Government announces closing of natural forests in Central Highlands

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired a conference on seeking solutions to recover the forests in the Central Highlands region sustainably to cope with climate change in the 2016-2020 period in Buon Ma Thuot city, Dak Lak province on June 20.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs a conference on seeking solutions to recover forests in the Central Highlands region sustainably to cope with climate change in the 2016-2020 period in Buon Ma Thuot city.  (Photo: Sggp)

The attendance included Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat, leaders of relevant departments, local authorities of central highland provinces and more than 200 forest management officials.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the total area of forest and land zoned for forestry in the region stood at more than 2,567,118 hectares up to December 31, 2014, decreased 180,000 hectares compared to 2010. From 2010 to 2015, the regional forest reserves dropped from 327 million cu.m in 2010 to 270 million cu.m in 2015.

The loss of forest land in the region is due to rapid population growth; the projects using forest land to grow rubber trees, industrial and fruit trees; the hydropower plant construction; public works and traffic construction and other purposes.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stressed at the conference that the Government announced to close natural forests in the region and maintain 2.25 million ha of natural forests without shifting the area for other purposes, even to the approved projects, except those concerning to national security and defense.

The PM asked local authorities, police, court and army sectors to team up with each other in the fight against deforestation; stop granting licenses the hydropower projects related to forestland transgression and others violated regulations on forestation; supervise licenses of wood processing enterprises.

The Central highlands provinces's mayors will be mainly responsible for the loss of forest area, MP Phuc added.

By Cong Hoan, Dong Nguyen – Translated by Kim Khanh

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