16:29 | 05/04/2016 Economy- Society
(VEN) - Slow progress is being made on the annual national reforestation plan due to site unavailability at a local level, which makes the implementation of the plan more difficult and requires more attention from relevant authorities.
Farmers in Ba Be District’s Yen Duong Commune in Bac Kan Province receive seedlings to reforest
Reforestation in replacement of reclaimed forests for other purposes was one of the key contents in the forest protection and development plan during the 2011-2020 period, which pinpointed 67,750ha across the country in need of forestation. However, just 15,959ha of the total had been forested as of September 30, 2015, accounting for just 23.6 percent of the target.
The government has hosted an online conference on the issue and urged related ministries and agencies to complete the plan this year, nevertheless, the pace of progress remains slow.
According to Nguyen Van Ha, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, local authorities have failed to implement their assigned reforestation tasks while local reforestation projects have failed to meet requirements.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has submitted two circulars to the government, Circular 24 on reforestation in replacement of reclaimed forests for other purposes and Circular 26 as an amendment to the former. Both stipulate in detail reforestation in replacement of reclaimed forests for other purposes, but have failed to resolve some issues with a reforestation beneficiary mechanism, the responsibilities of foresters after the third year of reforestation and the use of forest reclamation project owner deposits in the Vietnam Forest Protection and Development Fund.
The government and related ministries, agencies and localities should coordinate the implementation of the annual forestation plan. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should remove difficulties with reforestation for localities; the Ministry of Industry and Trade should monitor reforestation projects and resolutely handle related violations; and the Ministry of Planning and Investment should facilitate the funding for reforestation projects, especially public and state-funded projects dated back from July 1, 2015. Meanwhile, provincial people’s committees should not approve local forest reclamation projects without a reforestation plan and forest reclamation project owners should prepare reforestation plans along with their forest reclamation projects. Where a locality fails to allocate forest reclamation project owner sites for reforestation, it must refund their deposits to the Vietnam Forest Protection and Development Fund for later funding reforestation projects in other localities, Nguyen Van Ha said.
Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Vietnam Administration of Forestry Nguyen Van Ha said, “Reforestation in the replacement of reclaimed forests for other purposes reflects business responsibility to national and global environmental protection.”