Investigation police in the central province of Quang Binh have decided to bring to court the case of illegal removal of three sua (Dalbergia tonkinensis) trees, an endangered species in Viet Nam, from the protected World Heritage site of Phong Nha-Ke Bang Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
HA NOI –
According to Deputy Chief of Quang Binh Police Nguyen Van Hieu, the decision was based on investigation results, report by the national park's director and the code of criminal procedure.
The incident caused quite a stir in early April this year, with a number of illegal woodchoppers earning big money worth hundreds of billions of dong from cutting sua trees in the park. From this news, hundreds of local residents in Bo Trach District flocked into the forest to find sua timbers hidden by the choppers in the forest, causing disorders in the area.
Many conferences were immediately held by the provincial People's Committee to find out solutions to ensure public order and effectively prevent the choppers from cutting and taking timber out of the forest area.
More than 80 officials and rangers joined in the event. As a result, local residents have come back their daily life and more than 720kg of sua timber have been found and confiscated. Three big sua trees were identified to have been cut down.
According to Director of the park's Management Board Luu Minh Thanh, the cutting of three sua trees has not yet affected the biological system but caused disorder to 125,000ha forest.
"In particular, the illegal exploitation has formed organized rings to exploit, transport and sell," says Thanh.
It's really difficult to protect this rare and precious kind of tree, which gives great profits, because it is hunted, exploited and traded by choppers."
He expects to receive more rangers and necessary equipment to protect the forest. He says a prime ministerial decree showed that 500 ha of forest will have one ranger. But in the forest, the number of rangers is only 50 per cent of what the decree dictates. -- VNS