Viet Nam News
QUẢNG TRỊ – Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked central Quảng Trị Province’s authorities to continue investigating the deforestation of a protected forest in Vĩnh Linh District and strictly penalise the violators.
Last month, the provincial agricultural sector confirmed deforestation was taking place after the local police investigated the case, following a series of articles published by the Lao động (Labour) newspaper on August 3 and 4.
According to the Lao động newspaper, ignoring Prime Minister Phúc’s order to close all natural forests in the country from June 20, poachers illegally chopped and transported trees from the protective forest in Vĩnh Linh District. Local forest wardens allegedly assisted the culprits.
The police discovered that trees had been cut down in the Vĩnh Ô and Vĩnh Hà communes. In Vĩnh Ô Commune, the police seized nearly 8cu.m. of timber of groups V and VI, used to make furniture or in construction.
In Vĩnh Hà Commune, the police caught two suspects in the act, illegally chopping 21 trees.
The deforested areas, located some 10-15km away from the residential areas, are under the management of Vĩnh Linh District’s forest management, Bến Hải River Basin’s protective forest management board and Quyết Thắng Farm.
Poor management was blamed for deforestation in the two communes, the police said.
Võ Văn Hưng, director of the provincial Agriculture and Rural Development Department, asked the police to identify the culprits and the wrongdoers in the management agencies so that they could be strictly disciplined.
Hưng told forest rangers to intensify patrolling and spread awareness among locals against destroying forests in an attempt to bring the situation under control soon.
PM Phúc also told the People’s Committee of Quảng Trị Province to strictly punish organisations and individuals involved in the incident in line with the current regulations and implement measures to prevent a reccurrence of such incidents.
Last month, right after the Lao Động newspaper published the articles, PM Phúc ordered the provincial People’s Committee to quickly investigate the incident and report to the government. – VNS