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Forests devastated because of Vietnamese hobby for woodworks

VietNamNet Bridge - Old forests continue to “bleed” because of the rich’s hobby of collecting wooden furniture items.
VietNamNet Bridge - Old forests continue to “bleed” because of the rich’s hobby of collecting wooden furniture items.


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Wooden decoration displayed in houses, in Vietnamese thoughts, show the landlords’ high class in society. Therefore, the rich are willing to spend big money on original beautiful woodworks made of precious and rare wood from old forests. As a result, forests are getting exhausted.

Gia Lai’s people in the Central Highlands, the homeland of many kinds of precious wood, are especially keen on wooden furniture. 

Wooden items can be seen in every house there, from small decorative items to house doors and stairs. As demand is very high, woodwork is available everywhere in Gia Lai province, from luxurious showrooms to pavement shops. The products are diverse, from small ones worth just several hundreds of dong to high-end ones, worth billions of dong.

“Visitors to Gia Lai seem to like wooden statues – the statues of combatant-heroes in mythology, the statues of the God of Wealth or the statues for worshiping. The products are priced between millions of dong and hundreds of millions of dong,” a wooden furniture trader said.

Also, according to the trader, it is not difficult to find fine art works made of precious wood in Gia Lai because there are diverse products for customers to choose. 

“You can buy decorative items made of hardwood with just several millions of dong. However, the products are made of small pieces of wood or young wood,” he explained. 

“Meanwhile, the special products made of large wood plates with natural original styles may be worth billions of dong,” he said, adding that experienced woodwork collectors prefer “something natural” to artificial things.

The man introduced himself as an experienced trader who specializes in distributing Gia Lai’s wooden products in the north. 

He said Gia Lai’s products are expensive, but they are more competitive than the products made in the famous wooden fine arts village of Dong Ky as they are unique.

“Sometimes I receive orders for products made of aloe wood. The prices of such products are valued at no less than several billions of dong,” he said.

“Exploiting aloe wood devastates the forests most brutally,” he added.

In order to create the unique wooden furniture items to satisfy the rich, many precious trees tens or hundreds of years old have been felled in old forests.

State management agencies have rung the alarm bell over the increasingly serious deforestation in recent years. 

The forests in the Central Highlands have been decreasing by 25,737 hectares per annum. Meanwhile the forest quality has been degrading sharply with only 1.7 million hectares of high-reserve forests (the coverage of 32.4 percent and higher).

Thanh Mai



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