Young people plant trees in the Can Gio protection forest in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Forest Administration has blamed the recent severe cold weather for partly slowing afforestation progress during the first two months of 2016.

The administration, which is under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, reported that about 2,510 hectares of concentrated forests had been planted across Vietnam by February 20, down 6 percent from the same period last year.

Due to the strong cold in the north in late January and early February, the forest area planted in the region declined by 10 percent from a year earlier to 2,403 hectares, the administration noted.

Meanwhile, the dry weather and local residents’ poor awareness resulted in forest fires in some province such as Vinh Phuc, Lao Cai and Cao Bang in the north and Tay Ninh in the south.

Thirty-two hectares of forests burned down during the first two months, up 25 percent from the previous year, the agency added.-VNA