The forestry sector should take swift action to build a project on zoning off and protecting natural forests in the time to come, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong.
Cuong made his request at the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VAF)’s conference held in Hanoi on January 6 to review its performance last year and launch key tasks for 2021.
The minister pointed out three big challenges facing the sector in 2020, which were COVID-19-caused disruption to commodity supply chains; forest fires and climate change-inflicted storms and floods; and fierce global trade competition.
There have been several policies issued regarding the zoning off and protection activities, he said, adding that they have shortcomings, thus remaining ineffective in giving proper encouragement to people involved.
He asked the VAF to soon complete a project initiated by the Prime Minister on planting 1 billion trees in the 2021 – 2025 period, review the 10-year operation of the fund for forest protection and development, and complete a pilot project on forest leasing for herbal farming.
According to VAF Deputy Director Pham Van Dien, in 2021, the sector will step up the protection, development, and effective and sustainable use of existing forests to meet requirements for natural disaster mitigation, ecosystem conservation, and climate change adaptation.
It will also promote the productivity, quality and value of each kind of forests, particularly production forests, thus creating jobs, increasing incomes, alleviating poverty, and improving livelihoods for people involved. The work will be carried out in association with the building of new-style rural areas and the protection of security, defence and social order.
National forest coverage will be kept at 42 percent, while the area of damaged forests will be cut by at least 20 percent against last year.
Goals are set to plant 230,000 ha of concentrated forests, zone off for recovering 150,000 ha, plant 200 million trees, and earn 14 billion USD from forestry product exports.