Central Highlands forest protection program considered a failure
VietNamNet Bridge - The project on allocating forests to hundreds of enterprises to manage and protect to forestland in five Central Highlands provinces has failed. Forests have been lost and land has been illegally appropriated.


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Forests have been lost and forestland has been appropriated




Since 2010, the Dak Nong provincial authorities have allocated 31,600 hectares of forests, including 14,300 hectares of natural forests to enterprises to implement 42 agriculture and forestry projects.

Within several years, 4,800 hectares of natural forests were cut down and 8,300 hectares of forests and forestland appropriated for cultivation.

Tuy Duc district was assigned the most projects (18) with the largest land area (9,100 hectares) and largest natural forest area (5,500 hectares). It has the largest area of lost forests (2,200 hectares) and appropriated forests (3,000 hectares).

Within several years, 4,800 hectares of natural forests were cut down and 8,300 hectares of forests and forestland appropriated for cultivation.

Of these, three enterprises lost all the natural forests allocated to them, namely Kien Truc Moi JSC (643.1 out of 924.7 hectares), Long Son Co Ltd (501.7/507.7 hectares) and Pham Quoc Private Enterprise (233.6/234.3 hectares).

The Dak Nong provincial authorities forced five enterprises which lost 255 hectares of forests to pay compensation of VND13 billion.

In Gia Lai province, there are nine ongoing projects on planting forests and breeding on leased land. Most of the projects are ineffective, and the land appropriated by locals. 

Le Khanh JSC received 2,093 hectares of forestland to implement its project in Ia Le commune. Of this, 1,680 hectares were taken back in 2016-2020. 

The company decided to grow acacia on the remaining area. However, the planting failed. When reporters visited the site in early January, they saw withered acacia trees, rampant grass and fields of cassava, maize and bananas grown by local people on appropriated land.

According to the Gia Lai provincial Forest Rangers Unit, the other five afforestation projects also have failed. They are implemented by Truong Thinh Investment & Construction JSC, De Nhat Viet Ha Co Ltd, Thinh Hung Nguyen Co Ltd and Tan Tien Forestry Company.

Truong Thinh Company, for example, planted acacia and eucalyptus on 499 hectares, but 422 hectares of planted forests died or was lost to fire, and the remaining land occupied by locals. 

The Lam Dong provincial planning and investment department revoked the investment certificate granted to Nam Nam, Khang Thinh and An Nguyen Companies, which did not implement projects as planned and lost the forestland allocated to them.

Vast forests in Bao Lam district have been illegally cleared to make room for coffee and tea fields. Vu Van Thanh, a security guard at An Nguyen Company, lent a hand to illegal loggers to devastate the forests by putting chemicals on trees.


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Thanh Lich

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