Natural Resources

September 28, 2021, 5:35 pm

Deforestation destroys watershed in Khanh Hoa province

(15:04:18 PM 15/11/2014)
( - A watershed in Dien Tan commune of Dien Khanh district in the central province of Khanh Hoa is narrowing as locals who need land for cultivation have cut down trees in the area.

 Deforestation destroys watershed in Khanh Hoa province

Today, the way to the Dien Tan forest looks very different to what it was some years ago. After crossing the first slope, reporters were surprised to see a vast sugarcane field on one side and a wasteland on the other side.

Le Van T, a local man who escorted reporters to the Dien Tan forest, said in the past, this was the “no-cultivation land”.

However, ethnic minority people have recently laid claim to the land and have grown crops on it.

The reporters hoped they would see more trees as they continued going into the forest. However, when they crossed the second slope, they saw green maize and banana fields, and met a couple of farmers.

The farmers said they have been there for two years. “We have four hectares of land here where we plan to grow bananas. It is very profitable to grow bananas,” the man said, adding that he earned VND140 million last Tet from bananas. He had incurred heavy losses from sugarcane fields.

When asked if he knew the land was not reserved for cultivation, his wife said forest rangers sometimes visited the area, but “everything still can go smoothly”.

When the reporters went more deeply into the forest, they could see many tree trunks on the ground.

T said the big trunks would be carried away for sale, while the small trees would be burnt on the spot to make a kind of fertilizer for banana and maize fields.

H, a local man in Dien Tan Commune, said if reporters had gone through Don 1 and Don 2 areas, they would have seen more bare land where all of the trees have been chopped down.

According to H, forest rangers have marked several areas with a red multiplication sign to prevent people from entering and burning trees. However, the marks have been ignored by farmers.

“Banana fields can yield produce for one or two years only. After that period, farmers will continue to find land for banana cultivation somewhere else, destroying trees and land,” H said.

While many farmers are pleased about the crop output they have grown, others have suffered heavily.

C.X, a farmer in Da Mai hamlet, said the devastation of the watershed has led to a depletion of water sources.

“A large area of fields has been left uncultivated because the water at Cay Sung Reservoir has been exhausted,” he said.

Nguyen Thanh Sanh, the Cay Sung Reservoir management officer, said water to the reservoir has decreased dramatically as the forest has been cut down. He said the reservoir’s water level was at its lowest level since 1997.

Thien Nhien/ VietNamNet Bridge

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