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Natural forests in Vietnam wiped out despite strict regulations

Tens of thousands of hectares of natural forests have been devastated just within a short time.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has requested local authorities to explain the deforestation and claim responsibility.

 

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The ministry’s report released last May showed that the natural forest area in nine provinces decreased sharply by 29,000 hectares in 2018-2019. The sharpest decreases were seen in Dak Lak (11,400 hectares), Dak Nong (7,000 hectares), Quang Binh (3,300 hectares) and Quang Tri (2,000 hectares).

MARD’s Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan has requested to check the lost forest area and clarify the responsibilities of organizations and individuals for the forest loss.

Forests disappear

MARD's report released last May showed that the natural forest area in nine provinces decreased sharply by 29,000 hectares in 2018-2019. The sharpest decreases were seen in Dak Lak (11,400 hectares), Dak Nong (7,000 hectares), Quang Binh (3,300 hectares) and Quang Tri (2,000 hectares).

It took reporters two days to walk to the fokienia forests in Sub-zone 1219 put under the control of Krong Bong Forestry Ltd Co in Krong Bong district of Dak Lak.

Located in such a disadvantageous position, the fokienia population there has been devastated by illegal loggers for many years. Most recently, 19 fokienia trees, belonging to the protective forest, were found felled by them in April.

Some reporters felt surprised when seeing that illegal loggers cut by 5-10 cm into tree trunks. A forest ranger explained that the loggers examined the quality of the tree to find if the wood was rotten inside. They did this to ‘declare ownership’ with other illegal loggers, sending words that they will come to exploit the trees later.

The fokenia population, comprising trees hundreds of years old, has been the favorite destination for illegal loggers for many years. The sub-zone 1219 alone has witnessed five illegal exploitation cases since 2018, in which hundreds of fokenia trees have been felled.

According to Bui Quoc Tuan, director of Krong Bong Forestry, many local people rely on the forests to earn their living and some of them join the groups of illegal loggers.

Tuan said the police took investigation on the deforestation cases, but they could not find illegal loggers. And more and more deforestation cases continue occurring.

The forests in the Nam Kar and Ea So Natural Reserves, and the forests put under the control of Ea Kar Forestry and Chu Pa Forestry Companies have also been devastated continually.

After each case occurred, provincial and districts’ authorities released documents requesting forest owners and relevant agencies to strengthen measures to protect the forests. But more forests have been devastated.

On the trail that linked to Sub-zone 1104 controlled by Duc Hoa Forestry Company, reporters saw many felled trees lying on the ground and the burned trees, which were behind the signboard with the words ‘cam pha rung’ (no deforestation).

The devastated forest area is not far from the checkpoint of the Duc Hoa Forest Company.

Vu Dung

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