The northern localities have so far this year planted 40,720 hectares of forest. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The northern localities have so far this year planted 40,720 hectares of forest, declining 6.1 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Rapid tree planting has been seen in the north central region with 12,051 hectares, up 26.3 percent and the Red Delta region with 6,635 hectares, down 8.7 percent.

Meanwhile, afforestation in the northern midland and mountainous region experienced a year-on-year drop of 17 percent with 22,034 hectares of trees.

The localities continue to plant and take care of their forests so that they will bring high economic efficiency.

Vietnam aims to increase the nationwide forest coverage to 42 percent, equivalent to 14.4 million hectares, by 2020, according to the target programme on sustainable forest development during 2016-2020 recently approved by the Prime Minister.

The country expects to achieve yearly forestry production growth rate of 5.5-6 percent and have artificial forests produce 20 cubic metres per hectare per year. Exports of woodwork and forestry products are forecast to fetch 8-8.5 billion USD.

Under the programme, 15 percent of degrading forests, especially special-use forests, will be recovered and preserved by 2020.

Additional 100,000 hectares of special-use forests will be planted while the number of rare species which are on the brink of extinction will be increased.-VNA