The newly-issued directive said there are serious violations of regulations on forest protection in some provinces, including several large-scale illegal deforestation cases, causing public concern.
To effectively prevent deforestation and implement international commitments at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the PM requested provinces and cities to tighten the management of forests, particularly the change of purpose of forest land use.
They must closely coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in completing the National Forestry Master Plan for 2021-30, with a vision to 2050.
Investigations into illegal forest destruction cases should be quickened and violators strictly punished.
Provinces and cities must direct the forest rangers to examine and evaluate the entire natural forest area under their management so as to promptly detect, prevent and strictly handle acts of encroachment on forest land, according to the directive.
The PM also required competent agencies to take concerted actions to investigate and handle deforestation and forest encroachment cases reported by the media recently.
The MARD is instructed to continue design mechanisms and policies to improve the effectiveness of forest management and protection and mobilise legal resources for forestry development.
The ministry should coordinate with central and local authorities to strengthen inspection and handling of violations of forest management and protection regulations.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment must urgently review regulations on land management and strengthen inspection to prevent improper land use.
The Ministry of Public Security will assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with MARD and other competent agencies in investigating and strictly handling illegal deforestation and encroachment on forest land, especially in the Central Highlands provinces.