|As many as 4,500 trees have been planted in Xuân Liên Nature Reserve in the north central coastal province of Thanh Hóa to restore seven hectares of forest. — Photo courtesy of Gaia Nature Conservation|
HCM CITY— Gaia Nature Conservation has planted 4,500 trees in the Xuân Liên Nature Reserve in the north central coastal province of Thanh Hoá to mark World Planting Day on March 21.
The aim is to restore seven hectares of damaged forest and to create a safe and healthy habitat for endangered species such as the gaur, grey langur, northern white-cheeked gibbon, and Roosevelt's muntjac.
Fifteen species of trees have been planted in the seven ha of forest, including trees to be used for timber and muti-purpose perennial trees such as lim xanh (Erythrophleum fordii), lát hoa (Chittagong Wood), giáng hương (Pterocarpus macrocarpus) (Giang hương), and giổi (Michelia mediocris).
Each hectare of plantation forest can absorb 95-123.2 tonnes of CO2 per year, contributing to climate-change mitigation.
The afforestation activities in Xuân Liên Nature Reserve also improve the ecological functions of the forest, and enhance the recreational, educational and scientific value of the forest.
The afforestation area of Xuân Liên Nature Reserve was formerly used as residential and agricultural land by local people.
When the nature reserve was established, people left the area, leaving behind areas where forests needed to be restored.
After the launch a month ago of the campaign titled “Contributing a tree to make Xuân Liên forest”, Gaia Nature Conservation received support from SAITEX International, Purité Baby and BOO Trading Joint Stock Company, and 144 individuals and groups.
Under the programme, the forest will be monitored and taken care of for four years to ensure the stable development of seedlings, with the goal of having a 70-80 per cent survival rate for the trees.
Gaia is working with Xuân Liên Nature Reserve to conduct research, monitor the forest, and update the public about the tree survival rate, tree size, overall health of the forest, and diseases. It is also providing photos of trees and the forest landscape, and updating the status of forest flora and fauna.
In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations chose March 21 as "World Planting Day" to call for local and national efforts to plant trees and raise awareness about forest conservation and sustainable development.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said: “Forests are not only the green lungs of humans, but also the habitat of all other living things. Forest biodiversity degradation and climate change are strongly correlated. The more forest areas decline, the greater the impact of climate change, and the more extreme the weather. This threatens countries with a long coastal line, and Việt Nam is no exception.”
As of 2017, the total area of forestry in Việt Nam was 14.4 million ha, accounting for 41.45 per cent of the total country. Of this, 70.8 per cent was natural forest and the rest plantations, according to a press release from the Gaia Nature Conservation.
In many provinces, the natural forest area has declined steadily. Many forest areas are of poor quality, with a limited number of plant and animal species, and thus are of limited quality for ecological purposes. — VNS