A closing workshop on 9 January 2020 in Ho Chi Minh City marked the conclusion of the “Scaling up Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in the Mekong Delta” project, which was funded by the IKI over two phases (2012-2015 and 2016-2020).
The project, which was more commonly known as the Mangroves and Markets (MAM) project, successfully addressed the conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems driven by shrimp farming in the coastal Mekong Delta. This was accomplished by engaging shrimp processing and export companies through their supply chains and by working with smallholder farmers in mangrove areas to shift towards organic and sustainable integrated mangrove-shrimp production systems.
Some key quantitative achievements include the conservation of 15,600 ha of mangroves under sustainable management with over 50% mangrove cover; the restoration of 80 ha of mangroves; training for more than 5,500 farmers in sustainable production methods; and the certification of 3,200 farmers and 2 hatcheries. Added to this, at the community level the project managed to raise awareness of local communities and authorities. The project also created linkages between farmers and farmer groups to improve market access, and improved shrimp farming productivity and sustainable practices.
The project was implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in partnership with the provincial governments of Ca Mau (phase 1 and 2), Ben Tre, and Tra Vinh (phase 2).
The project’s multi-stakeholder approach was recognised as essential in delivering results. This approach included addressing public sector needs to conserve and restore mangroves, effective engagement of the private sector, and addressing livelihood security to improve incomes for shrimp farming communities vulnerable to climate change.
SNV aimed to foster ‘systems change’. This is achieved in the MAM project by meeting four key criteria for bringing about systemic change. First, the project kick-started a viable and sustainable market for organic certified shrimp by working with business champions and major players in the shrimp industry. Second is the adoption of the project approaches by the government and others organisations; e.g. the UN-REDD/FAO promoted MAM activities, the World Bank Integrated Coastal Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods project also plans to upscale the project’s interventions. Third, the project has leveraged additional finance by developing aquaculture PFES, which has already provided excess pre-payments from shrimp processing companies to shrimp farmers for maintaining and restoring mangroves on their shrimp farms. Finally, the project changed social behaviours and norms as farmers now adopt organic and sustainable practices.
Contact: Richard Rastall, SNV Vietnam