Nearly 16ha of natural forest have been lost (Photo: VNA)

Binh Dinh (VNA) - Nearly 16ha of natural forests in Canh Thuan commune, Van Canh district, the central province of Binh Dinh, were recently chopped down, according to a report of the provincial forest protection branch.

Accordingly, as many as 15.754ha of production forests in zone 367 were destroyed in August this year.

Previously, another 29.2ha of natural forests in zone 367 were also destroyed. Acacia trees were planted in this area between late 2015 and 2017. Up to 9.5ha is empty without any planted trees. 

According to an investigation by a Vietnam News Agency reporter, the 29.2ha were approved by the district’s People’s Committee to be assigned to 30 poor households for production. However, until now, the locals have not received any land.

[PM asked for strong measures to cope with deforestation]

All production forests meant for locals are occupied by officials at district and commune levels. These officials reportedly hired locals to chop down natural forests and plant acacia trees for economic profits.

The case is being further investigated. The Vietnam News Agency will continue to update readers with the latest developments.

In September this year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered investigation on a large scale of the serious deforestation case in An Lao district of Binh Dinh province. More than 60ha of forests in An Hung commune were found to be destroyed. Several forest rangers related to the case were disciplined for lacking responsibility in forest protection. -VNA