Vietnam’s northern mountainous province of Son La and Laos’ Houaphan province have signed a cooperation agreement in forest protection and fire fighting in border areas from 2015-2017.

Under the document, the two localities will design specific plans and programmes to prevent the spread of wildfires and mobilise forces to extinguish any incidences.

They will also intensify communications to raise local awareness of using and managing forest resources efficiently alongside activities to develop border area economies.

As stipulated, Son La will help Houaphan increase its capacity in forest development, protection and management; fire fighting; and technology application.

The two provinces share a 250-kilometre border line; strengthening coordination in forest protection is a significant step towards minimising and preventing the illegal smuggling of forest products and wild animals, contributing to safeguarding the border, border markers and the eco-environment.-VNA