Afforestation in Can Gio Biosphere Reserve in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)

Binh Thuan (VNA)
– Binh Thuan province on July 26 announced an action plan in realisation of the “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation” (REDD+) initiative for the 2016-2020 period.

The central province is one of the six localities nationwide to pilot the UN-REDD+ Programme Phase II.

The 466 billion VND (20.7 million USD) action plan will be implemented in 41 communes of seven districts and townships across the province, focusing on managing and protecting 153,000 hectares of existing forests and planting 6,000 hectares of new forests.

It also aims to develop community-based forestry and improve all-level authorities’ State management on forest protection while promoting the effective management and use of forests and forest land, and supporting the livelihoods of locals who live on forest.

In order to make the action plan effective, Binh Thuan will step up communication campaigns to raise public awareness of forest interests and attract more investment in creating sustainable livelihoods for local people, especially ethnic minorities and those living in remote areas, said Mai Kieu, deputy head of the Steering Committee of the UN-REDD Binh Thuan Programme.

The province will develop materials areas nearby wood processing factories and combine forest development with bio-diversity conservation, he noted.

Binh Thuan is home to 350,000 hectares of forest land, accounting for 50 percent of its natural land area, with a forest coverage rate of 41.6 percent. It aims to raise the rate to 43 percent by 2020.-VNA