President Truong Tan Sang launched a national tree-planting festival at a ceremony on Feb. 18 at Ho Chuoi Military Post relic, the former base of Yen The Uprising, in northern Bac Giang province.

President Truong Tan Sang stressed the importance and practical benefits that tree plantation brings to the country, families and everyone, especially in the context of climate change and environmental pollution all over the world.

He called on the entire nation to actively join hands in the festival, which has become an annual event every spring since President Ho Chi Minh initiated the activity in 1959.

Together with local officials and people, Sang planted trees in the historical site and offered incense in memory of Hero Hoang Hoa Tham and soldiers who fought the French colonialists over 30 years from late 19 th century to early 20 th century.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as many as 2.45 million hectares of land have been covered with green trees over the past years, bringing the total area with forests in the country to 40 percent in 2011 from 32 percent in 1998. -VNA