EIA in Asia

In Asia – Episode 3 – LAOS

Crossroads

July 28, 2011

A report on the illicit timber trade between Laos and Vietnam

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://issuu.com/eia1984/docs/crossroads/1

The Vietnamese military smuggles timber

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.eia-international.org/crossroads-2
Also released in July, our Crossroads report, based on extensive field investigations between October 2010 and May 2011, highlighted the ongoing trade in round logs between Laos and Vietnam, despite a log export ban in the former. Perhaps the biggest revelation was the leading role by the Vietnam military, which owns the Vietnamese Company of Economic Cooperation (COECCO) – one of the biggest loggers active in Laos.

Special-use forests in Vietnam in the danger

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source: http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/environment/24563/special-use-forests-in-vietnam-in-the-danger.html

VietNamNet Bridge – Warnings have been repeatedly given to the government of Vietnam over the last many years, after scientists realized the harsh impacts of humans on the special-use forests nationwide.

Vietnam is recognized as one of the 16 countries in the world which have high biological diversity, including the wild flora and fauna typical for tropical forests.

The lung of the world catches diseases

Vietnam has the flora ranking the 20th in the world and the opossum ranking 28th in terms of diversity. In particular, birds, reptiles and amphibians have always been listed among the 30 most diversified fauna.

Scientists have recognized 882 animal species as rare and precious which are in the danger of getting exhausted, whose names can be found in Vietnam’s Red Book 2007. Of these, 129 species are listed in IUCN Red Book of the World 2009. Most recently, FFI has recently has discovered a species of mouse (Laonastes aenigmamus) in the National Park Phong Nha – Ke Bang which was thought to be exhausted.

The typical wild animal and plant species have put Vietnam into the list of the 16 countries with the highest biodiversity in the world. Vietnam’s special-use forest system includes 164 protected areas, including 30 national parks and 134 sanctuaries, which cover an area of 2.26 million hectares, representing most of the important ecosystems on land, wetland and sea.

Dr Ngo Tien Dung from the Natural Conservation Department of the General Forestry Directorate, said that the special use forests play a very important role in protecting and conserving forest ecosystems, biodiversity, natural landscapes and the cultural and historical values.

However, Dung has warned that the special use forests throughout the country have been facing the biodiversity decrease due to the humans’ activities.

A report by the Vietnam National Parks and Protected Areas Association VNNPA showed that 21 percent of animal species and 1.3 percent of bird species in the world have got extinct with the increasingly rapid extinction speed. Other species are on the verge of exhaustion.

The biggest threat to the biodiversity decrease is the loss of accommodations for animals. Especially, the separation of accommodations could lead to the rapid disappearance of the remaining species.

Though the high risk to the special use forests has been seen, no effective solution has been found to protect the forests, when Vietnam lacks staff for the job and lacks a reasonable mechanism to encourage people to protect the forests.

Scientists have pointed out that the special use forests have been facing high risks from many factors. The environment pollution caused by the overuse of pesticide, industrial waste and air pollution would also lead to the elimination of many species from the biomass.

Due to many different reasons, the special use forests have been narrowed, while a lot of the world recognized wild animals have been shouting for help from many national parks and sanctuaries.

Can Vietnam preserve the special use forest fund?

This is the question posed by a lot of scientists and environmentalists. Warnings have been repeatedly given to the government of Vietnam in the last many years after scientists realized the harsh impacts of humans on the special-use forests nationwide.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, more and more activities of exploiting precious and valuable forestry products have been carried out because the products can bring huge profits to the exploiters. Illegal lumberjacks chop down trees at primitive forests, national forests, natural sanctuaries and preventive forests.

In 2005-2010, competent agencies discovered 44.300 deforestation cases which damaged 26,730 hectares of forests, or 5.4 hectares a year.

Source: Dai doan ket

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