|Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn (middle), Nguyễn Hoàng Long (left), Việt Nam Ambassador Extraordinary to UK and leaders of AstraZeneca at the signing ceremony to invest $50 million in forests and landscape restoration in Việt Nam. — Photo courtesy of AstraZeneca Vietnam|
HCM CITY — AstraZeneca has recently announced a new investment of up to US$50 million into Việt Nam as part of the company’s global AZ Forest programme, which by the end of 2022 had planted over 10.5 million trees worldwide.
Over the next five years, 22.5 million trees will be planted across at least 30,500 hectares to restore Việt Nam’s forests and landscapes, allowing biodiversity to flourish, while providing sustainable livelihoods for over 17,000 smallholder farmers.
Reforestation will be designed to maximise co-benefits such as broad-scale biodiversity gains; improved diets and nutrition for local communities; soil and water conservation; climate resilience; and reducing the risks of natural disasters and carbon sequestration.
The investment announced by AstraZeneca will play an important role in realising the Vietnamese Government’s 2050 net zero strategy, which was committed at COP26, said Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn.
Sơn added that the AZ Forest programme would also contribute to the country’s ongoing plan to plant one billion trees by 2025 as a part of Việt Nam’s Forestry Development Strategy.
The $50 million investment will be used for agroforestry, which includes the production of sustainable timber, fruits and nuts, essential oils, and resins, as well as increasing agricultural productivity through intercropping and developing sustainable market value chains.
It complements AstraZeneca’s ongoing $310 million investment into Việt Nam from 2020 to 2030 to reduce the burden of diseases, strengthen the health system, uplift the domestic biopharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing capabilities, and develop local talent.
“Following the discussion between Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and AstraZeneca CEO Sir Pascal Soriot in Hà Nội last May, we are pleased to announce this programme, which further demonstrates our long-term commitment to Việt Nam. We recognise the deep interconnection between population and planetary health, and believe that this programme will significantly benefit our local economy, communities, and the environment over the next 30 years,” said Nitin Kapoor, Chairman and General Director of AstraZeneca Vietnam and Asia Area Frontier Markets.
AZ Forest is AstraZeneca’s commitment to plant and maintain over 50 million trees by the end of 2025 in partnership with experts and local communities. AZ Forest projects support planetary and human health with significant socio-economic co-benefits, and complement AstraZeneca’s science-based net zero strategy, Ambition Zero Carbon. VNS