|Hundreds of pine trees in Lộc Ngãi Commune were intentionally poisoned with chemicals. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Dũng|
LÂM ĐỒNG — Nearly 6,500sq.m of 30-year-old pine forest in Lộc Ngãi Commune, Bảo Lâm District, the Central Highlands province of Lâm Đồng has been poisoned, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
Some 330 pine trees planted in 1986 had their trunks cut open and filled with chemicals to kill them.
The forest is monitored by Đam B’Ri Department of Protection Forest Management.
The Bảo Lâm District Forest Ranger Department reported the case to the provincial police but the culprit has not been identified.
A metre-wide canal was dug to separate the forest from local farms.
According to Nguyễn Tài Tú, head of Bảo Lâm District Forest Ranger Department, deforestation using the same tactic to encroach forestry land has become more common in the first half of 2019.
However, it is very difficult to catch criminals in the act. Last year, only two culprits were arrested.
Forests managed by local communities suffer the same situation.
Last week, hundreds of pieces of pine trees were found buried in subdivision 438A in Lộc Phú Commune, Bảo Lâm District even though the area was protected by a metal fence.
According to law enforcement agencies, the trees may have been felled in recent months and replaced with avocado trees.
A total of 97ha in the forest were destroyed to make room to plant coffee, avocados and passion fruit.
Phan Duy Tâm, head of Lộc Phú Commune People’s Committee, said the community forest used to be managed by nine households but now only two households hold the responsibility.
“Deforestation and encroachment on forest land has showed the shortcomings of community forestry,” he said.
Tú said the department had asked head of the commune's village no.4 Nguyễn Đức Dạo to remove all the trees planted to replace illegally felled pine forest but he was reluctant to obey.
“Since many wrongdoings were reported, the department has asked local authorities to retake the community's forest,” said Tú.
In early June, Bạch Đình Kế, 37, who was behind the pine forest poisoning in Tân Thanh Commune, was arrested. Kế and his accomplices poisoned thousands of 20-year-old pine trees covering 10ha in the district in May. The trees were axed or drilled and then filled with herbicide. — VNS