Oct 22, 2020 / 10:03

HSBC joins hands with WWF-Vietnam in mangrove forest restoration project

The Hanoitimes - The project will support the country’s pledge of increasing forest cover to 45%.

HSBC Vietnam has partnered with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Vietnam to implement a mangrove forest restoration project in Mui Ca Mau National Park in the southernmost tip of mainland Vietnam.  

 The project will support the country’s pledge of increasing forest cover to 45%.

The five-year VND10 billion (US$431,000) project will generate 150 hectares of mangrove forest that will in turn help address serious socio-environmental challenges, such as climate change, water security, water pollution, food security, human health and disaster risk management. 

According to HSBC’s recent report “Tackling the next crisis”, for Asia, climate change is defined as the crisis of the century, not the coronavirus pandemic and Vietnam is among the countries that can be most impacted.

Ho Chi Minh City is among many cities in Asia (besides Mumbai, Shanghai, Bangkok and Jakarta) that are being increasingly threatened by rising sea levels. The country is also ranked in the top five for agricultural sector risk scores by Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and HSBC, and typhoon-induced damage on agricultural production is set to increase.

On the other hand, Asia is not just on the receiving end of climate change: it has become an integral part of perpetuating the problem. The region has accounted for 87% of global greenhouse gas and 78% of CO2 emissions growth since 1990. Among reasons which could be so preventable, deforestation has become a major emissions contributor in Southeast Asia including Vietnam.

“We intend to actively contribute to Vietnam’s efforts in tackling climate change which is a critical issue facing the country. HSBC provides funding to assist with preserving the environment and helping support activities that also protect and enhance nature so that future generations can live in a cleaner, greener, safer and more sustainable world,” said Tim Evans, CEO of HSBC Vietnam. “By investing in this project in Mui Ca Mau National Park, HSBC Vietnam will play an important part in building Vietnam’s resilience against natural disasters and climate change so that families, communities and businesses can thrive in the future”.

Within the scope of the project, HSBC Vietnam works alongside conservationist experts from WWF Vietnam to develop a far-reaching and innovative program that will nurture the vulnerable ecology of Mui Ca Mau National Park, the Mekong Delta and beyond. The project is expected to support Vietnam’s commitment in the Paris Agreement which is a 8%-reduction in emissions by 2030 (compared to business as usual levels) or 25% conditional, upon international support. Specifically, the project will also support the country’s pledge of increasing forest cover to 45%.

150-ha mangrove forest is regenerated by applying newly developed natural mangrove regeneration technology to ensure the highest possibility of tree growth. When reaching maturity, this 150-ha mangrove forest will be able to sequestrate at least 20,000 tons of carbon per year, reducing CO2 levels. The mangrove trees will also form a buffer between the land, sea and rivers, helping maintain this patch of the Mekong Delta and shield it from natural disasters.

In addition, this new forest area will provide ecosystem services for more than 10,000 households to be protected from flooding and to improve their fishery spawning ground by up to 350-390 tons of seafood per year. This project is also poised to explore best management practices and disseminate those to buffer zone communities for alternative livelihood solutions.

Another component of the project will also feature an education program on forest protection and biodiversity conservation for about 3,000 households in the core zone of the national park, raising their awareness about conservation issues.

Mr. Van Ngoc Thinh, Country Director of WWF-Viet Nam said: “The green and just response to the current environmental crisis as a whole at the heart of recovery strategies, investments and decisions and actions through this partnership will contribute to reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 to reach sustainable development goals and future proof our country.”

“The contribution of corporates in the community cannot just be limited to conducting business in a sustainable manner, and/or contributing to the overall economic growth of the country but they must also use their resources to try to minimize any negative environmental impact and help improve the living standards of the community”, added Mr. Evans, “With a presence of 150 years in Vietnam and as a leading international bank, we also see part of our mission in the country to help preserve its nature and environment”.