State President Nguyen Minh Triet launched the national tree planting campaign on the occasion of Lunar New Year in Hanoi on Feb. 10.

Vietnam is one of the countries in the world which is most seriously affected by climate change, so enhancing environmental protection and climate change prevention are urgent tasks, President Triet said.

The President called upon relevant ministries and agencies to continue to boost information dissemination to the public, prevent actions harmful to the living environment and strictly punish organisations and individuals which violate regulations on environmental protection.

He also called on all the people nationwide to plant more trees and forest to make a better and greener life.

In 1950, Uncle Ho launched the first-ever “Tree Planting Festival.” Since then, the festival has become a tradition of the Vietnamese people.

The country plans to develop 500,000 ha of new forests in 2011, according to the forestry sector.

The UN selected 2011 as the International Year of Forests, aiming to boost sustainable forest management, preservation and development and strengthen long-term political commitments by countries on fighting forest destruction.

Forest covers 31 percent of Vietnam’s total land area./.