Former illegal logger now cultivates precious wood forest
VietNamNet Bridge - In the central province of Quang Binh, people prefer growing indigenous plants to acacia and cajuput. This allows them to make fat profits, protect the environment and conserve rare and precious plant species.


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In Ha hamlet of Thanh Hoa commune of Tuyen Hoa district, there is a forest covering 4 hectares, where all the trees are rare and precious which give hardwood. 

These include sua (Dalbergia tonkinensis Prain), lim (Erythrophleum fordii), vang tam (Manglietia fordiana Oliv) and tram huong (Aquilaria crassna).

The forest is the lifetime achievement of Dinh Xuan Dien, 78.

Dien said in 1997, he decided to give up his job as a ‘veteran’ illegal logger after many years of witnessing vast forests harmed by him and other local people.

In the central province of Quang Binh, people prefer growing indigenous plants to acacia and cajuput. This allows them to make fat profits, protect the environment and conserve rare and precious plant species.
At that time, the state called on people to reclaim virgin soil and plant forests on bare hills. Dien was allocated a desolate land plot with bombs and bullets left over from the war next to the Len Ha Cave. He vowed to plant forests and develop a farm there.

However, unlike other people, Dien does not grow acacia and cajuput, but focuses on indigenous plants, especially ones with precious wood.

Dien went to the forests to look for seedlings and grew plants on the land allocated. 

After years of working hard, Dien has grown 2,000 lim trees, 500 sua, 500 vang tam and 5,000 tram do and many other precious trees on the 4-hectares area.

Dien is the only person in Quang Binh province who owns such a large lim forest. 

The lim trees grown by Dien tens of years ago, are now dozens of meters tall and have the trunk diameter of 50 cm. 

Some of the trees could provide 5 cubic meters of wood each. As such, Dien could earn VND100 million at least from every lim tree, as one cubic meter of lim wood is priced at VND20 million.

However, Dien is not selling wood from his forest. For many years, Dien and his family have been living well on forestry products, such as mushrooms, which he can sell for VND2 million and fruits. In 2014, Dien earned VND600 million from aloe wood. 

Asked why he doesn’t grow acacia and cajuput, the trees which take less time to grow, Dien said the exploitation of the trees influences the environment.

“I grow indigenous trees because I want to preserve some precious wood which I once felled,” he said.


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