A section of a pine forest located near the headquarters of a commune administration in Vietnam’s Central Highlands has been destroyed, with local authorities saying they were unaware of the activity.
The deforestation took place in Lat Commune, Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province.
Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper arrived at the site on Tuesday and noticed that about 14 pine trees, which were 35-50 centimeters in diameter, had been chopped down.
The affected forest section was about 4,000 to 5,000 square meters.
|A pine tree is damaged at a forest in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre|
Hundreds of small holes were also detected at the site.
Local residents said the culprits had dug these holes to plant sour cherry trees as part of a common scheme to encroach on forest land.
The destroyed forest section is located just about 250 meters from the headquarters of the Lat Commune People’s Committee.
|The forest section is located near the headquarters of the administration in Lat Commune, Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre|
Tuoi Tre correspondents also discovered about 50 pines that had been severed in nearby areas of the forest.
K’Siu, the commune chairman, said it is difficult for local authorities to detect such activity as the culprits often operate at night.
The commune administration has reported the case to the forest management board and forest protection unit in Lac Duong District for further investigation.