Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

VietNamNet Bridge – More and more precious teak wood forests, including the ones
located in the core area of the Ba Be National Park in Ba Be district, and the
ones in the Kim Hy natural reserve area in Na Ri district, have been devastated
by illegal lumberjacks, with the support of modern engine petrol-run saws.

 

Vietnam, deforestation, natural reserve, illegal lumberjacks, local authorities

All trees will fall flat under petrol-run saws

The small, portable saws running on petrol, first appeared in the northern
province of Bac Kan in 2001. They are called by local residents as “vortex saws”
because they give noisy ear-splitting sounds when running. The made-in-China
product has been available at the kermises in the mountainous northern areas.

In 2005, the next-generation of vortex saws hit the market. An illegal
lumberjack who has just left his career said that the saws are very strong which
can chop down all kinds of hard wood just within a very short time.

“We liked these saws most, because they are light and portable. It takes 10
minutes only to break down a tree with a diameter of one meter,” he said.

“Foreign rangers could not catch illegal lumberjacks red handed, because they
could only reach to the area after the wood was carried away,” he added.

According to Nong The Dien, Director of the Ba Be National Park, who has been
working there for the last 20 years, previously, it took several days to cut a
teak tree with the diameter of one meters, and it took some more days to get
timber blanks. Therefore, illegal lumberjacks had to stay in the forests for
many days until they finished their works. It was really dangerous for them,
because they might be discovered by the foreign rangers or the police.

However, things have become quite different. Illegal lumberjacks have been lent
a hand by the modern technology. “Forest rangers flock to the sites right after
they hear noisy sounds. But they cannot find anything on the sites, because
illegal lumberjacks have enough time to carry the wood away,” he explained.

The “illegal lumberjacks’ villages”

According to the Bac Kan provincial authorities, the teak forests have been
devastated rapidly over the last few years, since the day the petrol-run saws
appeared.

Dien said that some “illegal lumberjacks’ villages” have been set up there. Just
several engine saws would be enough to split timber in less than no time.

The provincial authorities have requested commune and district authorities to
check the number of engine saws the local families are possessing.

The inspection tour has found 308 saws in seven communes in the areas near the
Ba Be National Park. Meanwhile, local residents in the areas near the Kim Hy
natural reserve have reported that they have 320 saws.

Nearly all the families there have this kind of dangerous saws, including the
ones with no forest works. They said that the saws are useful in their daily
life and that no one has the right to prohibit them to have the saws.

The families have been asked by the local authorities to commit to not use the
saws for devastating forests. An engine saw is priced at VND5 million only.

However, observers think this could not be the measure which can help settle the
problem to the every root. Local authorities can only control the saws just on
paper, while in fact, the saws have still been serving illegal lumberjacks.

Thien Nhien

By vivian