‘Drastic forest development’: Vietnam to plant 1 billion trees — but how?

In October and November of 2020, a relentless barrage of nine typhoons and tropical storms slammed into Vietnam, setting off record floods and countless landslides. Nearly 200 people died, and property damage was estimated at $1.5 billion.

Then-Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc responded on Nov. 10 by calling for 1 billion trees to be planted nationwide by 2025 in hopes that increased forest cover would help prevent future landslides and reduce flooding.

The billion-tree program is now official government policy with a number of aims, including protecting ecosystems, improving scenery, responding to climate change, and aiding economic development. But the government has yet to release specifics on what species will be planted where and by whom, or the cost and source of funding.

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Michael Tatarski