A man tends to newly planted trees (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The planted forest area in Vietnam reached 128,800 hectares in the first eight months of this year, a year-on-year decline of 8.7 percent, due to floods in northern mountainous provinces in August, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Of which, the protective and special-use forests covered 8,400 hectares, down 1.4 percent against the same period last year, while the forests for commercial purposes spanned 120,400 hectares, down 9.1 percent year-on-year.

Northern provinces grew over 116,274 hectares of forest, a drop of 10.4 percent, while southern localities planted 12,489 hectares of forest, down 11.4 percent.

Provinces recording progress in afforestation included Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa, Phu Tho, Dak Nong, Quang Nam and Ca Mau provinces.

By the end of 2015, Vietnam’s forest coverage reached more than 13.52 million hectares, making up 40.84 percent. The country aims to raise the rate to 49.8 percent by 2020.-VNA