BINH THUAN (VNS)— Deforestation in central Binh Thuan Province keeps increasing, despite local authorities' efforts to protect the forests.
In areas bordering Central Highlands province Lam Dong and southern province Dong Nai, the devastation is particularly severe.
Local forest wardens had handled 1,162 cases of deforestation as of November, seizing 1,200cu.m of wood.
Bac Binh District, home to rich forests with many kinds of precious timber, is the biggest hotbed of illegal forest exploitation, said head of the district's forest management unit Vo Thai Hoa. While poachers regularly crept into the forest to cut down trees, local farmers had also encroached on forest land for agricultural cultivation. They had already used hundreds of hectares of forest land, particularly in districts bordering Dong Nai and Lam Dong provinces such as Tanh Linh, Duc Linh and Ham Thuan Bac.
In 2012, local forest wardens in co-ordination with authorised agencies destroyed trees which had been illegally planted on more than 200ha of forest land.
"Local people in Lam Dong Province continue to encroach on the forest in border areas between the two provinces by chopping down trees or burning forest land without permission," said head of the provincial Forest Management Department Mai Kieu. "Authorities of the two provinces, working together to find ways to protect the forest, have agreed to create a legal framework to manage forests in these border areas," he said.
The province has set up inter-disciplinary teams, including police, soldiers and forest rangers, to prevent illegal forest exploitation.
Binh Thuan is currently home to more than 350,000ha of forest land. — VNS