ENVIRONMENT-NATURE: Govt announces 268-hectare botanical conservation area

The government has announced the establishment of the Huaynhang forestry conservation area in Dongmakkhai village, Xaythany district, Vientiane, with the aim of creating a protected forest area free from encroachment.

A ceremony to officially announce the 268-hectare Dongmakkhai Botanical Garden took place in the village on Saturday morning.

The event was attended by President Bounnhang Vorachit, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Dr Lien Thikeo, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Mr Sommad Pholsena, other high ranking officials and local authorities.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Sommad said the government had assigned the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to demarcate 268 hectares of land for the project.

130 posts would be installed to support protective fencing around the area to keep out trespassers and a sign would be erected to indicate that the site was the Dongmakkhai Botanical Garden.

“This project is part of our plan to continue to plant trees in many areas to increase forestry and green areas in the capital,” Mr Sommad said.
“In the future, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will partner with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to set up an ecology study zone here and open it up to tourists,” he added.

President Bounnhang, together with high ranking officials, planted trees at the site to mark National Arbour Day, National Environment Day, and World Environment Day.

To achieve the goal of restoring nationwide forest cover to 70 percent by 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will attempt to rehabilitate 517,500 hectares of degraded forest. The targeted 70 percent forest cover means that 16.5 million hectares of land will be forested. This will comprise 4.7 million hectares of conservation forest, 8.2 million hectares of protected forest, 3.1 million hectares of production forest (forests where commercial logging is authorised), and 500,000 hectares of commercial tree plantations.

Various entities including the private sector are being encouraged to plant commercial tree species on 500,000 hectares and rehabilitate 6 million hectares of degraded natural forest.

As a result of these efforts so far, forest cover increased to 60.4 percent in 2017.   By Times Reporters 
(Latest Update June 11, 
2018 /

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