Sowing a billion trees on the path to success

- Monday, 19/02/2024, 08:50

According to the Forestry Department, nearly 770 million trees have been planted nationwide in 2021-23 period, reaching 121 per cent of the plan.

Millions of trees are expected to be planted across the country as part of the post-Lunar New Year tree planting festival, contributing significantly to the project of planting one billion trees by 2025.

During the Tết holiday (Lunar New Year) 2024, localities in Quảng Trị central province launched a campaign to plant tens of thousands of trees.

In 2024, the province plans to grow 8,000-10,000 hectares of new production forest.

Over the past three years from 2021 to 2023, the province has planted millions of trees along roads, landfills and barren hills in areas with wind power projects in the mountainous district of Hướng Hóa, Tin Tức (News) newspaper reported.

The prioritisation of tree planting at wind power projects aims to increase coverage and stabilise the ecological environment in areas affected by the construction of wind power projects, contributing to mitigating damage caused by natural disasters.

From 2021 to 2025, the province aims to plant 15 million trees.

Of which, 10.7 million trees will be planted in urban and rural areas, while the remaining 4.3 million trees will be grown in protective forests, special-use forests and production forests to contribute to environmental protection, climate change adaptation and socio-economic development.

Vice chairman of Quảng Trị Province's People's Committee, Hà Sỹ Đồng, said that in implementing the Government's project of planting one billion trees, the province has rolled out many solutions including enhancing awareness about forest management, protection and development, prioritising suitable tree species, applying advanced techniques in forest planting, and mobilising resources.

In Thừa Thiên-Huế Province, the locality strives to plant at least seven million trees, of which, 4.7 million trees will be planted in urban and rural areas, and 2.3 million trees will be planted in protective forests and large-scale timber production forests.

In three years from 2021 to 2023, the province has planted over five million trees.

In 2024, the province plans to grow 1.4 million trees, and in 2025, 1.3 million trees.

Millions of trees have also been planted in many other provinces and cities: 61 million trees in Lào Cai, 52 million trees in Phú Thọ, 45 million trees in Long An, 37 million trees in Gia Lai, and 34 million trees in Nghệ An.

Ministries, agencies, businesses and individuals have also actively participated in the tree planting movement.

According to the Forestry Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, nearly 770 million trees have been planted nationwide in 2021-23 period, reaching 121 per cent of the plan.

The total funding for implementing the project over the past three years reaches nearly VNĐ9.5 trillion (US$387.5 million). Of which, State budget funds account for 23.8 per cent, and the remainder comes from other sources.

Officers, soldiers and local residents in Khánh Hòa Province join tree planting festival. 

About 492 million trees will be planted in 2024-25 to reach the goal of planting one billion trees by 2025.

However, implementing the project also faces some difficulties due to the increasingly limited land fund for afforestation, which is often transferred to other uses for socio-economic development, as reported by the Forestry Department.

Conditions for afforestation, especially for planting protective and special-use forests, are becoming more challenging, particularly in areas with high and steep terrain prone to erosion.

Land allocation for coastal forest development has also become increasingly difficult.

Management, maintenance and development of urban green spaces have not been adequately addressed. The current urban green space area only accounts for about 1.2 per cent, much lower than urban planning standards.

The development of greenery in some localities still lacks specific planning.

According to the Forestry Department, there is still no specific guidance on the use of budgetary resources to support decentralised afforestation, implementation procedures, or the required documentation for support requests.

The main source of seedlings is individual suppliers, or they are bought on the market, making it difficult to control their origin and quality.

Dr. Ngô Văn Hồng from the Việt Nam Afforestation and Reforestation Society Co Ltd said there needs to be close coordination among local authorities, forest rangers and forest owners to address the difficulties related to land issues, forest planting plan, tree species selection, acceptance, and forest management after planting.

This is a highly complex and costly process, and mistakes at any stage can affect the quality of the planted forest, even violating land and forestry laws.

In addition, policies should encourage people to plant and restore forests with native species to ensure long-term income for local residents while enhancing the forest's resilience.

Transforming short-term planted forests into forests planted with native species for restoration purposes should be eligible for payment for forest environmental services.

Tree planting festival is launched in Navy Region 5 in Kiên Giang Province. 

Hồng said that the carbon emission reduction programme and carbon credit exchange need to be concretised through specific indices or data, as well as the exchange and trading process of carbon credits, to form a more specific and transparent system.

The establishment of regulations under which business entities are required to accumulate carbon credits and the possibility of exchanging carbon credits must be done, not necessarily through state agencies, but could be carried out through non-state organisations.

At the recent workshop on the three-year review of the project on planting one billion trees in 2021-25 held in Quảng Trị Province, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Quốc Trị proposed a comprehensive assessment of the project's implementation results.

Tree planting should continue according to the approved plan; communication efforts should be made to ensure public understanding of the benefits and encourage participation in tree planting activities; and flexibility and proactivity are required in the implementation of tree planting activities.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also urged the Forestry Department and other relevant units to promptly apply the recommendations of local authorities.

The tree planting festival in the Lunar New Year of 2023 saw the nation prepare 170 million seedlings for planting thousands of hectares of forests and millions of scattered trees. VNS