Illegal loggers still destroying forests
HA NOI — Over 13,700 violations of forest protection and timber management laws were reported nationwide in the fist six months of the year, 10 per cent fewer than in the same period last year, Viet Nam Administration of Forestry deputy director Ha Cong Tuan told participants at a forestry sector review meeting here yesterday.
Many of the violations were far more serious than in the past, however, particularly in Huong Son District in Ha Tinh Province, in Ba Be National Park in Bac Kan and Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province, said Tuan.
About 623ha of forest land were lost in the first six months of the year due to a variety of factors, including changes in forest use purposes, illegal logging and forest fires. Changes in use purposes included felling trees for agricultural production or mining, or logging of high-value wood, particularly the sua tree (Dalbergia tonkinensis).
He emphasised the need to bring illegal loggers to court and urged forest rangers to fufill their duties responsibly. There was an imperative for all sectors, including the political system, to co-operate in protecting the nation's forests.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Dang Khoa said the ministry would co-ordinate closely with relevant agencies to tighten controls on the wood processing industry, particularly those close to forests and engaged in timber trading. He added that he has ordered local authorities to review existing forestry projects and ensure that forest protection programmes were adequately funded. — VNS