|President Trần Đại Quang (right) launches the New Year tree planting festival in Bạch Thông District, the northern mountainous province of Bắc Kạn on Wednesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sáng|Viet Nam News
BẮC KẠN — President Trần Đại Quang launched the New Year tree planting festival in Bạch Thông District, the northern mountainous province of Bắc Kạn on Wednesday (the sixth day of the Lunar New Year).
On November 28, 1959, President Hồ Chí Minh wrote an article which was published in the Nhân dân (People) newspaper, stressing the significance of tree planting to each person, each family and the entire nation. It has since become an annual Vietnamese custom each Lunar New Year.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, 235,000ha of concentrated forests and over 60 million scattered trees were planted nationwide last year. Meanwhile, 6.1 million ha of forests were protected and 335,000ha were zoned off for forest regeneration.
The number of violations in forest management and protection decreased by 23 per cent, the total acreage of damaged forests fell by 68 per cent annually, and forestry exports hit US$8 billion. The rate of forest coverage reached 41.45 per cent, making contributions to the common growth of the agricultural sector.
In accordance with the Target Programme on Sustainable Forestry Development for 2016-2020, the sector targets raising forestry production value by 6-6.5 per cent, increasing forest coverage to 42 per cent and forestry exports to $10 billion by 2020, contributing to mitigating natural disasters and reducing poverty in combination with new-style rural development and ensuring national defence-security.
Speaking at the event, President Quang underlined the strategic significance of tree planting and forestation amidst the threats of global warming and climate change.
He called on ministries, agencies, localities and people nationwide to raise public awareness of forest protection and prevent illegal logging.
Tree planting festivals were also held yesterday in many localities across the country. — VNS