Forest coverage to rise to 47.25 percent in 2017 hinh anh 1IIllustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The forestry sector will protect, develop and sustainably use existing forest areas and land fund for forest development with a view to raising the country’s forest coverage to 47.25 percent in 2017.

This is one of the focal tasks of the sector during 2017 put forth at a conference held by the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on December 19 in Hanoi.
Next year, the sector also targets an increase of 6.2-6.5 percent in the forestry production value and a forest product export value of 7.3-7.5 billion USD.

It also aims to raise productivity, quality and promote the value of each type of forest while ensuring sufficient raw materials for wood processing, paper production, thus meeting the demand for timber and other forest products at home and abroad.

Nguyen Bai Ngai, deputy head of the VNFOREST, said the sector completed four out of six forest protection and development goals in 2016. The two missing goals were concentrated forest planting (96 percent of the target) and forest protection using the State budget (62 percent of the plan).

The forestry production value in 2016 is estimated to up 6.5 percent and the wood export value is expected to hit 7.3 billion USD. The output of concentrated forest reaches 17.3 million cu.m, exceeding the yearly plan by 23.6 percent.

MARD Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan said the sector needs to take more drastic and creative measures to address existing problems such as deforestation, illegal transportation and storage of forest products.

The sector should focus on restructuring by forming value chain, boosting connectivity between forest owners and wood processors, and reorganising forestry companies, he said.

He stressed the need for a domestic supply chain with the formation of three hi-tech forestry zones which house support industry for wood processing and introduce local forest products.-VNA