|Forest protection force dismantles illegal shelters of loggers in Sơn Trà Nature Reserve in Đà Nẵng city. VNS Photo Công Thành |Viet Nam News
Đà Nẵng — The central city of Đà Nẵng has decided to prosecute officials allegedly responsible for illegal logging in a nature reserve on Sơn Trà Peninsula.
The head of the forestry department, Trần Viết Phương, confirmed yesterday that the forest destruction was discovered at an eco-tour site.
In an inspection of the 18-ha Thủy Sơn Trang Trà site on April 29th, the Sơn Trà-Ngũ Hành Sơn Forest Protection sub-department found 16 big trees had been logged. The total volume of the logs was 63.4 cubic metres.
Phương said the eco-tour site owner had violated regulations on forest protection and logging under the revised 2009 criminal law and his office had sent the case to the city’s people’s procuracy agency for judgment.
Earlier this year, over 11ha forest in the nature reserve were destroyed by illegal loggers for commercial purposes.
The city’s Agriculture and Rural Development department had suspended the former head and deputy head of the Sơn Trà-Ngũ Hành Sơn Forest Protection sub-department, Trần Văn Thanh and Lê Phước Bảy, as well as three rangers, pending further investigation.
Two illegal hunting cases were documented in the nature reserve last year and 2,000 traps were dismantled by rangers and volunteers.
Sơn Trà Nature Reserve is home to 300 Red-Shanked Doucs – a critically endangered species by International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In 2015, the city’s forest Protection sub-Department prosecuted a criminal case involving the illegal killing of three Red-Shanked Doucs (Pygathryx nemaeus).
Son Tra Peninsula, which covers 4,439ha, is home to 985 varieties of plants and 378 animal species. The Peninsula sees around 10,000 visitors per month. — VNS