Click here fore Lao version/ຄລິກບ່ອນນີ້ເພື່ອອ່ານພາສາລາວ
Mr. Khamouane Boupha, Minister to
the Lao Prime Minister’s Office admitted that currently Lao authorities
still do not know the real extent of the forest density in their country. Thus, Laos plans to conduct a new forestry survey in 2011, while
the illegal logging in the country for illicit lumber trading is on the rise.
The survey in 2002 showed that Laos’ forest density
was only 41%, which was 29% decreased from the density of 71% in 1940. This means that in 2002,
Laos’ forest areas covered less than 10 million hectares versus 17 million
hectares in 1940. In other
words, during the course of 62 years, Laos’ forest was reduced by 7 million
hectares or equal to the average of 113,000 hectares annually.
This situation combined with the increasingly widespread
of illegal logging for illicit lumber trading makes Mr. Khamouane Boupha believe that the current Laos’ forests cover only 35% of the country’s land.
Moreover, the prevalence
of illegal logging has become an issue of deep concern
among people at large so that they raise their concerns to Lao National
Assembly members to request the government forcefully investigation the illegal
logging activities that have been widespread encroaching upon the
national forest conservation areas across Laos. The conservation areas that
have seen the most widespread illegal loggings are in Phoukhao Khuay and Phou
Phanang, where police seized over 18,000 cubic meters of lumber last year.
This situation has dramatically
destroyed the country’s forest areas; therefore, Lao
authorities plan to conduct a survey again in 2011 to determine the exact forest
density in the country.
Songrit Pongern reported from
Bangkok on 09/07/09. (English translation by Buasawan Simmala)