Viet Nam News
ĐẮK NÔNG — Despite a number of measures to prevent violations in forest protection and development law, there still remain four hot spots of deforestation in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Nông.
This was revealed by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The four hot spots are zones 1685 and 1697, managed by the Gia Nghĩa forestry company; zone 1507 of the Quảng Tín forestry company; zone 1506 of the Thiện Hưng company; and zone 1529 of the Khang Nam real estate company.
Lê Trọng Yên, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said local authorities and relevant agencies have stepped up measures to curb the appearance of new hot spots, while calling for forest owners, locals and the whole community to sign and pledge commitment to follow state regulations in forest protection.
In the first nine months of this year, the department made efforts to remove seven hot spots of illegal logging in forests.
The department will conduct regular and unscheduled investigations of wood processing bases, impose strict penalties and suspend operation of bases using illegally logged wood, he said.
Forest rangers and owners have been assigned to patrol the hot spots round the clock to immediately detain poachers. Early last month, investigators in Đắk Mi District of Đắk Nông Province prosecuted Đinh Hồng Phong from central Nghệ An Province for ransacking properties.
Phong is a well known thief in the region, leading a group of 10 gangsters to rob locals and destroy forests. He confessed to the police that his group destroyed a forest zone managed by the MTV Đức Hòa company in Đắk Song District, damaging a major area of natural forest land.
Initial statistics of the department reveal there have been 302 deforestation cases in the province since January, damaging nearly 120ha.
The province has lost 26,000ha of forest between 2010 and 2015 due to a management breach by state forestry companies, which had been assigned by the government to protect the area, the Lao Động (Labour) newspaper reported.
It also estimated that some 50,000ha of forest in the province have been illegally appropriated since 2010.
The forests are illegally logged to plant rubber and coffee trees, and to make room for housing. — VNS