KPL News, 16 July 2014
The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment reported that over 700,000 cubic metres of trees are felled illegally every year for charcoal production, construction purposes (supporters) and being used as firewood. Mr Noulinh Sinbandith, who is the above mentioned minister told the ongoing ordinary session of the 7th National Assembly legislation on 14 July that the increased cutting of wood for such purposes severely damaged and deforested the production forestry in the country.
He attributed the wood cutting problem to the lack of proper allocation and management of forest resources. “In recent years, inadequate attention was attached to the management of production forests, no specific parties were tasked to take care of the forest, and the protection of forest resources was underfunded,” said Mr Noulinh. He said that only participatory and NGO-funded forest protection projects were found successful over the last years adding that tasking the local authorities with responsibility for forest management and the provision of enough budget need to be considered.