Vietnam aims to raise Central Highlands’ forest cover to 49.2% by 2030

The Prime Minister has recently approved a forest protection, restoration and development programme, aiming to increase forest cover in the Central Highlands to 49.2% by 2030.

Forest patrol in Lam Dong province.
Forest patrol in Lam Dong province.

The programme was announced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) at a conference in Da Lat on May 24.

The total cost of the programme is more than VND 28.5 trillion (US $1.2 billion), of which VND 7.8 trillion will be provided by the government budget, VND 3.75 trillion funded by ODA and VND 17 trillion from other sources.

Its goals are to prevent deforestation, gradually restore forests in a sustainable manner, protect the ecosystem and biodiversity, provide forest environmental services to help with local socio-economic development.

By 2020, the total area of forests in the Central Highlands is expected to reach 2.72 million hectares.

Speaking at the conference, MARD Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan stated that provinces in the Central Highlands need to make greater efforts in forest management, protection and development.

He called for strict punishment for forest destruction acts, especially poisoning forest trees with chemicals.

The Central Highlands’ total land area is estimated to be 5.4 million hectares, accounting for 16.8% of Vietnam’s total land area, of which 3.2 million hectares are planned for forestry development.

According to official statistics, the region’s total forest area in 2018 was 2.55 million hectares, up 3,500 hectares from a year earlier. Its current forest coverage is 46.01%.