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Who should take responsibility for forest devastation in Central Highlands?

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Illegal loggers in the Central Highlands will go to trial soon, but there is still no information about the responsibilities of local authorities, agencies and forest owners. 

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In June 2016, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered closures of natural forests 

 

In June 2016, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered closures of natural forests to prevent illegal logging, but the forests in the Central Highlands continue to be cut down.

More serious deforestation cases were found occurring before, during and after Tet holiday in the province of Dak Nong and Dak Lak.

In early March, police in M’Drak district in Dak Lak province discovered many vehicles laden with sawn timber plates in Krong A commune. After seeing the policemen, the loggers ran away, leaving exhibits and vehicles.

Following their tracks, policemen discovered a yard where timber had been collected, just three kilometers from the site where they had been caught. The land belongs to Ward 789, under control of M’Drak Forestry Co Ltd.

The district’s forest rangers’ unit found five vehicles carrying 72 boxes of 19,112 cubic meters of timber.

Going further into the forest by three kilometers, policemen found another 42 boxes of 12,897 cubic meters of timber.

Many other cases occurred in early 2018 in Dak Lak. One of the cases was discovered in Ward 408 in Yok Don National Park, near the border. Reporters who came to the site saw a vast forestland devastated with logs of timber lying on the ground in an area of 1,000 square meters.

The Yok Don National Park, the forest owner and the Border Guard Command blamed each other for the case.

Deforestation has also occurred in Dak Nong province. Illegal loggers brought motor vehicles to the forests where they set up tents to stay and cut down trees over a long period. However, local authorities were unaware of this.

On a pre-Tet day, inter-ministerial inspectors discovered 10 men chopping down trees and burning branches in Ward 1680 under the control of the Quang Son Forestry Co Ltd in Quang Son commune. The men were seen cutting trees and preparing to plant other trees.

The inspectors, after examining neighboring areas, discovered that manynadjacent forestland areas had also been cleared. It was estimated that 14.8 hectares of forests had been destroyed.

Many commune and district officials in Dak Nong province have been prosecuted for the deforestation cases in their localities. However, in Dak Lak, no official or forest owner has been prosecuted.

Dak Lak’s agriculture department Nguyen Hoai Duong explained that investigative agencies need more time to clarify the cases.

 

Source: VNN

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