Laos Plans Major Tree Planting for Arbour Day

Laos is setting its tree-planting sites high for celebrating Arbour Day and International Children’s Day on 1 June, with a plan to sow saplings on 27,000 hectares in 2018.

Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Dr Lien Thikeo said combining the two commemorative days would help create awareness among children about the important role forests play.

During his 23 May press briefing in Vientiane, the minister outlined goals, plans and activities to increase forest cover and mark Arbour Day.

The ministry aims to restore forest cover to 70 percent by 2020, while striving to rehabilitate 517,500 hectares of degraded forest.

To help accomplish this, some 14 million saplings have been prepared for this year’s planting and three main activities are being organised to promote the initiative.

From May 25-June 6, the ministry in collaboration with Vientiane authorities will hold a sapling fair at the That Luang esplanade, where trees, saplings and ornamental plants will be exhibited and sold to the public.

The overall target of 70 percent forest cover equates to 16.5 million hectares. This includes 4.7 million hectares of conservation forest, 8.2 million hectares of protected forest, 3.1 million hectares where commercial logging is authorised, and 500,000 hectares of commercial tree plantations.

To achieve this, entities including the private sector are being encouraged to plant commercial trees on 500,000 hectares and rehabilitate 6 million hectares of degraded natural forest.

As a result of these ongoing efforts, forest cover increased to 60.4 percent in 2017 based on Lao forestry standards, Dr Lien said.

Source: Souksakhone Vaenkeo, Vientiane Times.

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