A mangrove forest in Ninh Thuận Province’s Ninh Hải District. – VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Thành
NINH THUẬN – The south – central province of Ninh Thuận has expanded a programme to allot forests to local communities to manage and built related livelihood models to help improve people’s lives.
It plans to allocate nearly 66,000ha this year.
Trần Ngọc Hiếu, head of the Thuận Nam District Coastal Protective Forest Management Board, said the board is in the process of allocating 2,147ha of forests to four local communities and another 2,500ha to local troops.
The four communities in Phước Nam, Phước Dinh and Phước Diêm communes have 70 households, he said.
Handing over responsibility to communities has helped protect forests, especially from fires during the last dry season, he said.
The province has developed a number of livelihood models meant for households that have been allocated forests like animal husbandry and growing fruit trees and other high - value plants in those forests.
It has given them soft loans to buy cows, goats and sheep and seedlings and taught them farming techniques.
The province has built infrastructure for clean water supply, irrigation works and roads in disadvantaged areas and provided training in fire prevention for forest management.
Bà Lâu Reng, head of the Tân Hà Hamlet Community - based Forest Protection Group in Thuận Nam District’s Phước Hà Commune, said the lives of people in the hamlet have improved significantly after they began managing forests.
Their awareness of protecting forests has improved and they no longer violate forest conservation regulations, he said.
“Every week the group assigns two or three households in turn to monitor the forest.”
The province has handed over 69,120ha of forests to communities since 2016, according to its Forest Protection Sub-department.
Each household manages 30ha and gets VNĐ400,000 (US$17) per hectare per year for its efforts.
They use the money to buy livestock and grow fruit trees.
The households have bought 1,224 cows, 208 sheep and goats and 62 pigs for breeding and grow nearly 2,000ha of fruits.
The fruits include avocado, grapefruit and jackfruit.
Ninh Thuận, which has the least rainfall in the country, has more than 204,200ha of forests.
It plans to afforest more than 3,000ha this year as it targets forest cover of 47 per cent by the end of this year. – VNS