|The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has started a project to protect and restore forested areas in the Central Highlands.—VNA/VNS PHOTO|
LÂM ĐỒNG— The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has kicked off a project to achieve forest coverage of 49.2 per cent in the Central Highlands region, or a total of 2.72 million hectares, by 2030.
The VNĐ23.5 trillion (US$1.2 billion) project will include sustainable forest management, protection and development, environmental protection, and biodiversity conservation.
In addition, it is expected to contribute to national defence and social order and safety in the Central Highlands region.
Hà Công Tuấn, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that deforestation had been occurring for many years in the Central Highlands.
Tuấn and other officials spoke at a conference held on May 25 on the Project on Forest Protection, Restoration and Development in the Central Highlands area until 2030.
Tuấn told localities to allocate capital for forest protection and development projects, create specific plans and solutions, and direct forest owners to complete sustainable forest management plans.
Nguyễn Tấn Liêm, chairman of Kom Tum Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that people were still encroaching on forest land and causing deforestation.
Besides previous management solutions such as patrolling, forest rangers needed to have remote monitoring equipment such as cameras and flycams for monitoring and protection, Liêm said.
Nguyễn Nhĩ, deputy chairman of Gia Lai Province’s department, asked the ministry to allocate forest land to locals who could monitor land. However, support for local residents remains low, and many of them do not take the responsibility.
The province is developing a project to allocate 160,000ha of forest to the community. However, such allocation in remote areas has been difficult to be implemented.
If the level of support for people would cover at least 50 per cent of people's living needs, they would then agree to receive the land, Nhĩ said.
In recent years, the area of natural forest in the Central Highlands has continued to decline, with forest coverage in 2018 in Kon Tum, Đắk Lắk and Đắk Nông provinces declining compared to 2017.
In the first four months of this year, the Central Highlands region's authority detected 1,185 violations which damaged forests covering on 255.27ha, an increase of 46.59ha compared to the same period last year. —VNS