Hue City, November 21, 2023 - The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with Thua Thien Hue Provincial People’s Committee, successfully hosted an international workshop, "Leveraging Plural Values of Mangroves for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Goals." The event convened over 70 on-site and 100 online participants, including global experts, government officials, and local stakeholders, to explore the multifaceted role of mangroves in environmental and community well-being.
The workshop highlighted the roles of mangrove forests as precious resources for local communities and a significant component of "blue carbon" ecosystems, making them a valuable asset in the context of sustainable carbon financing and climate change mitigation. It created an opportunity for global south countries to learn good practices and share lessons and experiences relating to mangrove forest management, protection, and development, inclusion of mangroves in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and harnessing the potential of mangroves’ blue carbon in financing mangroves protection and restoration efforts.
In his remarks, MARD Deputy Minister, Mr. Nguyen Quoc Tri, emphasized the Vietnamese government's dedication to enhancing forest management policies. He highlighted the importance of improving the effectiveness and economic value of coastal mangrove forests in Viet Nam, 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. I urge coastal provinces to intensify forest protection and coastal afforestation efforts," he stated.
Ms. Ramla Khalidi, the UNDP Viet Nam Resident Representative, praised Viet Nam's leadership in mangrove conservation. She highlighted collaborative projects undertaken with MARD, including the planting and rehabilitating of over 4,000 hectares of mangrove forests and an upcoming project financed by Canada to protect and generate an additional 600 hectares. She also mentioned the collaboration under UNDP's Climate Promise, supported by the UK Government, to conduct carbon stock assessments across Viet Nam's 28 coastal provinces and identifying 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.
"The rapid loss of mangroves poses a severe threat to coastal resilience, biodiversity, and the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on these ecosystems for sustenance. The restoration of mangroves is not merely an environmental imperative; it is a moral obligation to future generations," she highlighted.
Mr. Alex White, Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, the United Kingdom said "The UK recognises the importance of mangrove forests in addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, and sustainable development, and their valuable role in supporting climate resilient and nature positive green growth. Our collaboration with the UNDP on Forests, Land Use and Nature focuses on understanding the benefits of these important ecosystems, and it is good to see examples of our joint work in Viet Nam."
The workshop featured insightful presentations from international and national experts. Ms. Clea Paz-Rivera from UNDP underscored the global significance of mangroves in carbon sequestration and coastal protection. Mr. Vu Tan Phuong from the Viet Nam Forest Certification Office (VFCO) presented the critical role of Viet Nam's forestry sector in carbon storage and emission reduction, the forestry development strategy, and GHG mitigation measures that align with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for climate targets. He also shared 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. Experts from Sri Lanka and Indonesia also provide insights on mangroves rehabilitation initiatives in their respective countries, emphasizing the urgency of preserving these vital ecosystems in the face of global climate challenges.
Ms. Maitreyee Mukherjee, an expert from Singapore, analyzed carbon markets, carbon taxes, and Emission 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% of national carbon emissions and providing an economy-wide price signal.
Mr. Trieu Van Luc - Vice Director of the Department of Forestry, 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 mangrove plantation difficulties.
The workshop concluded with a consensus on the need for global and local actions to safeguard mangrove forests. Recognizing their indispensable role in biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and supporting local economies, participants called for enhanced cross-sectoral collaboration, sustainable financing, and the integration of mangrove conservation into national and international climate policies.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Phan Huong Giang
UNDP Media and Communication Analyst, Climate Change and Environment