Quang Nam’s people sets protective forest on fire to grow acacia

Quang Nam’s people sets protective forest on fire to grow acacia

17 March 2014

published by http://english.vietnamnet.vn

Vietnam — The residents in Nui Thanh district of the central province of Quang Nam could not understand why some people are bold enough to burn the Caribe pine forest, a very important part of their life.

In Bich Son hamlet of Tam Xuan 2 commune alone, tens of hectares of 30-year-old pine forest have been burned with the smoke still rising in curls.

While Nang Luong Moi’s reporters tried to take pictures of the devastated forest in smoke, H, a woman nearby said: “It was not me who burned the trees. It was Tan who hired people to do this to make room for acacia. I just came to get some firewood to make charcoal.”

“These trees were just burned two days ago, while the other trees on the next areas were burned many days ago. Young acacia have arisen already,” she said.

The reporters later found that the man named Tan that H mentioned is the son of Tran Tien, Director of Tien Thien Tan Company Ltd. Tien and Tan got the permission to exploit pine latex in the forest.

Leading reporters to the devastated forest plots, Nguyen Van Truong, Deputy Head of the Tam Xuan 2 commune’s Police, said: “The pine tree was planted in 1986. I am afraid that the forest would disappear in some more years.”

“In principle, no other trees can be planted in the forest with such a high tree density,” he continued. “If acacias are grown together with pine trees, they would not be able to develop, unless… the pine trees die.”

“The trees will surely die,” Bui Van Sam from the Quang Nam Forestry Enterprise joined the conversation. “If you see how they tap the pine trees for latex, you would think that the trees would get exhausted soon and die.”

The Quang Nam Forestry Enterprise is assigned to control hundreds of hectares of pine forest. Meanwhile, the Phu Ninh Protective Forest Board of Management is in charge of taking care for 47 hectares.

More burnt pine trees were seen by the reporters when going further into the forest. There, next to the pine stumps, one could see alternate young acacia trees.

According to Sam, about 20 hectares of the pine forest area has been burnt. “Forest fires occurred continuously in the last half a month,” he noted.

Forest board of management doesn’t know about forest fires

Nguyen Xuan Phuoc, Director of the Phu Ninh Protective Forest Board of Management surprised the reporters when showing the information quite different from what they found from the fact-finding trip.

Phuoc said that Tien Thien Tan Company has been licensed to exploit latex in an area of 47 hectares of the pine forest. “We were informed about the forest fire. Our staff reported that the fire occurred in just a small area of 1 hectare, while no pine tree was burnt.

Phuoc also denied the fact that local people tried to chop down pine trees to grow acacia, saying that people would not be foolish to do this, if they can make profit from the pine latex.

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