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Deforestation decrease in first three months

Update: April, 25/2013 - 11:48
Forest is destroyed in many places nation-wide.— Photo dantri
HA NOI (VNS)-- More than 450 instances of illegal deforestation were discovered in the first three months of this year, according to the Vietnam Administration of Forestry.

In Bac Bien Ho Forest in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, forest fire destroyed 160 ha of wooded land.

While as many as 200 ha of forest were destroyed, this represented a decrease from last year, when there were 220 more cases and even more forest was destroyed.

During an online Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development conference yesterday that connected 64 provinces and cities, deputy director of administration Nguyen Ba Ngai said that by the end of March, only eight provinces had completed afforestation plans – four per cent of the goal.

Nguyen Cong Nong, deputy director of the Tuyen Quang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, complained that the province's afforestation efforts faced many challenges, as the state budget allocated only VND15 million (US$700) for a three-year period of work.

Local households also cannot achieve successful afforestation due to the lack of funds because they are not allowed to borrow capital with preferential interest.

Nong proposed hiring more forest managers. At present, the province has 280 forest rangers – nearly 200 short of the amount required by Government regulations.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat blamed province and city authorities' irresponsibility for the violations in forest protection.

Some provinces did not have enough manpower and had not found sources of funding for forest protection aside from the state budget, he said.

Coming ministry inspections will focus on the Central region, where there is the highest risk of forest fires.

Phat asked relevant agencies to join hands with each other to speed up afforestation and raise awareness about forest protection. -- VNS


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