Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Son La (VNA) – In 2019, Vietnam’s forestry sector will foster the implementation of forest development policies and the building of a production chain, said Vu Xuan Thon, head of the Management Board of Forestry Projects under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Thon made the statement at a ceremony to launch the tree-planting campaign in Moc Chau district of the northern mountainous province of Son La on February 18.

The event was organised by the MARD in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Winrock International.

Thon also noted that 2018 was a successful year for the forestry sector, adding that this year, it will work to connect businesses with forest owners and growers to enhance forestry values, thereby raising incomes for local people.

On the occasion, the USAID-funded Vietnam Forests and Deltas (VFD) project offered assistance in planting 2,200 trees at the Dai Yem (Pink Blouse) Waterfall ecotourism site in Moc Chau district.

During the 2012-2018 period, the initial phase of the VFD project put into practice national climate change development, policies and strategies with a focus on reducing emissions from forestry and agriculture sectors, and strengthened climate-smart livelihoods and settlements.

Since 2018, the second phase of the project has further assisted Vietnam in the payment for forest environmental services – an important component of the country’s forestry programmes to become an effective tool in realising economic, social, and environmental targets.

In the eight years since its launch, Vietnam’s system of payment for forest environmental services have become an example of mobilising domestic resources for the improvement of forest management, protection, and development.

As of December 2017, forest environmental services generated more than 8 trillion VND (350 million USD) to manage and protect 5.98 million ha of forest, or half of the country’s total forest areas.–VNA