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Mangrove tree project aims to shelter battered Mon State coast

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More than 400 local residents were joined by government officials to plant over 2,600 mangrove trees on coastal land in southern Mon State.

The ‘Mangrove Maintenance and Planting Festival’ was held on Monday in the Pharlain region of Ye Township with support from the Ye Township Forestry Department and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation. Participants included forestry officials, members of the Myanmar Police Force and the border area’s Ethnic Group Development Department.

Group plants mangrove trees along Mon State coast (Photo: MNA)
Group plants mangrove trees along Mon State coast (Photo: MNA)
It is hoped the mangrove trees, planted along a 20-acre stretch in Pharlain, will benefit local rice growers by lessening the impact of wind and water along a crucial embankment.

Environmentalists have also pushed for the planting project, citing benefits to local ecology.

A decade after high tides slammed into the banks of nearby Inndin Village 20 years ago, destroying over 700 acres of farmland, an artificial embankment was installed. Now locals say harsh weather has slowly worn down the protective bank.

Community leaders proposed the plan to cultivate mangrove trees to the Ye Township Forestry Department last August, hoping to buffer against rising waves and reduce the risk posed by natural disasters.

“It was very enjoyable to join the mangrove tree planting festival. We only expected to plant around 1,550 trees, but residents gathered as many saplings as they could,” said U Win Aye, an official from the Ye Township Forestry Department.

The Inndin Village tract is also an affected area of the proposed coal-fired power plant project led by the Toyo-Thai Corporation Public Company Limited (TTCL). Residents have opposed the project, citing concerns about negative impacts on local environment and livelihoods.

Conservation projects in Ye Township currently encompass 299 acres of mangrove trees, and the local Forestry Department plans to expand the area and cultivate more trees.

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