Viet Nam News
ĐẮK LẮK — Đắk Lắk province’s People’s Committee has requested local forest owners to examine all natural forest areas and inventory in all parts that have been destroyed or illegally encroached upon since 2014.
The forest owners were asked to clearly define the specific limits of the destroyed forests, the forest situation before deforestation and the current situation. They will be required to clarify the cause of the deforestation in their area.
If the forest owners fail to report accurately on these issues or ignore and evade their responsibilities, they will be subject to legal action.
The forest owners are companies that have been allocated forest land on a lease or for building projects. They are in charge of inspecting and protecting these areas. However, in recent days, natural forest areas have seen severe deforestation without any preventive measures being taken.
Initial figures showed that since 2015, the damaged and encroached-upon natural forest areas have reached a total of nearly 10,360 hectares, mainly in the Ea Súp and Ea H’leo districts.
The reason, according to the provincial authority, was the loose management of the forest owners, local forest protection units, local forest rangers and local authorities.
Further, many forest owners were found to have foregone regular checks on their assigned forestland, failed to report to authorised agencies on detecting violations and failed to compile dossiers of violations or draw up plans with competent authorities for the timely handling of any violations.
Last June, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc asked the Đắk Lắk Province’s People’s Committee to investigate illegal logging in Ea Súp District after local press reported a series of large-scale forest logging in the province.
Forest rangers had seized nearly 100 cubic metres of wood cut down by illegal loggers within two months. Heaps of timber were found along the roads in the Ia Lốp and Ia Jlơi communes, and even in front of the Ia Jlơi Commune People’s Committee office.
Phúc had asked the committee to investigate the issue of illegal logging raised by the local media.
Đắk Lắk Province has 86,000 hectares of forestland. Of this, 80,960 hectares is natural forest, and the rest has been planted. The dry season is known as the best time for illegal logging as the paths are accessible and it is easy to get the timber out of the forest. — VNS