Illegal loggers on the move - again

Update: September, 22/2017 - 09:00
Protection farce: One of the many trees felled in a protected zone in Tiên Lãnh Commune of Quảng Nam Province’s Tiên Phước District. About 110ha of trees were destroyed for acacia farms. — VNS Photo Lan Anh
Viet Nam News

QUẢNG NAM — The central province of Quảng Nam will check on the illegal logging of 110ha of protected forest in Tiên Phước District’s Tiên Lãnh Commune.

Head of the provincial secretariat, Nguyễn Hồng Quang, told Việt Nam News that a delegation, led by vice chairman of the province, Lê Trí Thanh, had been checking on the case.

He said the province would send detailed reports of the incident to the Prime Minister.

Local media reported last week that a large area of forest in two sub-zones in the midland commune had been illegally logged so that highly profitable acacia trees could be planted.

Lê Minh Sơn, communal party secretary, said the commune had arrested seven loggers who said they were employed to clear the forest for farming acacia.

Farmers can earn VNĐ70 million (US$3,000) from a one-hectare farm of acacia every five years.

The district, 40km away from provincial Tam Kỳ City, has 7,000ha of forest, of which 3,000ha is protected.

Chairman of the district’s people’s committee, Hường Minh, said poor management of forest rangers and weak punishment were the main reasons for a series of forest clearing.

He said three loggers, who were arrested for felling 3ha of forest last year, were only fined VNĐ700,000 ($30) each.

He said the district had commenced proceedings against 28 illegal logging cases in the area between 2013-17.

Last year, 60 rare and endangered Pơ Mu trees were illegally felled and sawn up for timber. — VNS