Plant for the Planet
Summary of Activities and Results
CECAD had several meetings with the Forest Protection Agency of Tra Vinh province to agree on the plantation process, care and protection plans, including:
- The Forest Protection Agency has closely cooperated with CECAD and advised CECAD to select a suitable company of supplying seedlings and planting mangrove trees.
- CECAD and the Forest Protection Agency set up a new monitoring mechanism: The Forest Protection Agency works with the Forest Protection Unit of Cau Ngang District, which is in charge of Cau Ngang District Forest Protection Station, to monitor the contract compliance of the company that is chosen to take care of and protect the newly planted forests even after the project has come to an end. This mechanism is documented in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Forest Protection Agency and CECAD.
In compliance with the Bidding Law and the Decree 63/2014 / ND-CP, CECAD selected contractor for plantation, forest care and protection with Mo Phu Xanh LLC. This company has capacity and has implemented many mangrove plantation projects in Tra Vinh province before.
Up to July 17, 2018, the Mo Phu Xanh company had planted two hectares in Ap Nhi, My Long Nam Commune, Cau Ngang District, Tra Vinh province. As of July 30th, the Mo Phu Xanh company had finished planting the remaining 2 hectares of mangrove forest in Ap Nhi, My Long Nam Commune, Cau Ngang District, Tra Vinh province. During the field trip in the first week of October, CECAD staff members, along with local authorities have confirmed that the planted forests meet the standards as stipulated in the contract, technical procedures were well complied, the planting solution was appropriate to the local conditions, and the time of planting was in accordance with the schedule of the tide of the commune. The planting site is located in Subdivision 2, Zone 9, Plot 28a, Ap Nhi, My Long Nam Commune, Cau Ngang District, Tra Vinh province and the tree survival rate is 95%.
After the field trip, the Mo Phu Xanh Company, CECAD and local authorities have signed a Final Acceptance Certificate and Contract Liquidation Agreement to confirm that the contract has been successfully completed following all the criteria, obligations and requirements. In addition, CECAD, the Mo Phu Xanh Company and the Forest Protection Sub-department of Tra Vinh have also signed an Asset Transfer Agreement and Contract Commitment on the protection of the newly planted forests. From now on, the Forest Protection Sub-department will be responsible for the management and monitoring the protection of the planted forests. In the case where the Mo Phu Xanh Company fails to comply with the contract or no longer be able to replant and replace dead trees with new seedlings, the Mo Phu Xanh Company will have to return the money equivalent to the amount of unfinished work to the Forest Protection Sub-department. The Forest Protection Sub-department will then make an official announcement to all the stakeholders and find another company to complete the contract.
Tra Vinh Provincial Forest Protection Sub-department, Duyen Hai District People’s Committee, Forest Protection Unit, People’s Committee of My Long Nam Commune and local people are very supportive of the project.
During the process of implementing the project, the local weather and rainfall patterns were also in favor of the plantation process, thus the project was carried out smoothly.
The Mo Phu Xanh Company has high-quality seedlings, their forest planting teams are professional, technical forest plantation leader knows well the tide calendar and local wetland characteristics. All of this has greatly contributed to the success of the project.
Korean Group Visit to Tra Vinh
On May 23rd, 24 Korean groups of visitors from SK Innovation and UNEP Korea arrived at Tra Vinh for the planting event which was held on May 24th. In the evening, at Tra Vinh Guest house, an educational program on the importance of protecting the local environment and mangrove forests as well as how to plant mangrove trees was organized for all visitors.
The planting event took place in Ap Nhi village, My Long Nam commune, Cau Ngang district in the morning of May 24th with the participation of the SK Innovation staff and 42 local people in My Long Nam commune. As a result, 1000 seedlings of mangrove trees – Sonneratia caseolaris were planted on the area where soil erosion took place, and the signboard of the project was installed at the planting site.
Along with planting activity, the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed at the Communal People’s Committee’s Headquarters. The MOU was a cooperation agreement among SK Innovation, UNEP Korea, Tra Vinh Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and My Long Nam Commune and Saigon New Port Corporation on Mangrove reforestation and environmental education project in Tra Vinh.
In the afternoon, Korean visitors visited My Long Nam B Primary School and gave presents to students. 100 students received presents, including balls, stationary and toys; they also played with foreign guests. Students had a good time while playing and talking to Korean visitors. All students were happy, excited and grateful for the presents the Koreans gave them.
The project and the event attracted the attention and support of the local authorities and local people. As a result, the preparation for the planting and MOU signing event went well and the objectives of the event as well as of the project were well achieved.
Environmental Education Activities
As mentioned in the progress report, CECAD, My Long Nam B Primary School, Duyen Hai Forest Protection Unit and the People’s Committee of My Long Nam Commune had agreed to develop an Environmental Education Plan for the students and local communities.
a. My Long Nam B Primary school
On August 15th, CECAD and the principal of the school arranged a meeting to discuss about the organization of the contest entitled “Understanding and creating a slogan on the value of mangrove forests” as well as the contents of the lesson based on the materials that CECAD had provided. The teachers of My Long Nam B school were very excited about the activity. It was the first time since the school was constructed that they could participate in such an extracurricular activity. Later on they were provided training on design of lesson plans as well as how to deliver the lesson to the students by CECAD staff members.
