Illustrative Image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Up-to-date information on forest coverage, forest fires, and silviculture are fully integrated in the Management Information System for Forest Sector in Vietnam (FORMIS) software, which is useful for the State management and the building of forestry strategy.

At a forum on information and forest resources database held in Hanoi on June 6, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan said that Vietnamese people can control their forest resources, ensure food security and diversify their income by using the software.

The forestry database, which is available at http://maps.vnforest.gov.vn should be popularised so that data could be fully exploited, he said, adding that it should be an open source because it does not only serve the forestry sector, but other sectors and the whole society can access and use the data.

The database was developed under the phase two of the FORMIS project (FORMIS II) financed by the government of Finland, the Trust Fund for Forests and the Vietnamese Government.

According to Nguyen Binh Minh, deputy director of the FORMIS II project, the database includes statistics from the National Forest Inventory and Statistics (NFIS) which was integrated with national forest inventory data of all 60 provinces with forest coverage.

Tapio Leppanen, chief consultant of the project, said that the database was the achievement of the whole country.

He expressed his hope that it will be updated and used effectively and everyone can access the database.

The openness of the database will help strengthen its feasibility and transparency, he noted.

Participants at the forum agreed that the software would be updated and provide accurate information. In addition, local officials’ capacity must be improved to handle information, mechanisms and policies to further develop the project.-VNA