|The remnants of a pine forest in Dak Lak Province's Krong Buk District. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Hoa
DAK LAK (VNS) — Over 90 per cent of the pine forest along the Ho Chi Minh Highway that runs through Krong Buk District in Dak Lak Province has been destroyed by residents as well as the local administration.
A Tin Tuc (News) report said last week that the forest has been cleared to plant crops and build new residential areas.
Just a few dozen of more than 2,040ha remain forested in Krong Buk and Ea H'Leo districts, with most trees having been chopped down as authorities looked the other way.
The deforested land has been used to build houses or establish coffee or vegetable gardens. Apart from using common tools like saws and axes to cut the trees, residents also used other methods like killing the trees by letting their resin run out, the report said.
It cited an official of the Cu Ne Commune in Krong Buk District as saying that last year, hundreds of Ede ethnic minority households in Mui 1, Mui 2 and Mui 3 villages collectively used saws and axes to chop down the pine trees.
However, Y Thanh, Deputy Chairman of the Cu Ne People's Committee, said that the local administrations were also to blame for the deforestation.
"Both the Kinh (the majority community in Viet Nam) and the Ede illegally cleared out the forest to farm crops or build houses, and some administrative units took the land to construct their office buildings," Thanh said.
The pine forest had been planted and cared for by the Ea Sup Forestry-Agriculture-Industry Union since the 1980s as a buffer against flood waters from the Ba River in the east and the Ea Sup Lake in the west.
After the Union was dissolved, the forest placed under management of three different administrative units, including Buon Ho Town, Ea H'Leo District and Krong Buk District. — VNS