On August 17th, the teachers delivered lesson to 200 students of the school on the importance of the mangrove forests to the environment and the well-being. After that, a field trip orientation and instruction on how to participate in the contest were conducted for the students by teachers.
A field trip to discover the local mangrove forests was organized for 100 students from My Long Nam B Primary School. CECAD invited an officer from the Forest Protection Sub-department to be the guide during the field trip. At the planting site, the students had the chance to better understand the project as well as seeing other creatures living in the forest with their own eyes.
On August 22nd a committee of judges was established. Mr. Nguyen Van Go, Vice Chairman of the My Long Nam Communal People’s Committee, an officer from Forest Protection Sub-department, together with 2 teachers of the school were invited as the judges for the contest.
On August 23rd, the contest committee selected the best 5 among 24 contestants for the prizes as follows:
- 1st Prize: “Conserving green forests for the future generations” – by Nguyen Thi Thanh Tra Grade 5.
- 2nd Prize: “Protect our forests – protect our lives” – by Tran Tue Sang Grade 5.
- 3rd Prize: “Listen to the voice of the forests” – by Nguyen Thi Huyen Tran Class Grade 5.
- Consolation Prize 1: “Forest is our home, let’s protect our forest” – by Nguyen Dang Tuong Grade 5.
- Consolation Prize 2: “Protect our green forests – Protect our dreams” – by Duong Van Quy Grade 5.
Announcement was made on 5th, September.
- The 5 best slogans will be printed as propaganda banners placed at the School, the Communal People’s Committee and Forest Protection Station in the fourth quarter of the year.
b. Local communities
In August 2018, CECAD staff members conducted training program on Environmental Education for the local communities of Ap Nhi, My Long Nam Commune. The program consisted of 2 training sessions, with a total of 150 people from the beneficiary communities. The main activities of the program include: TOT training for plantation team, training program for the local communities, debate contest and Q&A for the local communities. The training program aimed to raise the awareness of the local communities on the importance as well as protection of the mangroves forest by stating the current environmental problems of Tra Vinh province, the role of mangrove forests in protecting the coastal line and coping with climate change. The images of mangrove trees plantation that have been captured by CECAD staff were served as visual aids for the training. At the end of the training, a debate contest was organized with the help of the Youth Union and local Women’s Union. During the 2 sessions, the local communities also had the chance to communicate with the local authorities, representatives of the People’s Committee, project members of CECAD through Q&A sessions.
The whole program went smoothly and both the school and local people were very excited about the education program. In the near future, the school and the Commune People’s Committee will discuss the solutions and plans and commitments they are going to make to ensure that the villagers and students in the commune will improve their understanding of the importance of the mangroves to local people’s life, and help students learn more about the nature, environment, and current status of the local forests.
The Environmental Education program was filmed by Tra Vinh Television Station and aired on Tra Vinh TV channel.
Contributions of the Project
CECAD has worked very hard together with UNEP Korea, SK Innovation and Tra Vinh’s local authorities to plant 4.5 hectares of mangrove forest in the coastal area in My Long Nam Commune where soil erosion has seriously taken place. With the initial results achieved and with the participation of the Tra Vinh Provincial Forest Protection Sub-department, Duyen Hai Forest Protection Unit and the People’s Committee of My Long Nam Commune as well as active participation of the teachers and students on My Long Nam B school, CECAD hopes that the project will greatly contribute to the protection of the mangrove forests in Tra Vinh, which in turn will help local communities be more resilient to climate change.
In addition to its immeasurable ecological services, mangrove forests also play a pivotal role in the socioeconomic aspects of our society. If managed in an effective and sustainable manner, mangroves can provide a reliable source of income, protection, and food for local populations, alleviating poverty, contributing to food and social security, and, in a larger context, the economic development of the countries in which they are situated.
Interviews with the local people revealed that mangrove forests offer a wide range of socioeconomic values to the local community. Many fish are found near mangroves, and local fishermen depend greatly on the forests to provide fish for their families. Mangrove forests also provide shelter and habitat for the clams which are raised by the two local cooperatives. Mr. Hung – a member of the clam farming cooperative said that since the mangroves were planted, clam farming has become much more effective because the forests keep the clams from drifting away to the sea by tidal waves. Mangrove leaves can be used as cattle feedstock (especially for goat) and its fruits can be made into jam or used as an ingredient for cooking. Local beekeepers have been setting up their beehives close to the mangroves in order to use the nectar in honey production.
Regarding the environmental education activities, at least 150 people of Ap Nhi village and 200 students of My Long Nam B school have directly benefited from the project. Through a series of activities, the project staff members of CECAD have disseminated the importance of the mangrove forests to the environment, human life, and their benefits to ensure the stability of the local people’s lives in the context of climate change. These beneficiaries will later be the key in raising awareness of local people of the mangroves and their importance in local socio-economic development in periodical or annual commune/village meetings.
CECAD has worked closely with Tra Vinh Provincial Forest Protection Sub-department, Duyen Hai Forest Protection Unit, My Long Nam Forest Protection Station, and My Long Nam commune’s People’s Committee during the implementation process of the project. All the discussions have taken place in a very open and productive way. In general, project activities were well implemented and in accordance with the original plans. The awareness of the local people and students of the importance of the mangrove forests was heightened. Local authorities and local communities were supportive of the project and have been actively participated in the protection of the mangrove forests. As such, the mangroves will greatly contribute to the sustainability of local livelihoods and increased resilience of local communities to climate change.