Illegal forest clearances worry Deputy PM

Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng has asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to examine forest protection and forest land management in the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) provinces. Forest in Ea Súp District in Đắk Lắk was destroyed in July. – Photo Dũng also ordered the two ministers to report the results to Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc before March 30. The assignment was made on Wednesday following a series of reports published by Vietnam News Agency and Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper revealing that many projects on transferring forests and forest land to businesses to manage and protect had failed to meet targets. The reports also included stories focusing on vast losses of forest land due to illegal encroaching and trading. Violations of forest protection and management regulations were found rampantly spreading across the region, despite law enforcement forces chasing after them. The media appealed for provinces in the Central Highlands regions to urgently take action to manage and protect forests and forest land. In a nationwide teleconference in October, PM Phúc expressed concern about illegal logging in the Central Highlands caused by loose management and the irresponsibility of several officials and cadres. According to the agricultural ministry, forest coverage in the Central Highlands has fallen by 3,170ha annually to more than 2.55 million hectares in 2016. From 2012-2017, about 4,218ha of forests were cut down illegally, accounting for 11 per cent of the total lost. In the first… [Read full story]


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