Mangroves in Vietnam, are more than just beautiful natural environments and are critical to Vietnamese biodiversity and society. The Vietnamese mangrove, with his incredible flora and wildlife, can be observed only about 2h from Ho Chi Minh City in Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve.
The presence of swamps and numerous natural canals with a mix of freshwater and saltwater are distinguishing features. This has an unexpected effect on the wildlife that lives there, with monkeys seen eating crabs under giant trees with large appearing roots. Mangroves have an important economic value in addition to being stunning natural surroundings, as they help to create “green walls” against rising sea levels and tsunamis. Vietnam, one of the most concerned countries about rising sea levels, has developed a national climate change strategy that focuses on restoring and developing mangroves in the country. Vietnam used to have over 400 000 ha of mangroves in 1943. However, most of it was wiped away and reduced as a result of the last war.
The Can Gio mangrove forest, designated as a worldwide biosphere by UNESCO in 2000, is regarded as the “green lungs” of Saigon’s population. Mangroves are essential for everyday well-being because they act as massive natural filters to clean the air and waste water coming from industrial zones along the Dong Nai and Saigon rivers. On an experimental level, the government decided a few years ago to share the benefits of mangrove development, management, and long-term protection. People now have the right to exploit and use these resources, to grow plants and raise animals there, in exchange for protecting and developing mangroves.