Forest rangers seize smuggled timber
QUANG BINH — Forest rangers successfully found and seized the largest ever amount of rare and endangered sua trees, which were allegedly cut down by lumberjacks in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in central Quang Binh Province recently.
In an unexpected and rapid patrol of Bau Sen Village, Phuc Trach commune, Bo Trach District, the rangers found and seized five blockages of sua timber (Dalbergia cochinchinensis-Alstonia family), weighing up to 366 kg.
This timber was thought to be part of the three big sua trees cut down illegally in the protected World Heritage site of Phong Nha-Ke Bang. The seized timber was estimated at VND13 billion(US$620,000) according to the market price.
Ranger team leader Nguyen Tien Su said after receiving information from the public, they prevented the lumberjacks from bringing the timber out of the forest.
Su said the rangers quickly set up additional forces, as well as coordinating closely with border guards, police, and the commune's authorities in the buffer zone of the national park after the trees were cut down.
"This is how we could so quickly recover the timber," said Su. However, the traffickers had already escaped.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park spans 120,000ha in the central province of Quang Binh with 80 per cent of the area forested. According to local people, sua timber is rare and expensive and sought by foreign traders in Viet Nam. Thus, when the trees were cut down, a lot of local people went to the forest in search of timber, causing chaos. According to rangers, the area returned to peace after the seizing.
Quang Binh Province People's Committee chairman Nguyen Huu Hoai, encouraged and rewarded the rangers who acted in this case.
The chairman urged the team to continue their protection of the forests, especially in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang World Natural Heritage National Park. Hoai also asked to boost the education of local people to understand the value of the heritage so that they could actively protect the forest. — VNS