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In 1989, Save the Children Fund (UK) began an experimental project to plant mangroves along a coastal estuary in the Thach Ha district of Ha Tinh province in northern central Vietnam. It was designed and managed by the district forestry and water management officials and implemented through the commune People’s Committees. This article looks at the project’s goals, with environmental and production oriented views. Its sustainability is judged and the longer-term issues of sustainability, including financial support, ownership rights and enforcement of protection are also addressed. The project has been a basis for a sustainable model of environmental protection and income generation. There are both economic and general benefits, including: protection against salination of fields through flooding; a reduction in time spent on dyke repairs; increased potential for aquaculture in the area; protection against the wind for houses and boats; increased fishing activities; sale or use of seedlings; and increased availability of wood for fuel. It is hoped that this project will promote similar work in other parts of Vietnam. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.

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