National tree planting festival launched in Ninh Binh

State President Truong Tan Sang stressed the importance of tree planting and protection in addressing climate change at a festival in Ninh Binh province on January 29.

Afforestation is of national strategic importance in the context of growing concern about global warming and rising sea levels, therefore it is a must for every nation to plant and protect trees in order to maintain sustainable economic development and environmental protection, said Mr Sang.

The President said that tree planting is to get fruit and wood, protect the sea embankment system and prevent soil erosion. For its numerous benefits, he called on Vietnamese people, from children to the elderly alike, to participate in the tree planting festival, making it a fine tradition in spring.

He also called on them to raise the awareness of protecting forests and preventing forest fires, illegal wood logging and excessive exploitation of forest products.

Better afforestation and protection will help develop local economies, reduce poverty, increase locals’ incomes and especially maintain a healthy living environment for future generations, said Mr Sang.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam said Vietnam has achieved major goals of a five-million hectare afforestation project.

In 2011, he said, Vietnam planted more than 212,000ha of forests, raising the national forest coverage to more than 40 percent from 32 percent in 1998.