Local residents in villages to the north of Phong Binh commune, central Thua Thien-Hue province, have protected an ancient forest for hundreds of years through their village convention.

“Duong Bac”, the ancient forest that surrounds and protects villages in the north of Phong Binh commune, Phong Dien district in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, includes various rare and valuable trees that are hundreds of years old.

According to 84-year-old Ngo Van Ta, no one knows when the trees were planted, but people are sure the forest has existed since the reign of King Tu Duc from 1847 to 1883.

The trees have stood there for hundreds of years protecting people from storms and floods. Therefore, people designed a village convention to protect them.

“Duong Bac” now has hundreds of old trees. They are grown in a 9km-long area from Pho Trach, Sieu Quan to Van Trinh communes. The forest is unique and has significant environmental and spiritual values. Villagers consider the forest as a monument dedicated to their ancestors who founded the villages.

Nguyen Dinh Ngoc, Deputy Chairman of the Phong Binh Commune’s People’s Committee said Duong Bac protects local residents from storms and floods, and local people exert every effort to protect it.

Aware of their ownership of the forest, local residents from Phong Binh commune have adopted their convention in an effort to preserve and develop the forest.

All activities, from exploiting the forest to cutting down the trees, are banned, according to the convention.

Anyone found harming the trees will be punished as per the regulations in the village convention.

Culprits will be fined an amount of money equal to the value of the destroyed tree, and their names will appear in the media.

As many localities fail to safeguard their forests, Phong Binh residents’ efforts to protect Duong Bac forest is a good example to learn from.-VNA