|Young people in HCM City take part in a project to plant trees in Đắk Nông Province. — Photo sggp.org.vn|
HCM CITY — Tree-planting projects to protect the environment have become increasingly popular among young people from HCM City.
Their projects have not only contributed to increasing forest coverage on barren hills but also brought economic benefits to local people.
The project 'Garden-Forest' was launched by JOY (Journey Of Youth) - a volunteer group in collaboration with the group named 'Planting one million trees per year' and Bù Gia Mập National Park to plant trees on farmers' land in Central Highlands provinces.
The volunteers have also worked with agricultural experts to teach organic farming techniques to farmers, helping them have a stable income.
Before planting trees, the young people studied the local climate and soil to choose suitable trees and lived with the farmers to understand the steps for planting.
Trúc Nguyên, a 19-year-old member of the project from Bình Thạnh District, told Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper: “This is the first time I know how to start a tree nursery and plant trees. It was quite hard work for the first time gardening but we are happy."
Volunteers chose the rainy season to run the project to reduce the need for irrigation water.
During a field trip, they also visited Gia Ân mangosteen farm, which has been granted a Global Good Agriculture Practices (GlobalGAP) certificate in Đắk Nông Province and listened to an agricultural expert who has worked at the farm for 20 years.
“I know many green and afforestation projects but I still have not participated. These projects have just been rolled out once and don't have a long-term plan or seedlings management," said Đặng Khải An, a 21-year-old volunteer from Phú Nhuận District.
"I decided to join this project because I not only want to contribute to planting more trees, but I also want to learn how to garden. Planting trees is very interesting."
Hồ Thắng, the founder of the group 'Planting one million trees a year', said the group was established last year and has planted 15,000 trees in Đắk Nông Province.
"The trees are more than 2m high and grow well. The number of dead trees accounts for about 1 per cent only," said Thắng.
"In 2021, the group will plant vetiver grass in bare hills. This plant helps to stabilise the soil and protect it against erosion and also provides moisture to other plants."
With support from Gia Ân farm and Bù Gia Mập National Park, the volunteers have chosen a number of suitable plants that can be planted in local families' gardens.
No one understands the forests better than the local farmers.
Afforestation brings economic efficiency and it will help farmers maintain and replicate this model, according to Thắng.
In addition to the support of friends and online communities, the main source of funding for the group is helping young people start a business from agriculture and using some of the profits to buy seedlings.
"I just want to contribute a part of my efforts to planting trees for the land in the Central Highlands, returning the green that was lost due to deforestation for cultivation," said Thắng. — VNS