|Trees in a protected forest in Quảng Trị Province were cut down illegally. – Photo nhandan.com.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked authorities of Đắk Lắk, Quảng Trị and Quảng Bình provinces to investigate and determine illegal deforestation activities in their areas, as reported by media.
Earlier this month, the Nhân Dân (People) and VOV online newspapers ran articles reporting the destruction of forests in parts of the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk and the central provinces of Quảng Bình and Quảng Trị.
Deforestation is becoming “hot” in Đắk Lắk as the province enters the peak of its dry season, reports said. In Ea Súp District alone, local authorities discovered that illegal loggers had cut down hundreds of cubic metres of wood since the start of the year. More than 190 hectares of forest has been cut down, cleared and encroached upon since early 2016, the provincial forest management department said.
In Quảng Bình Province, many people were flocking to the forests, particularly in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, to get their hands on hương (Pterocarpus macrocarpus), a highly valued timber, VOV reported. In the past few months, the park’s forest rangers have detected and handled 15 cases of illegal deforestation and seized around one tonne of hương wood.
In Quảng Trị Province, several hectares of protected forests in Hướng Hóa and Đắk Rông districts have been exploited illegally since the end of 2016, the Nhân Dân newspaper said.
Many old trees, with trunk diameters ranging from 40cm to 70cm, have been reportedly cut down. The logs were then sawed vertically, into short pieces and moved out of the forest by motorbike. Deforestation was going on despite the efforts of local authorities, the report said.
The PM has instructed the people’s committees of these localities to inspect the reported cases and take strict actions against offenders. — VNS