a shelter to protect local civilians from storms. In recent years, this area had been narrowed down dramatically to only 4.65 ha resulting from unreasonable human practices such as timber production and unplanned development of aquaculture farming.


“Without healthy mangroves, there were fewer aquatic resources for us, since mangroves serve as an important source for food and livelihoods. Our surrounding communities were also left physically vulnerable as they had lost their natural protector from flooding, shore erosion and land salinization, which led to damaged crops, collapsed houses and contaminated aquaculture ponds.” said Mr Nguyen Trong, Deputy Chairman of The Association of Forest Science of Thua Thien Hue Province – the project’s local partner, “The project has tremendously helped improve the mangroves in Ru Cha both in quality and quantity.”


During the last 2 years, more than 23,000 mangrove trees were planted, with over half of them set in local farmers aquaculture ponds to benefit their livelihoods as mangroves help purify water quality and offer an ideal living environment for aquatic organisms like fish, shrimps, crab, providing food for locals as well as working opportunities for members of the community.  Also under the project framework, 300 local people were trained in mangrove plantation and management; and 400 households were helped to improve aquaculture management through implementing the eco-aquaculture models. The new mangrove forest will provide strong coastal protection and significantly increase security from storms and floods during the next decade once they are mature.


“Given the changing perception of local communities towards benefit-sharing and community based management of natural resources and leveraged on international good practice, we have designed the project to not only be participatory but to effectively become part of the community itself to ensure its sustainability.” said Dr. Van Ngoc Thinh, Country Director, WWF. 


An education and information campaign teaches the local community about mangrove values and how to cultivate and manage the new mangrove forests, the local people have become invested in maintaining them so the mangroves will prosper. 


“To further support this beyond the initial seed funding for the mangrove planting of the last 2 years, Microsoft will continue to donate to sustain the project over the longer term in conjunction with its public mobile phones take back / recycling programs in the country.” said Mr. Francis Cheong, Senior Manager, Regional Sustainability, Microsoft “This not only creates the public awareness of the need to conserve the environment but also empowers the public to do their part to protect things they care as well.”


Each time someone recycles an unwanted used phone in any of Microsoft public take back programs, Microsoft will make a donation toward the planting of another tree. In addition, the participant will get to have a mangrove tree planted in their name under Microsoft ‘Recycle A Phone. Adopt A Tree’ program.


The partnership between WWF and Microsoft is established in light of recent extreme natural events and the risks of rising sea levels due to climate changes, especially of the seriously negative impacts on Thua Thien Hue, one of Vietnam’s most disaster prone areas where is frequently hit by storms, floods and other climate related disasters causing human casualties and heavy damages. “We at WWF appreciate the many different ways in which partners support our conservation work. Reflecting the core values of the two organisations, the collaboration work between WWF and Microsoft has been made possible thanks to our shared commitment and strong desire to contribute to a better life of the local communities” said Dr Thinh.

 
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