Viet Nam News
ĐẮK LẮK – Nearly 10,500 hectares of natural forest in the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) province of Đắk Lắk have been illegally destroyed since 2015, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The lost areas were mostly allocated to districts and communes as well as one-member forestry limited companies. Especially hard-hit was Ea Súp District, with 9,358ha lost, the report said.
Illegal deforestation also occurred in Ea H’leo, M’Đrắk, Krông Bông, Ea Kar, Cư M’gar, Lắk districts.
The report indicates that local authorities have not fully fulfilled their responsibilities in forest management and protection.
Public awareness on forest protection is still limited and inspection and handling of violations have not been conducted regularly, according to the report.
The inspection and detection of violations is often delayed, leading to difficulties in recovering areas that have been encroached upon illegally by local people for agricultural and forestry production.
Besides, People’s Committees at the communes and districts do not receive funds to care for the forests while they must protect a large area, 131,891ha.
There is still a lack of specific regulation on the responsibility of authorities at all levels, particularly district and commune levels, organizations, units and forest owners, the report said.
To overcome this situation, Đắk Lắk province has directed districts to assign specific tasks to local agencies to strengthen forest management in order to recover all encroached forest areas.
Training for local rangers will also be enhanced.
The province also proposes the Government, ministries and relevant agencies promulgate documents guiding the implementation of the Forest Law, especially clarifying the rights, obligations and responsibilities of forest owners, and clear sanctions for forest owners, agencies and individuals for loss of forest.
Đắk Lắk province has a total area of 722,141ha of forest and forestry land. - VNS