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January 17, 2022, 8:49 am

Special-use forests in Vietnam getting poorer

(15:25:19 PM 30/10/2012)
( - A lot of special-use forests in Vietnam have been eliminated to give place to business projects. The movement of “sacrificing forests for economic development,” surprisingly, has been applauded by management ministries and local authorities.

There are only shrubs and bad wood in special-use forests?

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has sent a document to the government, clarifying the matters relating to the project on building a water supply work on the area of 90 hectares of the special use forest in Tuy Phong district of Binh Thuan province. The canal would provide water to the Vinh Tan Power Center.

According to the ministry, the area to be used in the project is the one belonging to the special use forest, where there are only shrubs, few regenerating trees, and bad quality wood. Therefore, it would be reasonable to use the land area for the purpose of economic development, while affirming that the use of the land absolutely comes in line with the Land Law.

In 2011, the Nghe An provincial people’s committee once asked for the government’s permission to shift 49.8 hectares of special use forest into production forest, where mineral exploitation activities would be carried out.

MARD then voiced its agreement to the project, reasoning that it is very important to the local socio-economic development. MARD also “advised” the local authorities to ask for the permission from the government to add the above said precinct into the map of areas programmed for mineral exploration and exploitation.

Analysts then commented that “Nghe An province proves to be very lucky when it got the support from MARD. They, citing the Resolution No. 49 of the National Assembly, said that local authorities must get the nod from the National Assembly to use 50 hectares (or more) of the areas in special use forests, natural reserves and national parks for other purposes. 

And if Nghe An province had sought the permission from the National Assembly, it would not have got the go-ahead so easily.

MARD once also advocated the project on using a part of the area in the Ngoc Linh natural reserve in Kon Tum province to develop the Dak Mi 1 and Dak Mi 1A hydropower plant projects.

The two power projects needed 64.73 hectares of land belonging to the precinct put under the strict control of the Ngoc Linh natural reserve.

The ministry said that the forest there was “very poor” with restorative forests and bamboo forests and no valuable wood. Therefore, it came to the conclusion that it was reasonable to use the forest area for the local economy development.

Forests cut off because they are poor

Not only special use forests and natural reserves, but national parks have also been cut off because they are… poor.

The Ninh Thuan provincial people’s committee has asked for the permission to turn the forest area in the Nui Chua national park into an eco-tourism route Vinh Hy – Ninh Chu. 

MARD, once again, it would be better to use the land area for tourism development, because the forest is also…poor and there is no valuable wood to exploit.

However, it seems that MARD made a mistake. In the report to the government, it said the project would need a land area of 6.3 hectares. Meanwhile, in fact, it would “gobble up” 30.7 hectares.

The Cat Tien National Park and the Nam Cat Tien preventive forest have been in the danger of cutting off for the Dong Nai 6 and Dong Nai 6A hydropower projects. 137 hectares of the Cat Tien Park and 147 hectares of the forest would be taken to serve the projects.

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