Power plants step up forest planting drive

SON LA (VNS) — The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on Saturday launched a forest planting festival at the Son La Hydropower Plant.

The event, held in the northern mountainous province of Son La and attended by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, is seen as a key component in fulfilling National Assembly and Government resolutions regarding the planning, construction and operation of hydropower projects.

Addressing the ceremony, Deputy PM Hai said planting trees would help stabilise water resources, thus raising the efficient operations of hydroelectric plants.

According to the official, between 2006 and 2013 the country completed 205 hydropower projects, which were built on nearly 20,000 ha of forestry land in 27 cities and provinces.

However, there have been only 11 provinces that have so far approved projects to plant trees over areas of 2,600 ha, according to the Deputy PM.

He also asked project investors to strictly observe the Government's instructions on planting forests, while requesting the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to coordinate with localities in supervising the work.

Pham Le Thanh, General Director of the Electricity of Viet Nam, said the group considered planting trees as one of its responsibilities to the community, noting that planting forests helps prevent erosion, ensures ecological safety and improves the environment in areas surrounding the forests.

The EVN has instructed project managing boards to carry out planting forests to help replace the converted forestry land.

MoIT Minister Vu Huy Hoang voiced his pleasure with the significant contributions of hydropower plants to ensuring national energy security, curbing the impact of floods, irrigating farm lands and helping spur socio-economic development.

Statistics released by the ministry show that 50,950 ha of forest across the country have been converted for use in hydropower projects.

Inaugurated in December 2012, the Son La Hydropower Plant, which is described as a project that will help assure the nation's energy security, is striving to plant 300 ha of forest which were previously used for power purposes.


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