Illustration photo. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The forestry sector will focus on promoting the sustainable management and certification of forests in the coming years, according to Ha Cong Tuan, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Tuan made the statement during a conference reviewing the forest sector’s activities in 2015 and preparing for the sector’s main tasks in 2016 held by the Vietnam Forest Administration under the MARD in Hanoi on December 29.

The deputy minister said there were only 157,000 hectares of forest granted certification of sustainable management.

In 2016, the sector aims to increase the country’s forest coverage to 41 percent. The annual forestry production growth is targeted to reach 7 percent in average with total wood product export value of 7.1 billion USD.

This year, the forestry production growth reached 7.92 percent and over 239,000 hectares of forest were planted, accounting for 106 percent of the yearly plan.

The sector exploited 12.8 million cubic metres of wood and collected over 1.25 trillion VND (54.3 million USD) from environmental service fees. Wood product export earnings reached 7.1 billion USD.

About 11.6 million hectares of forest have been handed over to forest management companies and contracted individuals, accounting for 84 percent of the country’s forestland and 71.8 percent of the total land projected for forest industry.

However, the sector failed to achieve the goals of protective forest and special-use forest planting.

At the conference, experts in the field also discussed opportunities and challenges created by free trade agreements to the country’s wooden product exports.-VNA