Dien Bien protecting forests associated with economic development

The northern mountainous province of Dien Bien now has promoted the development of production forests and protected forests together with the development of models such as planting medicinal plants under the forest canopy. It has not only created livelihoods and improved household incomes but is also a solution to help keep forestry sustainable throughout the province.


Planting cardamom trees under the forest canopy is a model successfully applied in Tenh Phong commune in Dien Bien’s Tuan Giao district. It was previously planted in a spontaneous manner, but over the last 15 years the cardamom area in the commune has been constantly expanding. It now has more than 80 ha of cardamom, bringing in incomes of 10 to 60 million VND a year depending on the growing area.

In 2015 the border district of Nam Po implemented a pilot planting model of 2 ha of green safflower under the forest canopy, to improve economic efficiency from the forest. The safflower growing area in the district has now increased to 30 ha, helping households earn more income, from thousands to hundreds of millions of VND a year.

Along with the development of the model of growing medicinal plants under the forest canopy, Dien Bien province also focuses on afforestation and the sustainable development of the forestry economy. In the 2016-2020 period, it has planted more than 4,300 ha of forest. The planting of production forests has also changed people’s perception of economic development, encouraging them to invest and bolster efforts to expand the afforestation area.

In the forest development plan for the 2021-2025 period, Dien Bien province aims to plant some 1,500 ha of new forests each year, in which production forest will account for two-thirds of the area, with the remainder being protected forest. The province also promotes forest zoning and regeneration, and at the same time creates favourable mechanisms and policies to attract all economic sectors to participate in forest development to protect and develop the economy based on sustainable forests./.