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Illegal loggers put Bac Kan nature reserve at risk

Update: January, 13/2014 - 08:24
The Kim Hy nature reserve in the northern province of Bac Kan. Illegal exploitation of trees in the reserve has increased in recent days, as the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival approaches and the demand for wood surges, according to the director of the reserve, Nguyen Tien Dung. – VNS Photo Doan Tung

BAC KAN (VNS)— Illegal logging of trees in Kim Hy nature reserve in the northern province of Bac Kan has again been discovered, affecting both the environment and society.

Vietnam News Agency reporters saw a number of trees in the reserve chopped down during a recent trip, particularly nghien (Burretiodendron Hsienmu) trees. Some of them were cut down months ago, while others were chopped down as recently as several days ago. Some of the destroyed trees are up to 100 years old.

A local resident, who is sometimes hired by illegal loggers to transport wood, said each plank of nghien wood, which measures around 5cm thick, 2m long and 50cm wide, could be sold for up to VND1.2 million (US$57).

Meanwhile, director of the reserve, Nguyen Tien Dung, said illegal loggers have threatened forest rangers and local authorities because of the large profits in selling illegal wood.

The illegal exploitation of trees has increased during recent days, as the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival approaches and the demand for wood surges, he said.

In order to protect the forests, local rangers have worked with local authorities to take measures, such as increasing patrols and distributing information to raise awareness among local residents in protecting the forests, he said.

However, Dung noted that forest rangers face many difficulties, particularly due to a lack of staff and equipment, as well as co-operation from local authorities in protecting the forests.

In 2013, forest rangers from the reserve discovered 38 cases of illegal logging and destroyed tents and equipment involved in the logging, and seized more than 25cu.m of wood. — VNS


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