Central Highlands targets 49.2 percent in forest coverage in 2030 hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) region aims to raise its forest coverage to 49.2 percent, and forest area to 2.72 million hectares by 2030.

Tay Nguyen has the second largest forested area among regions in the country with nearly 2.56 million ha (statistics in 2019), accounting for 17.5 percent of the national figure.  

The region boasts a great potential for forestry-based economic development. The forests play an important role in protecting the local ecosystem, biodiversity and water resources, and regulating the climate for not only regional localities but also the central coastal, southeastern and Mekong Delta regions.

However, reports from the regional localities revealed a strong decline of forest area and quality.  

The contradiction between the rising need to develop food production, long-term industrial tree, and nature conservation, biodiversity, along with free migration are major issues that are putting pressure on the natural forest and forest land.

The region has also recorded an increasing number of deforestation cases, and illegal exploitation, trading, and transportation of forest products, especially in border areas, special-use forests, nature reserve areas, and areas with abundant forest resources.

Regional localities have yet to pay attention to building forestry technical infrastructure, and protecting and developing forests. Meanwhile, the change of forest use purpose in a number of localities is not strictly controlled.

According to official statistics, the region’s natural forest area in 2019 reduced by 15,753 ha, and the forest coverage was 45.92 percent, down 0.09 percent compared to the previous year.

In 2019 and the first five months of 2020, the Central Highlands provinces discovered 1,309 cases of deforestation, 644 cases of illegal forest exploitation, and 2,120 illegally trading cases of  forest products.
According to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, the four-year implementation of the Prime Minister’s instruction on restoring forest has produced remarkable results.

Forestation work has received due attention, with Dak Lak province alone planning to plant 1,770 ha of forest this year.

A conference to be held in Dak Lak on June 22 will assess the implementation of the target programme on sustainable development of forestry in 2016-2020 and outline measures to promote forest protection and forestry in Tay Nguyen./.