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Illegal logging damages Ca Mau Park

Update: November, 11/2013 - 11:25
In the 4,800-ha park, located in Ngoc Hien District in the southernmost province of Ca Mau, illegal logging has occurred in the buffer and core zones, according to a report in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.— Photo tuoitre

HCM CITY (VNS)— Local authorities are struggling to control the illegal logging at the Mui Ca Mau (Ca Mau Cape) National Park, one of the country's largest submerged forests and a World Biosphere Reserve.

In the 4,800-ha park, located in Ngoc Hien District in the southernmost province of Ca Mau, illegal logging has occurred in the buffer and core zones, according to a report in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Dang Minh Lam, head of the park's Forest and Aquatic Division, said that many local residents had depleted aquatic resources and taken timber to make coal.

More than 2,000 households live around the park, with many of them poor without farmland, relying on aquatic resources and forests for their livelihood.

"Illegal logging can be controlled when local residents living around the park have jobs and farmland," Lam said.

The shortage of forest rangers and a dense river and canal system in the park are major problems in preventing illegal logging, he said.

Under order from the provincial People's Committee, the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development recently led an interdisciplinary inspection team to inspect illegal logging at the park.

The park has lost more than 1,000 cu.m of wood from illegal logging, according to the department.

The inspection team has also found that some rangers of the park have sold wood that has been cut down and left in the park by illegal loggers.

The team asked the People's Committee to ask the park management board to take back the money from selling the wood and strictly punish violations.

The province's police is investigating whether some rangers in the park have worked with illegal loggers to cut down 1,500 mangrove trees.

If violations are found, rangers will be punished, according to the People's Committee.

The park is Viet Nam's fifth Ramsar site (wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention). — VNS

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