Chairing a nationwide teleconference on October 14, the PM laudedthe Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Ministry of NaturalResources and Environment, agencies and localities for protecting and expandingforest coverage. The forestry value rose an average of 6.75 percent whileforest wood cultivation increased three-fold and wood export hit 7.3 billionUSD.
He expressed his concern over illegal logging in the CentralHighlands due to loose management and irresponsibility of several officials andcadres.
According to the MARD, there were 14.37 million ha offorests nationwide in 2016, up 315,826ha from 2015. However, forest coverage inthe Central Highlands fell by 3,170ha annually to more than 2.55 million ha in2016.
From 2012-2017, as many as 4,218ha of forests were cut downillegally, accounting for 11 percent of the total lost via legal violations andforest-use change. In the first nine months this year, 1,697 cases of illegallogging were discovered, 757 of them were in the Central Highlands. Up to 418haof forests were damaged in the region, up 53 percent year-on-year from 2016.
In the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong alone, 225haof forests were destroyed in nine months, up 99ha from 2016.
About future tasks, the PM asked departments and agencies toclosely follow the Resolution on sustainable forest protection and developmentadopted by the 12th National Party Congress, considering it as an importantsolution to create jobs, improve local income and raise forest coverage by 42percent by 2020.
He requested continuing to shut down natural forest gates,strictly monitor projects on forest-use change in line with Decree No.13 of theSecretariat and the PM’s directions, suspend changing natural forest use tocultivation of industrial and agricultural trees and construction of smallhydropower plants, among others.
Localities were required to direct inspecting, investigatingand dealing with violations in line with the law and free migration, especiallyin the Central Highlands.
The PM asked for determinedly revoking licenses, haltingsocio-economic projects that fail to fulfil forestation duty and pay forest environmentfees, particularly in the region.-VNA
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