National Assembly deputy urges strict protection of Central Highland forests
VietNamNet Bridge - Thousands of hectares of forests in Dak Lak province have been cut down to make room for hydropower plants, threatening the survival of forests in the Central Highlands. 

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“With what is happening, if we don’t take action promptly, we will no longer have the Central Highlands,” Nguyen Duy Huu, National Assembly’s Deputy from Dak Lak province said at the ongoing National Assembly session in Hanoi. 

“The forests in the Central Highlands are becoming exhausted,” Huu said.

“Forests have been cut to exploit timber and clear land for cultivation and make room for hydropower plants, which has led to wild elephants striking home elephants dead,” he said. 

“There is only one piece of forest left in the Yook Don National Park. But investors are also attempting to build a hydropower plant right in the core area of the park,” he said.

And he gave information that made people start in surprise: the provincial authorities, in order to prepare for the 2016 elephant racing festival on Serepok river, had to ask for water from hydropower plants.

Thousands of hectares of forests in Dak Lak province have been cut down to make room for hydropower plants, threatening the survival of forests in the Central Highlands. 
The National Assembly’s Deputy, when trying to draw the public’s attention to the necessity of saving the Central Highlands’ forests, has suggested considering and ratifying the Forest Protection & Development Law by 2017, or sooner than initially planned.

He emphasized that it was necessary to take action promptly to ‘save the last pieces of forests in the Central Highlands’.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on July 21 assigned the Ministry of Public Security to join forces with the Ministry of National Defence and the Quang Nam provincial People’s Committee to investigate deforestation in Ward No 351 of the Nam Song Bung protective forest area in Nam Giang district.

A large-scale deforestation case was discovered in early July by La Dee commune residents.

Appropriate agencies, when taking investigation, discovered some yards, where 48 cubic meters of sawn timber with no clear origin was gathered.

After the case was brought to prosecution, on July 16, Nam Giang district’s police discovered 8.2 cubic meters of timber hidden in the precinct of the Nam Giang Border Customs Agency, while the agency could not explain about the origin of the timber.

One day later, on July 17, the police discovered timber hidden in the bushes just 50 meters far away from the customs agency and 500 meters from the Dac Oc Border Station.

At the working session with the Dak Lak provincial authorities on June 21, the Prime Minister also requested to investigate and heavily punish forest devastation in the province.

The Voice of Vietnam said that to protect the Central Highlands forests, it is necessary to reconsider the forest protection force.


Thien Nhien


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