The role of mangrove forests as precious resources for local communities was highlighted as a significant component of “blue carbon” ecosystems at an international conference in central Thua Thien-Hue province on November 21, making them a valuable asset in the context of sustainable carbon financing and climate change mitigation.
The conference, with the theme “Leveraging Plural Values of Mangroves for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Goals”, drew the participation of global experts, government officials, and local stakeholders, to explore the multifaceted role of mangroves in environmental and community well-being, according to a press release from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Participants also shared lessons and experiences relating to mangrove forest management, protection, and development, the inclusion of mangroves in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and harnessing the potential of mangroves’ blue carbon in financing their protection and restoration.
It was co-hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the UNDP, and the Thua Thien-Hue Provincial People’s Committee.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Quoc Tri emphasized the Vietnamese Government’s dedication to enhancing forest management policies. He also highlighted the importance of improving the effectiveness and economic value of coastal mangrove forests in Vietnam, urging coastal provinces to reinforce mangrove protection and afforestation efforts.
“After this workshop, MARD will continue to direct specialized units to refine forestry policy mechanisms for governmental approval and develop technical guidelines,” he said. “I urge coastal provinces to intensify forest protection and coastal afforestation efforts.”
Ms. Ramla Khalidi, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, praised Vietnam’s leadership in mangrove conservation. She highlighted cooperative projects undertaken with MARD, including the planting and rehabilitating of over 4,000 ha of mangrove forests and an upcoming project financed by Canada to protect and generate an additional 600 ha.
She also mentioned the cooperation under the UNDP’s Climate Promise, supported by the UK Government, to conduct carbon stock assessments in Vietnam’s 28 coastal provinces and identify sustainable financing pathways and the potential of high-integrity carbon markets under future implementation of the Paris Agreement’s Articles 6.2 and 6.4.
Mr. Vu Tan Phuong from the Vietnam Forest Certification Office (VFCO) presented the critical role of Vietnam’s forestry sector in carbon storage and emissions reduction, the forestry development strategy, and greenhouse gas mitigation measures that align with the NDCs for climate targets.
He also touched on the carbon market development plan that focuses on creating a legal framework and infrastructure for carbon trading, aiming to engage the private sector in low-carbon economy development and leverage business competitiveness.
Ms. Maitreyee Mukherjee, an expert from Singapore, analyzed carbon markets, carbon taxes, and Emissions Trading Systems (ETS) and their potential role in sustainable forest management, highlighting the importance of carbon credits in global environmental strategies. Singapore is the first ASEAN country to launch a progressive carbon tax in 2019, covering 80 per cent of national carbon emissions and providing an economy-wide price signal.
Mr. Trieu Van Luc, Vice Director of the Department of Forestry at MARD, presented a report on Vietnam’s “Protection and Development of Coastal Forests for Climate Change Response and Green Growth Promotion 2021-2030” project.
He highlighted advancements in policy and technical guidelines for sustainable forest management, achievements in forest protection and afforestation, and the challenges faced, including land use issues and difficulties in mangrove plantation.