Soc Trang to implement sustainable forestry management programme hinh anh 1A cajuput forest in Soc Trang province. (Photo: VNA)

Soc Trang (VNA) - The Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang will carry out an action programme for sustainable forest management in its three coastal districts under the project “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation” (REDD).

The targeted areas are Vinh Chau town, Tran De and Cu Lao Dung districts.

At a meeting between local authorities and a delegation of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) on May 8, Vice Chairman of the Soc Trang People’s Committee Le Van Hieu said the province is one of the areas in the country most affected by climate change.

Salt intrusion has also caused damage to agricultural production, Hieu said.

Hieu said the REDD project will help to not only protect the existing forest in a sustainable way but also spur local socio-economic development.

According to a report delivered at the meeting, deforestation and illegal hunting have also occurred, with residents cutting down forests to grow crops.

The IUCN delegation told leaders of agencies in the province about the regulations to protect the forests, as well as finance and human resources for the implementation of REDD .

According to Pham Trong Thinh, Director of the Southern Forest Planning and Investigation Sub-Institute, and a member of the IUCN delegation, REDD is an international effort to encourage a path towards sustainable forest development and a low-carbon economy.

In Vietnam, it is also a part of the national programme for green growth. Currently, 18 out of 63 provinces and cities in the country have drawn up an action plan for the REDD project.

The IUCN will provide assistance to the province so it can reach the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by limiting forest loss and deforestation by 2030.

The province has more than 16,200ha of forest and zoned forested areas, including more than 10,800ha of forest. Its total forest coverage is 2.5 percent. The area’s mangrove forests have a high level of bio-diversity, leaving room for tourism development.

The province has worked with local authorities to set up 16 forest cultivation and protection teams and three forest management co-groups.   

According to the REDD Desk, which is a collaborative resource for REDD readiness, REDD is an important component of Vietnam’s climate-change mitigation efforts and is central to the National Climate Change Strategy.

The National Action Programme on REDD 2011-20, approved in June 2012, is the major framework for REDD implementation in Vietnam.-VNA