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Vietnam's Plan to Plant 1 Billion Trees by 2025 Gains Clarity

Here's hoping for a greener future.

The Viet Nam News Agencyreports that several provinces recently kicked off tree-planting activities as part of the central government's pledge to plant 1 billion trees nationwide by 2025.

On February 17, officials in Phu Tho Province called on authorities and agencies of all levels in the area to work towards planting 1.5 million trees by the end of this year.

Ninh Binh Province, meanwhile, has targeted planting 1 million trees within 2021, and an additional 4.5 million by 2025. Tree-planting initiatives have also begun in eight districts of Thai Binh Province.

In terms of a national-level plan, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has submitted a proposal related to the 1 billion tree plan to Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc for approval. 690 million of the 1 billion trees will be planted in urban areas and rural communities, while the remaining 310 million will be placed in protected, special-use, and production forests. The ministry hopes to plant 182 million trees this year with funding from both private and public sources.

Vietnam classifies its forests into different categories, with protected forests generally belonging to economic development initiatives, while production forests consist of plantations to supply industries such as rubber and furniture production. It is not clear which species of trees will be used under this plan.

Vietnam's major cities, especially Hanoi and Saigon, have lost countless trees to urban development in recent years, while the former city only has 0.55 square meters of public green space per resident, compared to 30.3 square meters per capita in Singapore.

Officials have announced intentions to improve this situation, and it is hoped that further tree planting will help rectify past losses.

Overall, Vietnam's forest cover currently stands at roughly 42%, a figure that has actually improved in recent decades, but it is estimated that only 0.25% of the country's 14.6 million hectares of forested land consists of primary forest. In other words, very few of Vietnam's natural old-growth trees remain after years of deforestation, while the scale of planted forests has increased over the last decade. 

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