“Heavy debt” should pay the debt for the forest

Recently, Reuters news agency (UK) reported on special tour guides in Vietnam at Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park (Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province).

They are tour guides described by Reuters as people who “know very well the value of trees”, because what is special about these people is that they have a history of being “forest thieves”.

Nguyen Ngoc Anh, 36 years old, is the character appearing in the video reportage and article by Reuters. After giving up causing “scars” to the forest, Mr. Ngoc Anh is now working as a tour guide in Phong Nha – Ke Bang.

Answering a reporter about his past, Mr. Ngoc Anh said that in the past he often “cooperated” with other “forest bandits”, each time this group of people carried a weight of illegally harvested timber weighing up to a kilo out of the way. forest for sale.

But when he witnessed with his own eyes the heavy consequences caused by trees being cut down, which made the rains and floods more intense in his countryside, Mr. Ngoc Anh and many other “forest bandits” decided to switch to the calendar to preserve nature. course.

“In the past, every time I saw a big tree, I would think to myself how tall the tree was, and cut it into logs of different sizes,” Mr. Ngoc Anh said. “But now that I have turned to tourism, when I see such a large tree, I will explain to visitors how rare it is, and how valuable it is.”

Mr. Ngoc Anh is one of 250 former “forest bandits” working for an adventure travel company in Phong Nha – Ke Bang.

In addition to the mission of bringing visitors to experience the road through the forest, special tour guides like Mr. Ngoc Anh also help rangers patrol the forest trails to prevent poachers and remove animal traps. and clean up the trash.

According to Reuters, although the income of special tour guides like Mr. Ngoc Anh is not half of what it used to be, they all hope that their income will improve when the tourism industry recovers and Vietnam opens its doors to tourists after the pandemic.

According to Global Forest Watch, Vietnam lost about 3 million hectares of tree cover between 2001 and 2020 – a 20% decrease from 20 years ago. Since 2007, the Vietnamese government has been determined to crack down on illegal logging and this has helped slow down deforestation. Vietnam has joined the global commitment to end deforestation by 2030.

As previously reported by Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper, research by the Asia Foundation shows that over the past 20 years, Vietnam has been in the top 5 countries with the largest natural disaster risk globally – and the estimated damage accounts for 1.5% of GDP annually.

Along with deforestation are the phenomena of drought, saltwater intrusion, landslides… which hinder the development of the country and the safety of the people. Therefore, it is very necessary for former “forest thieves” like Ngoc Anh in a Reuters article to have the right awareness of the risks and be given job opportunities to contribute to sustainable development. /. htm

According to Hong Anh

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