The last nghien wood kingdom is being destroyed

Last update 07:30 | 03/04/2017
VietNamNet Bridge – The nghien (excentrodendron tonkinense) kingdom growing on the rocky mountains in Ha Giang and Tuyen Quang is getting smaller because of illegal logging. 

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This is a hard, tough and durable wood with no termites, even if it is buried underground. Tay and Nung ethnic minorities like using nghien wood to make columns of houses and floors. Walking on nghien-made floors never produces creaking. Nghien-made chopping boards are favored, because the knife cuts are clean won’t leave debris.

The nghien trees have been cut down by illegal loggers for years.

So many nghien trees, tens of meters high, have been chopped down and vast nghien forests have been cleared because illegal loggers can earn millions of dong from selling nghien wood.

The nghien (excentrodendron tonkinense) kingdom growing on the rocky mountains in Ha Giang and Tuyen Quang is getting smaller because of illegal logging. 

A slice of nghien wood, about 10 cm thick, can be sold at VND1 million. And the slice can be cut into small pieces to make chopping boards which can be sold for hundreds of thousands each.

It is very difficult to chop down nghien trees because they are tall and hard. Sometimes, illegal loggers stand on high scaffoldings and saw the trunks with engine saws for several days.

A forest ranger in Tuyen Quang province told reporters that the forests cover a large area of thousands of hectares, and every foreign ranger has to take care of thousands of hectares.

“Evildoers are like mice which corrode the forests,” said Khong Van Quang, head of the Na Hang Special-use Forest (SUF) Rangers’ Unit.

Who are the ‘evidoers’? The leaders of Bac Kan province once told the press that the ‘forest killers’ are not people who chop down trees with axes and split wood planks with saws, but the men in luxury suits carrying briefcases with multimillion dollars inside.

In Na Hang district of Tuyen Quang province, the control of SUF is assigned to a forest rangers’ unit. A forest ranger of the unit may have to take care of 6,000 hectares of forest and he has to implement this task with just one old motorbike which can carry him only on flat roads. Meanwhile, he has to walk through the forests, eat and sleep in the forest and face high risks from mosquitoes and insects.

Meanwhile, native people have many skills to hide themselves from forest rangers. And they are very poor, but it is very difficult to persuade them to stop chopping trees.


Illegal logging decimating Ha Giang forests

Saving the Highlands from drought

Chi Mai

This entry was posted in Môi trường - Environment, Phá rừng - Deforestation, Động và thực vật có nguy cơ tuyệt chủng - Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and tagged , , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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