HA TINH (VNS)— Nearly 250 unauthorised carpentry workshops have been closed in central Ha Tinh Province after its Forest Management Department launched a two-week crackdown on illegal logging.
Inspectors visited 400 workshops and found over half to be operating without valid work permits and licenses.
The department's campaign followed a provincial request for local agencies to show stronger management over logging businesses and investigate violations.
Police have apprehended many loggers in the act of transporting timber cut down without permission in the first few months of 2013 and it is believed that carpentry workshops were the main accomplices of the destroyers. Some forests in the area have been exploited by as much as 40 per cent.
|Nearly 250 unauthorised carpentry workshops have been closed in central Ha Tinh Province after its Forest Management Department launched a two-week crackdown on illegal logging.—Illustrative image/Photo hatinh24h.org.vn
The majority of the workshops closed down were operating in mountainous districts with large areas of forest, including Huong Khe, Huong Son and Ky Anh, according to the department's deputy director Hoang Quoc Huan.
"Despite our initial success, more measures are needed to better control illegal workshops in the area and prevent them from re-appearing," he acknowledged.
The carpentry workshops cleared of wrongdoing signed a pledge not to buy timber if its origin is unclear, while the department plans to check again next month to ensure that the closed workshops do not re-open.
"This time we need help from local police as many of our inspectors have faced drastic resistance from workshop owners," said Huan.
The department will also work with the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to set up a survey studying the career skills of local residents, especially the ones whose workshops were closed.
Vocational courses will be opened to help these people change their job, he said. — VNS