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Sonneratia Caseolaris and climate change impacts

Hello! My name is Adam, one of the story tellers about mangrove. Well, have you heard that the birds are singing? Have you heard of the wave’s sound? Let’s enjoy the nature with me now! Well, and now, let’s back to our mangrove story.

I’m standing at Nhi hamlet, My Long Nam commune, Cau Ngang district, Tra Vinh province where Bel VN funded planting 1 hectare of Sonneratia Caseolaris in 2023, a very popular mangrove tree in the Mekong Delta. The mangrove story started here since the 1990’s. At that time, there were not any mangrove stripes in this area. And at that time, local people were very miserable whenever storms and tornadoes blew into the mainland. The crops fell down due to strong winds because nothing could stop them.

That explains why the local government planted Sonneratia Caseolaris along the coastline, the estuaries and the islets. They hoped that these trees would become natural defense from the natural disasters. In the local people’s minds in My Long Bac, My Long Nam, or Hoa Minh, etc…, Sonneratia Caseolaris has turned into pioneers at the frontlines. So, what makes them special? Let’s meet Vivian, a friend from MangLub VN.  

Vivian: Hello! Hi Adam! If you want to know the special characteristics of the Sonneratia Caseolaris, just follow me! First, repeat the scientific name: Sonneratia Caseolaris. And now, look at the roots, and you will know why it is called the pioneer trees in the brackish water.

MC: Wow! Are they the roots, Vivian? Wow, I’ve been living in Tra Vinh for years, but this is the first time I’ve seen the so special roots.

Vivian: Yes, they are. Sonneratia Caseolaris is a kind of mangrove trees. Its roost must adapt to the habitat in the areas where storms have usually happened, or where the mud is soft or unstable, tide fluctuations and salinity. Look at this, the roots develop around the trees and in the cone shape. These cone roots are called aerical roots and at the height of 70cm, it aerical roots’ diameter can be from 2cm – 6 cm.

MC: Oh I see. The growth of the roots can tell us how the trees can keep the soil, isn’t it Vivian?

Vivian: Exactly! Thanks to their special root structure, it explains us why many Sonneratia Caseolaris mangrove trees have been planted along the islet, the coastline, and the mudflats. They are the mangroves in the fres and brackish waterways.

MC: tell us more about Sonneratia Caseolaris mangrove trees, Vivian!

Vivian: Like other mangrove trees, Sonneratia Caseolaris trees can be found in tropical areas. A mature Sonneratia Caseolaris tree can live up to 100 years, take at least 10 – 20 years to become mature, can be tall from 7m – 10m on average, but in the favorable condition, it can be tall up to 15m. They have flowers from March to May. Their woods are soft, and used for construction materials only. With its big woody trunks, and special roots, Sonneratia Caseolaris is very helpful for defending the community from strong winds and storms.

MC: well Vivian, here is so cool and comfortable. And God, I have seen lots of jumping fishes here too.

Vivian: are you surprised? Mangrove forests are the heaven for fish, crabs, shrimp…. And other animals like monkeys, birds, etc… Especially, farmers can harvest honey as well, helping improve the local people’s income. Do you know why animals are attracted to these areas? Because the leaves fall down, together with the planktons, they becoming food for aquatic animals. The roots, in addition to protecting the land from erosion, can filter the water and absorb carbon. The mangroves are evergreen, making them a champion in carbon assorption in comparsion to other forest kinds.

MC: I love to hear this! One more thing, I saw there are lots of layers, tall one, low one. Were they planted in many years? The distance between the rows is also very good.

Vivian: Yes, that’s right! Under the sponsor by many customers, MangLub VN has planted nearly 200 hectares in Tra Vinh since 2019 till now. In Cau Ngang, we plant Sonneratia Caseolaris in Ban islet, Nang islet, Hoa Minh. Like for Bel VN, we planted along Nhi hamlet of My Long Nam commune. Each year, we will find out new areas for planting so that the land can be kept as soon as possible.

MC: Vivian, it’s amazing to learn that the nature at our homeland Tra Vinh is so beautiful! Now, I started understanding why many young friends around the world are showing their concerns about mangroves, why big companies like to fund planting mangroves. If no mangrove forests, the crops would not in high productivity, local residents would go everywhere to find jobs, seafood would not be rich, etc… And the next generations will be living in a bad situation if we don’t plant mangrove now.

MC: Vivian, it would be great if you could give us some advice to the young friends on protecting the coastal environment or specifically protection of mangroves?


Vivian: there are a lot. But it would be helpful if you could practice a green lifestyle:


  1. Refuse or reduce: by this method, you should refuse or reduce unnecessary stuffs. And thus, you will not buy things without careful consideration, causing more trashes.

  2. Reuse: reuse is different than recycle. If you recycle, you still throw away something. But if you reuse, you can use the stuff for many times till its life cycle ends.

  3. Compost the leftovers: the leftovers here means from food, from vegetables. We categorize, choose which composting method is suitable to our leftovers. After a while, you will be surprised that many plants, flowers, and vegetables are green around your house, and eventually you can save an amount of money


MC: from what you said, one of the most important things is to reduce the trashes, especially the trashes from offshore areas, which will affect the growth of the mangrove, isn’t it Vivian?


Vivian: yes, it’s true. Mangrove trees can not breathe if trashes around them, causing the roots can not receive the light enough.


MC: I would like to add one point here. You guys can participate in more planting activities, or environmental clubs. Or you can join MangLub VN on the trips of mangrove planting experience for understanding more about mangrove. And now, goodbye!!!!


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