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Vietnam forests suffering from agriculture
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Vietnam's forests, depleted by illegal logging, encroachment, mining and hydropower projects as well as bad management, have been struggling with another threat – the agriculture sector. Source: VietNamNet
"Transgression, disputes and conflicts related to forestry land have significantly increased recently, and agricultural land has invaded (forests)," said Dr Le Duc Thinh of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD).
At present, two-thirds of Vietnam is mountainous area and officially designated forestry land accounts for 57% of the total 26.2 million hectares of arable land.
Three million of the 16 million hectares of forest is bare, and this has been rapidly taken over by agricultural and crops like coffee and rubber. Now these crops are encroaching further into forests, which have been disappearing in the Central Highlands and the north-western region.
In the past, state-owned farms managed forests, but 256 of these have been converted into 148 companies. This conversion has not been accompanied by clear guidelines, so forests have been destroyed.