Central Highlands region to grow 2.72 million hectares of forest by 2030
  • | dtinews.vn, Lao Dong, TTX | June 22, 2020 05:28 PM
The Central Highlands region will try to reach a target of restoring forest coverage rate of over 49 per cent by 2030.

Delegates attending the conference on June 22

Addressing a conference held on Monday on solutions to restore and sustainably develop forests in the Central Highlands until 2030, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that the region is facing great challenges in forest protection and development.

“The demand to use forest land for other purposes has been rising, causing a sharp fall in the forest land area and the quality of forest," the minister told the conference. "We need to have urgent and effective measures to curb the situation, so as to realise the project to protect, restore and sustainably develop forests in the Central Highlands until 2030 which was approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last year."

The project which costs VND28.5 trillion (USD1.23 billion) targets cutting forest losses and restoring the coverage rate to 49.2 per cent, or 2.72 million hectares by 2030.

Under the project, forestry policies will be built to form community-based forest management systems and attract investment from all economic sectors involved in the production of non-wood forestry products.

In 2016, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered the closure of more than 2.2 million hectares of natural forests in the Central Highlands. The move aimed to stop over-exploitation after statistics from MARD showed that about 300,000ha of natural forest had been cleared between 2010-2014.

Four years after the closure, the region is reportedly facing severe illegal logging, causing a decrease in forest coverage and losses to the local budget.

A MARD’s survey released at the conference showed that forest coverage in the Central Highlands stood at 55 per cent in 2000, but fell to approximately 46 per cent in 2019, or 2.56 million hectares. The quality of forests in the Central Highlands has reportedly declined sharply. Nutrient-rich forests account for only 14.5 per cent.

Although the area of newly-planted forest has increased, the area of natural forest has fallen, with three provinces seeing the biggest decrease including Dak Lak, Dak Nong, and Gia Lai.

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