VietNamNet Bridge – Over 20,000 hectares of forest had been chopped down for several purposes, mostly for development of hydropower plants, but only around 700 hectares had been replanted as of the end of 2012.
Illustrative image. (Photo: Internet)
A review on forest land conversion shows that some 20,000 hectares of forest had been cleared, mainly to serve hydropower projects, including reservoirs and road construction. However, reports of local governments say that hydropower project owners had afforested only over 700 hectares, said Vo Dai Hai, deputy director general of Vietnam Administration of Forestry.
He was speaking to the Daily on the sidelines of a forum on forest plantations, forestry product processing and export held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in HCMC last Friday.
He said the ministry had called for a halt to nearly 200 projects that exploited poor forests to grow industrial crops for signs of forest destruction.
“The Government has asked local authorities to review projects and cancel those showing signs of forest destruction, which is the most common violation during the inspection of the projects changing the use purpose of forest land,” said Hai.
Directive 1685 of the Government calls for firmer management and suspension of unqualified projects, he added.
Representative of the agriculture ministry said the Government had requested investors to replant forests or make contributions to the forest protection fund. In case the locality where their projects are located is out of forest land, the project owners can replant forests in other localities.
The Prime Minister has asked the agriculture ministry to compile a circular with specific guidelines for reforestation, which will be issued in April.