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Ministry wants ban on natural forest exploitation

Update: January, 20/2014 - 08:34
Forest guards measure timber seized from poachers in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai. — VNA/VNS Photo Sy Huynh

DAK LAK (VNS)— The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has asked the Government to issue an order to stop the exploitation of natural forests in the Central Highlands region between now and 2020.

Speaking at a conference to review last year's achievements, the deputy agriculture minister Ha Cong Tuan said that forestry companies in the region, especially those that have not operated profitably, would be turned into forest management agencies.

The conference was held by the Steering Board of the Central Highlands Region in Dak Lak Province's Buon Ma Thuot City last Friday (January 17).

According to reports released at the conference, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the region in 2013 rose by 10.69 per cent compared with the previous year, while per capita income reached VND31.26 million (US$1,480), a year-on-year increase of 16 per cent.

The development of new rural areas had been successful, with VND32 trillion (over $ 1.5 billion) mobilized for infrastructure development and production promotion.

Some 63,000 labourers have attended vocational courses, while 114,000 labourers have new jobs.

Bank credit and the Government's policies to support poor communes and districts had created favourable conditions for more than 44,000 households in the region, helping them to escape poverty, putting the ratio of poor families in the region at 13.64 per cent.

The Central Highlands has been facing major issues such as poor infrastructure development, rampant deforestation and wild animal hunting.

Also, hydro-power projects have caused damage to the environment, including the late resettlement of households affected by these projects.

In addition, forestry companies in the region have not been well re-structured and re-organised, according to official reports. —VNS

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