The UK-based biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has announced its investment worth up to US$50 million to restore forests and landscapes in Vietnam, as part of the former’s global initiative called AZ Forest.
The announcement ceremony was held on Friday in London, with the participation of Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long, as well as the global and regional leaders of AstraZeneca.
Under this reforestation project, 22.5 million trees will be planted over a total area of more than 30,500 hectares in Vietnam in the next five years, paving the way to foster biodiversity and support sustainable livelihoods for over 17,000 farming households.
Reforestation will be designed to maximize some co-benefits such as boosting biodiversity on a large scale, enhancing food and nutrition for local communities, protecting water and soil, building local climate resilience, and reducing risks of natural disasters.
Foreign Minister Son said that the AstraZeneca investment will make a significant contribution to supporting the Vietnamese government's strong commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 unveiled at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which took place in late 2021 in Glasgow, the UK.
The AZ Forest initiative will also contribute to a project of planting one billion trees by 2025 as part of Vietnam’s forestry development strategy.
“We’re glad to announce this investment and affirm our long-term commitment to Vietnam,” said Nitin Kapoor, chairman and general director of AstraZeneca Vietnam and Asia Area Frontier Markets.
Kapoor expected the reforestation initiative would bring significant benefits to the local economy, communities, and environment in the next 30 years.
The $50-million investment will be used for the local agro-forestry sector, comprising the sustainable production of timber, fruits, seeds, essential oils and resins; the increase of farming productivity through intercropping; and the sustainable development of the market value chain.
This investment is a follow-up to AstraZeneca’s $310-million investment into Vietnam during the 2020-30 period in order to ease the burden of diseases, enhance the healthcare system, improve the research and production of biopharmaceutical products in the country, and develop talents.
AZ Forest is a global initiative of AstraZeneca to plant and maintain 50 million trees worldwide by the end of 2025, in partnership with local governments and non-profit organizations focused on global reforestation.
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