Over 37,000 ha of Land to be Reforested

The government has set a target to reforest over 37,000 hectares this year for environmental protection and to increase green coverage areas across the country.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MoAF), in collaboration with local authorities concerned, are preparing tree seedlings and determining reforestation areas in each province, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Lien Thikeo.

Last year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry encouraged other government bodies and the private sector to plant trees on about 24,000 hectares and reforest over 200,000 hectares for environmental protection and to increase green areas.

The most popular trees planted by government agencies are native types and ornamental species such as the Indian devil tree or mai tinpet (Alstonia scholaris), New Guinea Rosewood or mai dou (Ptericarpus indicus), mai taekha (Afzeleia xylocarpa), and mai khaen (Shorea talura).

Deforestation and forest degradation have denuded large areas of Laos since the 1940s when forests covered over 70 percent of the country’s land area. But cover dramatically decreased to less than 40 percent in the 1990s and there has been no change in this trend.

The government aims to increase forest coverage to about 70 per cent by 2020, of which 500,000 hectares will be commercial tree plantations. So far, trees have been planted on more than 440,000 hectares of land.

Source: Lao News Agency