Ben Tre to grow 171 ha of forest this year hinh anh 1Young people in the southern province of Ben Tre plant trees under a protected forest project. (Photo: VNA)

Ben Tre (VNA) – The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre planned to grow an additional 171 ha of forest this year and expected a forest coverage of 2% by 2025, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Director of the department Doan Van Danh said that World Bank’s funding will be used to grow 151 ha of forest, while that from the State budget and private sector will be for the rest. 

The province currently has more than 7,830 ha of forest and forest land stretching along the coast of 11 communes in three districts of Ba Tri, Binh Dai, and Thanh Phu. 

Now, the province's forested land area is more than 4,470 ha, of that there is nearly 2,247 ha of protection, 1,868 ha of special-use, and 355 ha of production forests. The local forests are mainly mangroves with common species with low economic value. However, the forests play a very important role in protecting production areas and residential areas from wind and sea waves, contributing to creating landscapes and protecting coasts.

With a modest area, the coastal mangrove forest in the province greatly helps the locality to mitigate the impacts of climate change and sea level rise while creating biodiversity and livelihoods for the people.

Bui Quoc Thong, director of Ben Tre protection forest and special-use forest Management Board, said that more than 2,800 ha of forest was allocated to households, individuals, and organisations for management and protection.

The forest land is allocated to poor households, those with little production land, or those who have to change their livelihood.

The allocation brings benefits as the forests are managed and exploited more effectively. Moreover, the households can use the water surface in the forests to raise aquaculture and have a stable livelihood.

Since 2021, Ben Tre province has implemented a project of planting 10 million trees by 2025. The province's afforestation activities have grown strongly thanks to the use of capital sources. In 2022, the province planted and rehabilitated 395,000 forest trees, equivalent to 140 ha./.