Vietnamese authorities probe illegal logging in world-famous national park

By Hoang Tao   April 11, 2019 | 10:04 am GMT+7
Vietnamese authorities probe illegal logging in world-famous national park
Wood logs found in the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park in the central province of Quang Binh. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Tao

Police have launched an investigation into the illegal logging and spiriting away of dozens of rare trees in a central province national park.

Over 100 cubic meters of forest was found denuded down in two places in the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province’s Bo Trach District last month, Dang Van Hoanh, chief of the district police, said Tuesday.

The trees, including ebony and jambolan, were cut down last November and December, he said.

Authorities suspected that some locals took advantage of the fact the trees were near a road that is under construction.

Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, known as Vietnam's kingdom of caves, is home to the world's largest cave, Son Doong, and many other magnificent grottoes.

Illegal logging attracts fines of VND50 million-1.5 billion ($2,150-64,700), up to three years of community service or imprisonment of six months to 10 years in Vietnam.

The country has the second highest rate of deforestation of primary forests in the world, second only to Nigeria, the Food and Agriculture Organization said.

As of 2017 some 156 ha of forests had been cut down and another 5,365 ha burned, leaving the country with a forest cover of less than 40 percent, in which primary forests only make up 10 percent, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The Greater Mekong Region is among the 11 hotspots of deforestation: more than 80 percent of global forest loss is expected to occur here in the coming decades.

Forest losses are owed to agricultural expansion, rubber plantation, legal and illegal logging, road and dam construction, and other infrastructure works.

 
 
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