The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on March 22 launched an afforestation festival at the Son La Hydropower Plant.

The event, held in the northern mountainous province of Son La and attended by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, is a key component of National Assembly and Government resolutions regarding the planning, construction and operation of hydropower projects.

Addressing the ceremony, Deputy PM Hai said afforestation will help water resources become more stable, thus raising the operational efficiency of hydro electric plants.

According to the official, between 2006 and 2013, the country completed 205 hydropower projects which were built on nearly 20,000 hectares of forestry land in 27 cities and provinces.

However, there have been only 11 provinces so far approving projects to plant trees over areas of 2,600 hectares, the Deputy PM said.

He asked project investors to strictly observe the Government’s instructions on afforestation while requesting the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to coordinate with localities in supervising the work.

Pham Le Thanh, General Director of the Electricity of Vietnam, said the group has considered afforestation as one of its responsibilities for the community, noting that the deed helps prevent erosion, ensures ecological safety and improves the environment around the plants.

The EVN has instructed project managing boards to carry out afforestation to make up the converted forestry land.

MoIT Minister Vu Huy Hoang voiced his happiness with the significant contributions of hydropower plants to ensuring national energy security, curbing the impact of floods and irrigating and helping spur localities’ socio-economic development.

Statistics released by the ministry show that a total of 50,950 hectares of forest across the country have been converted in the service of hydropower projects.

Inaugurated in December, 2012, the Son La Hydropower Plant, seen as a project important to national energy security, is striving to grow 300 hectares of forest which were previously used for power purposes.-VNA