VietNamNet Bridge – While lumberjacks illegally attack forests throughout the country, they do not dare to set foot on the forests in Khau Tinh commune of Na Hang district in Tuyen Quang province.
Located on the altitude of 1000 meters over the sea water level, Khau Tinh Commune is a special commune in the core area of the Tat Ke – Ban Bung natural reserve. 99 percent of local households are ethnic minorities, while 67 percent of them are poor households.
However, though living in poverty, local residents never intend to chop down the trees in the forests and refuse the big sums of money illegal lumberjacks give to them to tell them to chop down trees.
Here in the remote area, the forests are being protected every day by local residents. The virgin forests have existed there for many generations. It is not the laws, but the plighted word the local residents made, which forces them to try to keep the forests.
Khau Tinh commune has always been green with the protected primary forests which closely link with the people’s spiritual life. Every one here has the sense of protecting the forests, which they consider as the treasure of the whole community.
Vi Van Luong, Deputy Chair of the commune people’s committee, said that there are four hamlets in the communes with 283 families of ethnic minorities. There are 8300 hectares of natural forests, being protected by local residents on the voluntary basis.
Due to the natural conditions, it is still very difficult to travel among the four hamlets. However, all the urgent happenings can be reported by local residents to the local authorities timely, so that the local authorities can join forces with local people to protect the forests.
Located far in the forests, there is still no mobile phone coverage in many hamlets of Khau Tinh. Therefore, hamlets have to send students or local residents to the commune’s people’s committee every day to report about the life of people.
Hoang Van Lien, a local resident, said he has devoted more than a half of his life to the forests. Two years ago, when discovering illegal lumberjacks trying to chop down ancient precious woods, while it was heavy raining and there was no time to go to the commune’s head office, he and some other people tried to drive them away.
The lumberjacks then had to run away when they realized that they had to combat with a lot of people determined to protect their land. Since then, illegal lumberjacks do not dare to set foot on the land any more.
According to Chu Van Giang, a policeman of the Khau Tinh commune, local people understand that they need to protect the forests not only to preserve their cultural characteristics, but also to help prevent from flooding, landslide and maintain water resources for rice fields.
Therefore, the forests in the commune have been not only protected by the Forest Protection Law, but also by the regulations set up by the communal people. All the people who chop down trees would bear the heavy punishment by the commune and villages. There are self-managing teams and forest fire prevention teams in every hamlet.
In 2011 alone, 270 households in the commune committed to protect the forests. It is the awareness of local people of preserving the natural land, which has helped the old forests covering an area of thousands of hectares exist for many generations.