The Prime Minister has banned the exploitation of precious, rare and endangered fauna and flora and those species that are protected by law in natural, protective forests.

The recently-issued decision, entitled "management, protection, development, use and benefiting from protective forest and investment to expand protective forest", also says the exploitation of forest products must not affect the protective function of that forest and must follow the law on forest protection and development, conservation and biodiversity preservation.

It states that logging is prohibited in watershed-protection forests that are categorised as ‘critical', forests that act as windshields and as shields against flying sand and waves, forests on land reclaimed from the sea and natural forests that protect the environment.

Logging of only rotten and burned trees in the watershed-protection forests is permitted.

Logging and exploitation of other forest products is also allowed in the forest area that has been marked for clearing for construction works or other purposes.

The decision says in planted protective forests formed from government investment, all thinning (of non-important trees) and logging activities must ensure the density of target trees is maintained at a minimum of 600 trees per hectare.

Thinning of non-target trees is also allowed in planted protective forests that have been assigned or leased to those who are contracted to take care of the forest. The contractor can also do logging when the trees are old enough to be cut, but must ensure that the cutting does not exceed 30 percent of the forest's total wood volume.

The decision also says (state-owned) management boards of protective forests are allowed to organise or cooperate with individuals or organisations to organise eco-tourism, scientific research and educational activities within the protective forest. They must comply with relevant plans (for such activities), which have been approved by authorised agencies.

Forests in Vietnam are classified by function into production forests, protective forests, and special-use forests. They are also classified by origin into planted forests and natural forests.-VNA