Calls to halt natural forest exploitation by 2013
Ha Noi - (VNS) The Tay Nguyen Steering Committee has urged the Government to ban natural forest exploitation in the region by early next year to protect and preserve the picturesque Central Highlands. The request will not apply to forest businesses in possession of an international sustainable forest development certificate, the committee said.
|In the first nine months of this year, there were 5,000 forest protection violation cases with a total deforestation area of 415 hectares in Tay Nguyen.—File photo
Deforestation, illegal logging, and poaching in the region is increasing at an alarming rate. In the first nine months of this year, there were 5,000 forest protection violation cases with a total deforestation area of 415 hectares, said the committee.
Tay Nguyen's natural forests shrunk in both area and quality - areas of rich forest have declined, while areas of barren forests are becoming more common. Many species of animals and trees have either disappeared or become scarce, such as Ngoc Linh ginseng, said an official from the Forest Science Institute of Viet Nam.
According to aerial photographs taken in 2011, the Tay Nguyen's forest was estimated to cover nearly 2.66 million of hectares with coverage of 46%. Natural forest loss is becoming an increasingly serious issue and the latest estimates say only 2.03 million hectares natural forest remain with coverage of 37.2%.
The steering committee has also asked the Government to urgently approve its regional forest inventory plan and develop a master plan for forest protection, forest management and forest exploitation for the region during the period 2011-2020.
The committee also asked the Government to review the region's agricultural land allocation, particularly the inappropriate transformation of forest land to agricultural land and to coffee and rubber land. Clear boundaries between productive forest, protected forest and special forest areas were also requested.
Tay Nguyen forest is rapidly losing its capacity to protect land and water resources and it's thought to no longer be capable of efficiently protect the region in the event of flood and drought. -VNS