Protecting and developing forestry is one of the key solutions to sustainable poverty alleviation, which ought to be built into policies benefiting all residents in mountainous areas.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh made the statement while chairing a conference in Hanoi on February 2 to discuss the draft resolution on forestry protection and development in line with poverty reduction for ethnic minorities through 2020.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has drafted the resolution, which stipulates doubling State support to 400,000 VND per hectare annually for special-use and protective forests.

The State will also facilitate forest rehabilitation with financial amounts corresponding to the intensity of the initiatives: 1 million VND per hectare annually within 6 years for low-intensity efforts; and 2 million VND per hectare annually within the first three years and 1 million VND per hectare annually for the next three years for more intensive projects; as well as reforestation efforts for timber production.

Deputy Prime Minister Ninh asked ministries and relevant sectors to review current policies on forest protection and development to address shortcomings and improve enforcement efficiency.

He added that the draft resolution should encourage residents to make full use of forest land for developing production and livestock with by offsetting interest costs from bank loans.

He said the State has adopted a number of policies in the field, noting the rate of poor households in remote, sea, island and border areas has reduced by over 5 percent annually, 1 percent above the yearly target. However, the proportion of poverty-stricken families in ethnic minorities remains as high as 50 percent, he added.

At the conference, participants agreed to issue specific legal documents and suggested expanding the target beneficiaries for households of the Kinh ethnic majority group living under the poverty line and ensuring equality between forest-covered and non-forest-covered ethnic minority areas.-VNA