New Zealand earmarks $35,000 for protective forest in Ninh Thuan

By Khanh Lynh   May 9, 2021 | 11:45 pm PT
New Zealand earmarks $35,000 for protective forest in Ninh Thuan
The area planned for planting 40,000 trees in Thuan Nam District, Ninh Thuan Province. Photo courtesy of Thuan Nam Coastal Protection Forest Management Board.
New Zealand on Monday announced it would allocate $35,000 to help plant three hectares of forest in the central province of Ninh Thuan.

"This is in response to the Vietnam government’s commitment to plant one billion trees by 2025," a press release from the New Zealand Embassy said.

Early April, former Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved a government program developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to plant a billion trees until 2025, with 690 million in urban and rural areas and the rest in forests. He suggested at a meeting of the legislative National Assembly last November that Vietnam target planting one billion trees in the next five years since the nation has been suffering from more extreme weather conditions, resulting in deadly floods and landslides.

A project called "Forest Symphony" aims to plant more than 40,000 Ailanthus triphysa, a kind of rainforest tree, covering 20 hectares in the coastal protection forest of Thuan Nam District in October 2021. It will span a 5-year time frame (2021-2025), including planting and tending trees, and maintaining the forest to ensure a high survival ratio for the new plantings.

The project will be jointly implemented by the Ninh Thuan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Thuan Nam Coastal Protection Forest Management Board and the Song Foundation, a Vietnamese non-profit social fund that aims to build safe communities which promote harmonious and sustainable existence between people, nature and indigenous culture. Song will raise funds for planting the rest of the trees.

The project plan is to involve local communities in planting, tending, maintaining and protecting new forests. It will provide stable jobs, increased income and other health and environmental benefits for the people of Ninh Thuan, the embassy said. A number of native and unique species from arid regions of Vietnam will be re-grown and preserved.

Afforestation and reforestation are a top priority in adapting and mitigating the risks related to climate change for Ninh Thuan. The province has 145,000 hectares of forest, of which 95 percent is natural and 5 percent planted. The 145,000 hectares only covers over 42 percent of green coverage goals. The province's mission is to achieve coverage of around 49 percent by 2055, translating into 158,000 hectares of forested area, according to the Ninh Thuan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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