Illegal logging in Dak Lak (Photo: VNA)

Nghe An (VNA) – The forestry sector will work to increase its average production value to between 5.5 and 6 percent a year, forest coverage rate to 42 percent, and export value to at least 8 billion USD annually from now to 2020.

The goals were proposed at a conference to review the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s forest protection and development between 2011 and 2016 and set out tasks for 2016-2020 held on March 17.

As heard at the function, during the 2011-2016 period, which was set for forestry restructuring, forestry production value grew 6.57 percent per year on average, while the rate of forest coverage inched up from 39.7 percent to 41.19 percent.

The average forestry export value between 2011 and 2015 stood at 6.52 billion USD per year, more than doubling that of the previous five-year period. It hit 7.3 billion USD in 2016.

Participants pointed to obstacles facing the sector during the period, such as illegal logging, timber trafficking, and ineffective implementation of forest planting plans.

The contribution of the forestry sector to the national economy is still low, far from its potential, they added.

These issues had various causes, including mild penalties imposed on violations in some localities, as well as troublesome forest land planning and impractical scientific research and technology transfer in others.

Based on those facts, goals were set for 2016-2020, targeting the development of a sustainable forestry sector, with a total budget of nearly 59.6 trillion VND (2.6 billion USD). 

Addressing the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung acknowledged the sector’s achievement between 2011 and 2016 and urged the ministry to press ahead with completing the 2016-2020 target programme on sustainable forestry development.

He ordered the ministry and involved State agencies to tighten the management of forest land planning, mobilise capital from society in implementing the programme, and complete policies and mechanisms on forest protection and development, among other tasks.

He stressed that efforts must be made to realise the common goals of increased productivity and quality, climate change adaptation, and poverty alleviation.

The agricultural ministry took the occasion to propose that the Government arrange capital for forest protection and expansion projects, prioritise ODA-funded forestry projects, particularly in the Central Highlands, as well as soon approve a report on the feasibility of the sustainable forestry programme and a forest restoration project for the Central Highlands. -VNA