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MEKONGLINK | Glocal Open Innovation Platform in Asia-Pacific Region

Vegetation Mat for Riverbank Erosion Management

This is a non-woven fabric with punched biodegradable PLA and features natural decomposition to prevent seeds from falling apart. It also serves as scour protection against rain or tractive force.

 

Technology Overview

This is a non-woven fabric with punched biodegradable PLA and features natural decomposition to prevent seeds from falling apart. It also serves as scour protection against rain or tractive force.

1. Biodegradable Matrix:

  • PLA non-woven fabric: This is the key element. PLA (Polylactic Acid) is a plant-based, biodegradable fabric made from corn starch or other renewable resources. It acts as a web that holds the seeds together and protects them from the elements like rain and wind. Critically, it’s also designed to decompose naturally, allowing the seedlings to establish themselves.

2. Seed Delivery System:

  • Plant seed (optional): This is a mix of grass and flower seeds that will hopefully germinate through the PLA fabric.

3. Erosion Control Elements:

  • Coir net: This is a natural fiber netting made from coconut husk. It provides a strong, yet biodegradable, layer that helps hold the soil in place and prevent erosion, especially on slopes.
  • Coir fiber (in shell powder): These are likely finely ground coconut fibers, which can help add structure and improve water retention in the soil.
  • Jute net: This is another natural fiber net, made from the strong fibers of the jute plant. It provides additional reinforcement against erosion, particularly from water flow.
 

Technology Video

Problem & Solution

Market Problem: Riverbank erosion scourge in Asia

Current Status:

  • Occurs along major rivers like the Mekong, Ganges, and Yellow River.
  • Erosion rates are rapid, reaching tens of meters annually.
  • The expanding area of eroded land threatens agricultural production, food security, and riverside ecosystems.

Causes:

  • Illegal sand and gravel mining activities.
  • Climate change leading to rising sea levels, frequent floods, and stronger storms.
  • Encroachment on riverbeds for construction, industrial parks, and tourism developments.

Consequences:

  • Loss of homes, land, and riverside infrastructure.
  • Landslide risks endangering lives.
  • Water pollution impacting riverside ecosystems.
  • Disruption of waterway transportation.

Mekonglink solution: Vegetation Mats for Sustainable Riverbank Protection

Overview:

  • Vegetation mats, using natural materials like trees, seagrass, and mud, offer an effective and sustainable solution for protecting riverbanks.

Advantages:

  • Eco-Friendly: Minimizes environmental impact compared to concrete or riprap.
  • Cost-Effective: Utilizes natural resources, ideal for budget-constrained regions.
  • Easy to Implement: Simple installation and low maintenance.
  • Boosts Biodiversity: Supports diverse aquatic and terrestrial life.
 

Application & Case

The Vegetation Mat for Riverbank Erosion Management can be applied in multiple areas, including:

  • Preventing Erosion: Act as natural barriers against water currents, reducing soil erosion.
  • Stabilizing Shorelines: Roots anchor the mats, providing stability and preventing landslides.
  • Enhancing Habitat: Promote biodiversity by providing habitats for aquatic and terrestrial species.
  • Improving Water Quality: Filter pollutants from runoff, maintaining clean river water.
  • Aesthetics: Blend naturally into the landscape, enhancing visual appeal.

Examples of Use:

  • Rivers and Streams: Protect banks in high-flow or flood-prone areas.
  • Coastal Areas: Stabilize shorelines and protect against wave erosion.
  • Islands and Wetlands: Restore damaged shorelines and protect sensitive ecosystems.
  • Restoration Projects: Complement other techniques like replanting native vegetation.
 

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