Forest rangers measure the forest area at the Ba Vì National Park. Photo hanoimoi.com.vn
Lê Minh Tuyên, Director of the Hà Nội Forest Protection Division under Hà Nội Agriculture and Rural Development Department, spoke to Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper about difficulties and challenges in forest management and protection.
How has Hà Nội implemented the planning, management, protection and development of forests in recent years?
Forests play an important role in creating landscapes and protecting the ecological environment for the capital. Over the years, the agriculture sector has advised the Hà Nội People's Committee to issue many documents related to forest planning, management, protection and development.
The city has managed, protected and sustainably developed 26,621ha of forests and forest land including special-use forests, protection forests and production forests in seven localities: Ba Vì, Sơn Tây, Thạch Thất, Quốc Oai, Chương Mỹ, Mỹ Đức and Sóc Sơn. The city also ensures the stable forest coverage rate at 5.67-6.2 per cent and creates jobs for 10,000-15,000 workers a year.
Can you tell us more about the results achieved in forest protection and development?
The agriculture sector has coordinated with departments, People's Committees of districts and towns in forest management and protection as well as create favourable conditions for people and businesses to invest in afforestation, helping people improve their living standards and reducing illegal deforestation.
In five years of implementing the Programme on Sustainable Forestry Development, Hà Nội's localities have planted 1,586ha of forest and allocated 20,383ha of forests to local residents to manage, protect and develop, contributing to the protection of biodiversity with 2,193 species of plants, 25 species of mammals, 49 species of birds and 270 species of reptiles.
The management and protection of forests and forest land still has many shortcomings, what's your assessment?
The management and protection of forests and forestry land in the capital city still encounters numerous inadequacies and difficulties. Forest land has not been delineated and the difference among the three types of forests, namely the special-use forest, protection forest, and the production forest is not clearly defined. There is an overlap between forestry land, residential land, and land of other purposes, leading to encroachment and illegal construction on forest land and causing difficulties for management.
Besides, the Vietnamese Government has encouraged organisations and individuals to invest in forest management and protection, especially in developing eco-tourism in special-use forests provided that they commit themselves to forest protection and development. However, many developers have not honoured their commitments.
What solutions has the Hà Nội Forest Protection Division proposed in forest planning and development for the 2021-25 period?
The agency has proposed the Department of Natural Resources and Environment continue to re-measure the entire area of forest and forest land as well as to build a cadastral map as a basis for marking the boundaries of forests and forestry land. The forest allocation should be associated with the forest land allocation to ensure better management of land and forest.
The unit will also focus on raising awareness and responsibility of local authorities on state management of forests and forest land, people's awareness in forest protection. Localities which have forests need to review and adjust the planning of forests and forest land to ensure conformity with the local socio-economic development planning. The boundaries of the three forest types both on the map and in the field need to be clearly defined to facilitate forestry economic development.
Relevant agencies and localities need to cooperate more closely with the agriculture sector in order to improve the efficiency of forest and forest land management and protect the 'green lung' for the capital. — VNS