The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee (HCYUC) launched a tree-planting festival at the Truong Bon historical relic site in Do Luong district, the central province of Nghe An, on February 26 with thousands of locals in attendance.

The tree-planting festival, held at the outset of a new year, is an annual tradition initiated by the late President Ho Chi Minh in 1959.

A HCYUC representative said the launch was held at the Truong Bon relic site where a number of fierce battles against the US took place to pay homage to soldiers and youth volunteers who laid down their lives for national independence and freedom.

At the event, Nghe An officials encouraged local State agencies, organisations and people to grow fruit and timber trees among others along coastal areas to prevent soil and wind erosion.

Concrete measures need to be employed to limit deforestation and raise public awareness, the officials added.

Following the launch, participants planted 30 Sao den (Hopea odorata) trees and hundreds of other tree species at the relic site.

The same day, the HCYUC also launched the festival at the Vung Chua-Dao Yen area in Quang Trach district, central Quang Binh province, which houses the tomb of the late General Vo Nguyen Giap.

As many as 120 Bang (Arenga pinnata) trees were planted along the road leading the tomb while more than 3,500 phi lao (Casuarina equisetifolia) trees were rooted along the nearby coast.

In response to the festival, over 300,000 trees were planted by provincial and municipal committees of the Youth Union nationwide since the year began.-VNA