Binh Phuoc suspends six forest projects

Monday, Aug 29, 2016 09:29

Forest is destroyed in southern province of Binh Phuoc. The province will stop clearing natural forest land for the planting of industrial trees with high economic value. — Photo
BINH PHUOC (Biz Hub) — The southern province of Binh Phuoc will stop clearing natural forest land for the planting of industrial trees with high economic value, the provincial authority has announced.

Binh Phuoc Province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that it had initially suspended six projects for developing cultivation, husbandry and planting industrial trees of high economic value.

The suspension follows an order by the provincial People's Committee last week in response to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's authorisation last June to close natural forests nationwide. Nearly 2.2 million hectares of forest land was deemed at high risk of being exploited and having its designated use changed illegally.

The authority said it would review the six projects being implemented in the province that have the aim of turning nearly 700ha of forest land into land for husbandry and cultivation, particularly for high value industrial plants such as cocoa, pepper and cashew.

The province said it would report the process of the suspensions to the provincial People's Committee as soon as possible.

The projects include one plantation of rubber trees on 262ha of forest in the Ta Khiet region under the management of the Ta Khiet Forest Management Board, two 100ha rubber plantations being implemented by the Phuoc Long Rubber Company, one 224ha husbandry development being implemented by the Song Be Rubber Company, and two 80ha areas of forest land that was for ethnic minority people to develop cultivation and husbandry.

The department director Tran Van Loc said while the province's authorities were going to suspend the six projects, they were also considering continuing others in the districts of Dong Phu and Bu Gia Map.

The PM announced the closing of natural forests at a conference in Central Highland Dak Lak Province's Buon Ma Thuot City in June. It was aimed at seeking solutions to achieve sustainable forest recovery in the region in order to cope with climate change during the 2016-2020 period.

Phuc also ordered a stop to granting licences for hydropower projects that are subject to forest policies, and to project owners who violate regulations on forestation.

In Binh Phuoc, forests are located mostly in the northeast and southeast, as well as along the northern border with Cambodia and the western border with Tay Ninh Province. Much of the rest of the area is used to grow perennial cash crops. The total agricultural area is 293,700ha. There are 21,900ha of specially used land and 5,700ha of residential land. — VNS

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