End sought to illegal logging
HA NOI - (VNS) Environmental experts have called for an end to forest wood exploitation in Viet Nam after it emerged that 2012 plans for tree regeneration will fall well short of targets.
At a meeting in Ha Noi yesterday, members of the State Steering Committee on Forest Protection and Development Plan 2011 - 20 were disappointed to hear that forests continue to be abused and only two-thirds of the expected regeneration has actually been achieved.
Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other relevant bodies, were also in attendance.
The Steering Committee's report found that only 211,000ha of forest have been regenerated nationwide this year, meeting just 74 per cent of the target.
The report added that as many as 110,000 cubic metres of wood have been lumbered in 2012. While this marks a dramatic improvement on the one million cubic metres annually lumbered in 1990s, there still needs to be done to safeguard the country's remaining total wood stocks of 862 million cubic metres.
In addition, 11,000 illegal wood processing, transportation and trading cases have been uncovered this year, leading to around 25,000 cubic metres of wood being seized.
The committee hopes its crackdown on illegal traders will help reduce levels of wood origin falsification and illegal milling.
Compounding the deforestation problem, up to 384 forest fire cases have been reported this year, representing a 50 per cent increase on 2011.
According to the office of the State Steering Committee, the major reason for failure has been inappropriate use of the State Budget, with large amounts being invested in infrastructure construction.
Hai urged the ministryto thoroughly discuss its plans to halt forest wood exploitation before submitting it to the government for approval.
He added that provinces should also replant the number of trees lost due to hydro-power schemes, warning that new projects will be considered unless provinces seriously step up replanting efforts. — VNS