Cong An Nhan Dan’s reporters who arrived in the Da Bia protective forest in Ngoc Thanh Commune to learn about the situation on December 20, 2011, were blocked by the security guards of Duy Thong Private Enterprise, even though they were accompanied by two policemen of the Ngoc Thanh commune. Only after making a call to a high ranking official, could the reporters continue their work.
In late 2006, Duong Van Tran, Director of Duy Thong Enterprise headquartered in Ngoc Thanh commune asked for the permission from local authorities to implement the project on combining agriculture and forestry to breed normal wild animals with legal sources.
Also in 2006, the enterprise sent a dispatch No 16/CN-HC, asking for the permission to build fences and breed animals on the Da Bia area. The document, sent to the Phuc Yen town’s forest ranger unit and the Ngoc Thanh commune’s people’s committee, said that it needs 86.7 hectares for the breeding, and plans to build the 116.9 hectares of fence with the height of two meters.
Believing that the works would badly affect the natural ecological environment and relates to the destroy of the protective forest, both the Ngoc Thanh commune’s authorities and the forest ranger unit refused to grant license to Duy Thong.
However, ignoring the decision by the local authorities, in 2007, Duy Thong still used machines to clear the way, level more than 6 hectares, build fences, drive in stakes and set up protective net. As a result, a big area of the protective forest has disappeared which has been replaced by a big road.
Meanwhile, local residents complain that the wild animal breeding of the enterprise has caused the serious pollution to the water resource for them. A lot of the wells of local residents have turned yellow since the enterprise began its activities in the locality.
People in the two hamlets of Thanh Loc and Tan An have many times petitioned to the local authorities about the violating activities of Duy Thong. However, to date, the local authorities have done nothing yet.
According to Pho Ngoc Long, Chair of the Ngoc Thanh Commune People’s Committee, by November 24, 2011, the total destroyed forest area had reached 6.513 hectares, and if counting on the destroyed area in January 2010, the total destroyed area would reach 3 hectares. As such, the total forest area Duy Thong has destroyed since 2007 had been nearly 10 hectares.
Also according to Long, the commune’s local authorities many times summoned Duy Thong’s representative to ask to settle the problem. However, the enterprise’s director has ignored the request, while continuing burning the forest. Most recently, the forest burning case on November 22 eliminated 2.5 hectares of the forest.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Tien Thong, Head of the Phuc Yen town’s forest ranger unit, when asked about Duy Thong, said: “We still have not got sufficient evidence which shows that Duy Thong is destroying the forest”.
No one could understand why the local authorities cannot see that the local forest is being destroyed. Meanwhile, Cong An Nhan Dan’s reporters could see with their eyes that a lot of trees with the root diameter of 15 centimeters have been chopped down.
To date, the only move made by the local authorities is that the town’s char has requested the Phuc Yen town’s police station to investigate and check the damage level of the protective forest and to report to the people’s committee in December 2011.