Scientists call for urgent actions to rescue dipterocarp forests

VietNamNet Bridge – Scientists have urged the local management agencies and population communities to take actions to conserve the ecosystem of the dipterocarp forests, which only exist in South East Asia.

dipterocarp forests, students, scientists, forest, environment

The scientists who attended the fifth workshop on protecting the biological diversity of the Truong Son Mountains held last week in Buon Ma Thuot City, stressed the necessity to protect the dipterocarp forests which have been chopped down mercilessly.

The Central Highlands are the place which has the largest area of dipterocarp forests. About 500,000 hectares of dipterocarp forests, very green and grandiose, spread out from the south of Pleiku plateau to Tay Ninh province.

The people on the beautiful land, who are looking for the optimal solutions to develop the local economy, politics and culture, not only need a strong renovation in implementing the measures to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty, but also need the advices from scientists about how to protect their living environment.

Dipterocarp forests are the places which gather hundreds of plant varieties, including the herbs used to make medicine for disease treatment. Of the 51 rare and precious animal species in Indochina, 38 can be found in the Central Highlands’ dipterocarp forests.

In the dry season, the trees in the forests lose leaves and the forests look like the dead forests. However, just a rain is enough for trees to bud. The dipterocarp forests are green all the rainy season.

The Yok Don National Park in Buon Don of Dak Lak province is the only place in Vietnam that preserves the special type of forest.

The participants at the workshop called on to stop chopping down trees in dipterocarp forests. The forests have been destroyed over the last many years because people believe that they don’t bring high economic efficiency.

Hundreds of hectares of the forests have been devastated to clear the sites for rubber and coffee growing.

Over the last ten years, hundreds of hectares of cocoa, tens of thousands of cashew in the Central Highlands have been grown on the forest area. As a result, the ecosystem in the dipterocart forests in Central Highlands has been damaged, the biodiversity on the Truong Son Mountains has been “torn” and more floods have occurred more severely.

Deputy Chair of the Dak Lak People’s Committee Dinh Van Khiet warned at the workshop that if the dipterocarp forests, the thin forests with broadleaf trees, get depleted, the Central Highlands would no more exist.

Some scientists have expressed their concern that in some localities, though local authorities understand well the value of dipterocarp forests, they still “turn the green light on” to allow enterprises the “poor forests,” to get timber. It is estimated that every hectare of the forests can provide 9.5 cubic meters of wood.

Meanwhile, local people, who lack information about dipterocarp forests and don’t understand that dipterocarp forests are “golden forests,” also chop down the trees.

The problem has become so serious that scientists have asked the State to close the dipterocarp forests to save the forest ecosystem. They have also urged to set up the regulations on protecting dipterocarp forests throughout the country.

Doan Ket

dipterocarp forests, students, scientists, forest, environment