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Deforestation declines but usual suspects unchecked

Update: December, 04/2014 - 08:26
Site of illegal logging in a forest in Song Hinh District, Phu Yen Province. — VNA/VNS The Lap

HA NOI (VNS) — Illegal deforestation so far this year was slightly lower than for the same period last year.

In October, illegal clearing throughout the nation amounted to about 600ha, about 50 ha less than at the same time last year.

However, the people responsible for protecting the timber have been shown, time and time again, to be almost totally ineffective.

This was announced at a meeting held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Da Nang on Monday, Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper reported.

According to the Forest Protection Department, certain localities, such as Bac Kan, Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Quang Binh, Quang Nam and Son La are hotspots for illegal tree clearing, said deputy head of the Viet Nam Ministry of Forestry, Do Trong Kim.

Poachers illegally cut down low-grade trees to grow others for milling and other purposes.

Kim said there was a shortage of about 3,000 forest rangers, which added to the difficulty of managing and abetting the situation.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ha Cong Tuan, said that unapproved deforestation was done in or around forest areas supervised by local forest-protection and management boards.

The boards have to monitor more two million hectares of the nation's forest land.

"However, most of the boards were incapable of doing this," Tuan said.

The ministry will submit plans to the Government to re-allocate the management of forest lands to fix the situation, he said.

Tuaan said the Government also needed to increase the number and quality of forest rangers in the meantime. — VNS

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