Authorities Counsel Forest Fire Offenders in Vientiane

65 Offenders Educated on Forest Protection Following Phou Phanang Burning
Fire erupts at Phou Phanang protected forest (photo: Jonathan Meadley)

Last week, the Vientiane Province government counseled 65 locals who were caught burning forest land in Phou Phanang National Bio-Diversity Conservation Area to reeducate and raise awareness on the harmful long-term effects of illegal logging and deforestation.

The group was sent to a training and education session to understand the impact of their actions on the environment and public health.

The training was presided over by Mr. Sompasong Souvongkhamchanh, Provincial, and Phonhong District Party Central Committee Member, and took place the day after authorities had extinguished the forest fire in Phou Phanang National Protected Area. The aim of the session was to educate the locals on basic regulations related to protecting and preserving forests.

Mr. Hongthong Vongsouk, Head of the District Agriculture-Forestry Office, said that the training aimed to increase public knowledge and understanding of the importance of forest conservation and deter violators from engaging in illegal activities such as cutting on trees or destroying forests in protected areas.

During the training, Mr. Hongthong explained the significance of educating people about forest laws and regulations related to protecting and preserving forests. Participants had the opportunity to learn about the law on forestry, the importance of forests, and some articles on civil and criminal law on forestry.

The fire in Phou Phanang took nine days to extinguish and was caused by agricultural burning in the area. It had spread to 17 different villages in the Sangthong district, causing damage to an area of around 120 hectares of woodland.

The Lao government has prioritized addressing air pollution and discussed various issues such as forest fires, economy, and social problems during the monthly cabinet meeting last week.