President launches New Year tree planting festival hinh anh 1President Tran Dai Quang in Bac Kan (Source: VNA)
Bac Kan (VNA)President Tran Dai Quang launched the New Year tree planting festival in Bach Thong district, the northern mountainous province of Bac Kan on February 21 (the sixth day of the Lunar New Year).

On November 28, 1959, President Ho Chi Minh wrote an article which was published on Nhan dan (People) newspaper, stressing the significance of tree planting to each person, each family and the entire nation. It has since become an annual Vietnamese customs each Lunar New Year.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, 235,000ha of concentrated forests and over 60 million scattered trees were planted nationwide last year. Meanwhile, 6.1 million ha of forests were protected and 335,000ha were zoned off for forest regeneration.

The number of violations in forest management and protection decreased by 23 percent, the total acreage of damaged forests fell by 68 percent annually, and forestry export hit 8 billion USD. The rate of forest coverage reached 41.45 percent, making contributions to the common growth of the agricultural sector.

In accordance with the Target Programme on Sustainable Forestry Development for 2016-2020, the sector targets raising forestry production value by 6-6.5 percent, increasing forest coverage to 42 percent and forestry export to 10 billion USD by 2020, contributing to mitigating natural disasters and reducing poverty in combination with new-style rural development and ensuring national defence-security.

Speaking at the event, President Quang underlined the strategic significance of tree planting and forestation amidst global warming and climate change.

He called on ministries, agencies, localities and people nationwide to raise public awareness of forest protection and prevent illegal logging.-VNA