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Axes hover over Dalat’s pine forests

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Axes hover over Dalat’s pine forests

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Dalat authorities have received requests from residents to cut down over 200 pine trees, the resort city’s symbols, to “ensure safety for human and their assets.”
The Forest Protection Agency of Lam Dong province reported that, after a man was killed during Typhoon Ketsana in September 2009 by a collapsed pine tree, a campaign in Da Lat to chop down weak trees has begun.
Dalat People’s Committee’s Vu Xuan Hung told the press that the city needs to cut down around 130 dried pine trees per year and around 60-80 others in site clearances. During 2009, 80 pine trees were cut for safety reasons and another 60 to clear sites. In addition, there are 200 other withered trees slated for the axe.
Recently, some of Dalat’s residents have been using “tricks” to kill pines and then requesting permission to fell them. At least three people have been fined for this already in 2009.
The Dalat Urban Work Management Company is in charge of 431 ha of forest and trees in the city. Without providing specific statistics, the firm reported that Dalat’s pine forests are diminishing.
Over ten years ago, scientists warned that Dalat’s pine forests were aging and that many trees would collapse annually. To restore the 10,000 hectares of pine forests over 20 years, tree experts recommended that the Government should invest 70 billion dong (price in 1995). Scientists estimated that earnings from refreshing Dalat’s pine forests would be 1.35 trillion dong. The local government failed to heed their proposal.
Instead, to prevent the complete decline of the pine forests, Dalat authorities stipulated that whenever one tree was felled, five new trees must be grown in its place.
This conservationist policy, however, has not been implemented properly. Old pine trees continue to fall down and no new trees are planted.


Source: VietNamNet/Lao Dong

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