Local authorities remain powerless against illegal loggers
VietNamNet Bridge - Larger forestland areas are being cut down year after year but local authorities either turn a deaf ear to the illegal practice or unable to win their fight against loggers.
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Larger forestland areas are being cut down year after year

A report from the Krong Pa District forest rangers’ unit in Gia Lai province shows that three deforestation cases were discovered in September and October 2015 alone, where 72,000 square meters of forest were devastated. 

Meanwhile, 72 violations of the law on forest protection and development were discovered in 2015.

Kbang district also reported that a series of deforestation cases were found at the same time. Illegal loggers felled two precious trees in the locality, and the culprits still have not been found.

Nguyen Van Dung, deputy head of the Ea Rsai Forest Management Board, said it was too difficult for 19 officers of the board to protect 18,000 hectares of forestland. 

Larger forestland areas are being cut down year after year but local authorities either turn a deaf ear to the illegal practice or unable to win their fight against loggers.
Meanwhile, Dung said, since the locals around the protective forest now live in poverty, they try to fell trees to sell for money. 

“They are willing to defy the laws, because trees and wood can bring money to them,” he said.

In Quang Nam province, the provincial authorities have reported that 1,086 violations of the forestry laws were discovered in 2015. About 1,800 cubic meters of wood, 246 animals and 200 kilos of meat products were seized. 

In the Song Tranh Protective Forest case, the forest management board in late December 2015 released a decision on suspending three officers, including Phan Van Du, deputy head of the mobile protection team. 

Du has been summoned by the investigation agency which found signs of Du lending a hand to illegal loggers.

In late December 2015, local newspapers reported that the Ba Na Nui Chua special-use forest (SUF), a rare primitive forest in Da Nang City, became a ‘hot spot’ of large-scale deforestation.

The SUF has once again been devastated following another deforestation case there in October 2014, where 17 people in an SUF deforestation ring were arrested.

The public is upset about reports in local newspapers showing hundreds of people cutting trees in the protective forest in Gia Lai province and thousands of hectares of forests in Quang Nam province cleared to make room for farmland. 

Nguoi Lao Dong on January 14 blamed the serious devastation on the local authorities who did not fulfill their responsibilities and neglected management. 

In Phuoc Hiep commune alone, 38 households have been clearing primitive forests since 2008 to grow acacia and rubber.


Thanh Mai

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