Vietnam pledges to investigate massive illegal logging violations as international pressure grows
After several weeks of silence, the Vietnamese government announced that is working to begin an investigation into allegations of widespread illegal logging in Cambodia directed by Vietnamese companies and provincial government officials. Earlier this month the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) released a damning report which detailed mass-scale illegal logging in Cambodian national parks, as well as the importation of this unlicensed timber into Vietnam’s Central Highlands. In addition to the report, the organization has released an online library of documents in Vietnamese and satellite images detailing the smuggling operation. In the weeks immediately after the undercover investigation went public, little was done to rectify the situation. However several sources have shared with Mongabay that last week, Vietnam finally announced that it was looking into the issue. Phuc Xuan Tho, a program analyst at the international NGO Forest Trends, told Mongabay in an email that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) had informed him of the investigation, but did not provide details on its breadth or depth.