Deputy PM: Forest protection vital
A forest ranger inspects an illegal logging scene in Binh Dinh Province last year. Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has called for government agencies to enhance law enforcement to better protect forests - PHOTO: TTXVN
VINH – Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has called for government agencies to enhance law enforcement to better protect forests despite some past achievements.
Dung told a review conference on forest protection and development in Vinh City last week that forest protection is a vital task. Institutions and policies should be improved to create a better legal framework for protection and development of the forestry sector, he stressed.
Dung told relevant agencies to enhance the quality and management of master zoning plans for forests and forest land.
Speaking at the conference held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Government Office and Nghe An Province, government agencies agreed that the forestry sector has reaped important achievements.
They said nationwide forest coverage rose from 39.7% in 2011 to 40.84% in 2015. Replanted forest timber registered a 3.3-fold increase, from 5.16 million square meters in 2011 to 17.3 million square meters last year, meeting demand of wood for production of items for local sale and export.
For wood and forestry product processing, there are around 3,500 enterprises, mainly private and foreign-invested ones. Furniture and forestry product exports brought US$7.18 billion last year.
Annual revenue of these products has more than doubled, from over US$3 billion in 2010-2012 to US$6.52 billion on March 20.
Breaches of regulations on forest protection have declined by number and scale, while localities have actively paid more attention to forest replanting, heard the conference.
However, a number of National Assembly deputies expressed concern over fast deforestation when discussing draft amendments to the law on forest protection and development at a meeting of the NA Standing Committee last Thursday.
Senior lieutenant general Vo Trong Viet, chairman of the NA Defense and Security Committee, said many parts of the country have been plagued by deforestation. The current laws and regulations on forestry cannot help forest rangers to prevent illegal logging.