Environment improvement and restoration and sustainable development of mangroves ecosystem in Quang Tri Province

 
Before and after waste collection in abandoned shrimp ponds6

Abandoned shrimp ponds before and after waste collection, Tan Xuan Hamlet, Gio Viet Commune, Gio Linh District, Quang Tri Province © IUCN Vietnam, 2013

Objectives

The project aims to improve environment quality in the mangroves areas and restore mangrove ecosystems at abandoned shrimp ponds at Tan Xuan Hamlet, Gio Viet Commune, Gio Linh District within Thach Han Downstream, Quang Tri Province.

Background

The rapid expansion of shrimp farms is said to be one of the main reasons causing a significant decrease in mangrove coverage in Tan Xuan Village. Due to the growing persistence of saline water intrusion and pollution, shrimp farming became less economically viable. Many households abandoned their shrimp ponds, which subsequently became waste dumping sites for the whole village; endangering the remaining mangroves in the area.

Previously, a project tried to reduce solid waste pollution by establishing a landfill site in one village where people from surrounding villages could dump their trash and by arranging for garbage trucks to take household waste to the landfill. However, almost all the villagers were fishermen who believed that bringing waste from other villages brings bad luck. Therefore, after the project ended the garbage trucks were not used anymore and the waste pollution remained an issue that needed a long-term solution.

QTCEMT proposed an SGF project for dealing with village waste collection and treatment as well as improving water quality in the polluted shrimp ponds by cleaning up the dumped waste and replanting mangroves around the ponds.

Target beneficiaries

- 246 households in the commune

- 10 abandoned shrim ponds owners

Outputs

- 60% of local people and local authorities demonstrate improvement in their awareness of the importance of environment protection and roles of mangroves in climate change response;

- Local people in Tan Xuan Commune dispose trash in approved places as opposed to dumping in mangroves areas;

- Regulations on protecting the environment, managing rural waste and protecting mangroves in the project area are formulated;

- 2 hectares of mangroves are planted around shrimp ponds. 

Accomplishments and challenges

  • The levels of awareness and behavioral change of local people towards environmental protection and mangrove conservation positively changed. The dumping of waste in mangrove areas stopped and the disposal of waste was appropriately carried out in designated garbage bins. Furthermore, the abandoned shrimp ponds and mangrove areas were cleared up and restored.
  • A self-financed waste collection method was successfully established when the CPC was arranged to contract with an urban company to collect waste every 10 days. Each household paid VND 10,000/month (US$ 0.50) to the waste collection company. As of June 2013, two neighboring villages also jointly pay the waste collection fees, thus reducing the costs per household, because the collection fee was charged per trip. 
  • Two hectares of replanted mangroves created an incentive for the owners to take care of their shrimp ponds that were previously abandoned for years, as they expect that in a few years the ponds will become productive again. The survival rate after 2.5 months was measured to be 99%. Within Quang Tri province, this was the first project using mangroves to restore abandoned shrimp ponds and this created positive  publicity despite the small scale of the replanted mangrove area.

Contributions to cross-cutting themes

- Climate change

- Communications

Lessons Learned

  • At the design stage of a project, it was found necessary to take into account the cultural customs of the people in the project site (e.g. bringing in garbage from other villages is considered unlucky). The application of traditional values to the project activity of establishing garbage collection points in each village contributed to greater impact in awareness and garbage collection, as compared to other projects. It is also important to identify who among the target groups are for and against the project, so as to identify suitable communication methods to get foster their support.
  • It was found that local champions and people with influence should be the focal points to foster buy-in and involvement into the project. In the case of the project; this included the chief of the village or a person whose voice is respected.
  • The most effective way to raise awareness and inspire behavioral change of the local community was when the grantee facilitated opportunities for them to witness first hand successful models undertaken by other communities through exposure trips/ exchange trips/ peer to peer learning. 
  • In addition to technical consultations with experts on mangrove restoration, indigenous knowledge obtained from community members was also found to be extremely helpful.

Project Facts

Country

Location

Tan Xuan Hamlet is located in Gio Viet Commune, Gio Linh District, Quang Tri Province

Topic

Duration

1st Sep 2012 to 30th Jun 2013

MFF Grant Amount

VND 324,140,000

Implementing Partner

Mrs. Bui Thi Thuy Nhi (Project Coordinator)

Quang TriCenter for Environmental Monitoring and Technology

Address: Highway 1A – Dong Giang Ward - Dong Ha City - Quang Tri Province

Tel: 84-53 3527115

Fax: 84-53 3555623

Email: buithuynhi@gmail.com

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