Sunday, August 20, 2017 - 12:49:05

Vietnam strives to raise forest coverage to 45 percent

VNA Print

Illustrative photo (Source: baotainguyenmoitruong.vn)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on May 4 announced the National REDD Action Programme, which aims to increase forest cover to 45 percent of national territory and contribute to an 8 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The programme is to trim greenhouse gas emissions by stemmig deforestation and forest degradation, sustainable management of forest resources, conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks by 2030.

It also targets improved quality of natural and planted forests to increase carbon stock. Another goal is job creation to improve living conditions and ensure security and national defence.

Vo Dinh Tuyen, Deputy Director of the Department of Sectorial Economy under the Government Office, said the programme would be implemented across the country, with priority given to hot spots of deforestation and forest degradation, and regions affected by climate change, as well as areas having the greatest potential for forest carbon stock enhancement.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice and provinces and cities people’s committees will all join the programme.

To reach the targets, Tuyen said, the land use master plan and land use plans will be continuously reviewed and updated to ensure the target of 16.24 million hectares of forest land is achieved by 2020.

Participants will also promote sustainable and deforestation-free agriculture and aquaculture, as well as improve forest governance and livelihoods for people living near and in forests.

Enhanced forest production and long-term rotation timber plantation business models will be evaluated and replicated.

At the conference unveiling the plan, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also announced Directive No 13 of the Central Party Secretariat on strengthening the Party’s leadership in forest management, protection and development.

Nguyen Quoc Tri, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, said that in the context of global climate change, Vietnam is expected to be one of the five countries hardest hit by climate change.

In recent years, increasing demand for timber and forest products was a driver of illegal logging and illegal timber trade, and a major threat to the country’s natural forests. Demand also grew for conversion of forests and forest land to other uses, he said.

“Directive No 13 aims to mobilise a strong engagement by the whole political system, empowering and demonstrating the determination of the whole society to overcome the above-mentioned shortcomings, to meet the requirements of country development and timely response to climate change,” said Tri.

Under the directive, concerned organisations and ministries will strengthen communication to encourage considerable changes in awareness and sense of responsibility of Government officials and Party members, businesses, communities, households and individuals in forest protection and development.

Actions will be taken to suspend and reclaim land in projects involving forest land conversion in violation of the ecological system, seriously affecting production and the lives of people in the project area.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan, about 25 million people are living in and near forest and mountainous areas in Vietnam.

Thanks to efforts to prevent deforestation and plant forests, the country's forest coverage increased from 33.2 percent in 2010 to 41.19 percent in 2016.-VNA
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