Viet Nam News
THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — Pressure from local media and public has prompted an investigation by ranger authorities into the origin of three large perennial trees found at a plot in the central province of Thừa Thiên-Huế.
According to local newspapers, Đỗ Quang Tùng, acting director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Ranger Department, had urged ranger divisions in the province investigating the case to track the trees’ origin.
Tùng was quoted by local newspapers as saying that investigation of procedures that allowed the trees to be moved out of their original places must be fostered in case they were forest trees.
Last weekend, traffic police in Thừa Thiên-Huế Province stopped three lorries carrying three trees, each being some 14m tall and measuring 1.3m in diameter.
The trucks, which were operated by a company based in the neighbouring Quảng Bình Province, violated traffic laws for overweight and overlength transportation, resulting in a fine of VNĐ80 million (US$3,500) and temporary seizure of drivers’ licence.
The company later dumped the trees on a vacant plot of land in Thừa Thiên-Huế Province and drove the trucks back to Quảng Bình. The company director said they had been hired to transport trees from Central Highland’s Đắk Lắk Province to a pagoda in Hà Nội.
Y Sy H’Đơk, head of the provincial division of rangers in Đắk Lắk, told local newspapers that the trees were uprooted from a district in the province. However, he needed time to investigate whether the trees were uprooted from a forest or village in the locality. In the meantime, a resident in Đắk Lắk’s Giang Hà Village reported to local ranger division that he sold one of the trees from his forest farm to take space for cultivation. Local authorities permitted the uprooting.
Meanwhile, Nguyễn Đại Anh Tuấn, head of the provincial ranger division in Thừa Thiên- Huế Province, said it was difficult to identify the species and origin of the trees by looking at them as their roots and branches had been cut short.
He said he would appoint staff to Quảng Bình to work with the truck company.
The origin of these giant trees has been a hot topic in the local media and social network as many suspect the trees to have been uprooted from a forest area, which means a violation of forestry laws and adds to the negative surge of forest logging. — VNS