Binh Phuoc authorities apologise for forest destruction hinh anh 1A deserted area in Zone No.69 of the B​u Dop agro- forestry farm in Binh Phuoc province where most of the woods have been exploited (Photo: VNA)

Binh Phuoc (VNA) - Authorities in the southern province of Binh Phuoc have apologised for deforestation violations in the province.

The apology was delivered by Nguyen Van Tram, Chairman of the provincial people’s Committee at a meeting with a working group led by Mai Tien Dung, Minister and head of the Government Office, on February 20.

Tram attributed the shortage of forest rangers to ineffective forest management, adding that each ranger was responsible for 700ha of forest.

Nguyen Van Loi, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, admitted shortcomings in forest protection work.

He has promised to clarify the responsibilities of relevant officials and take drastic measures to overcome shortcomings.

Addressing the meeting, Dung said the provincial authorities did not follow an order by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last June to close natural forests nationwide.

Specifically, hundreds of ha of natural forest area had its designated use changed illegally, he said.

Dung asked provincial authorities to strictly implement the Prime Minister’s instructions on forest protection.

"The natural forest should be closed and shifting from so called "poor" forest which means forest suffering exhaustion for other purposes should be considered carefully," he said.

The Ministry of Public Security’s Environmental Crime Police Department in August last year detected various violations by provincial authorities relating to turning over 575 ha of forest into land for husbandry and cultivation.

The project was later suspended.

According to the department, provincial authorities granted a licence to an enterprise exploiting the natural forest without compiling a report on the environmental impact.

The provincial authorities violated regulations on forestation when allowing Song Be Rubber Company to exploit the natural forest before the project’s approval.

Binh Phuoc Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development also erred when granting a license to an enterprise that was not authorised to perform husbandry.-VNA