News / Africa

Illegal Logging Threatens South Sudan Forests

Eastern Equatoria, South SudanEastern Equatoria, South Sudan
x
Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan
Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan
Officials in South Sudan's Eastern Equatoria state are concerned that they might lose one of the country's treasures if people continue to cut down trees in the state's 14 forest reserves.

But residents. like Ohide Pios, insist they have no choice but to continue with the illegal activity. The wood, which Pios turns into charcoal or uses to build shelter for his family, is his only means of making a living, he said.

"I normally cut dry trees around the forest and I burn charcoal out of it," Pios, who is unemployed and has four children to support, told VOA News.

"This is my only source of money," he said. 

Ochan John Bongomin, Eastern Equatoria's Forestry Minister, noted that it is illegal to cut down trees in the forest reserves without registering with the authorities.

Without that rule in place, he said, deforestation would likely be extensive, and that would affect the state’s rain patterns and make flooding worse. Eastern Equatoria could also run out of rare tree types, such as mahogany, he said.

Bongomin said there are only 42 forest guards and they are not able to patrol and prevent illegal logging on thousands of acres of forest.

"You find that people go there in big numbers. Unfortunately, also, currently most of these loggers who go to cut these trees, they have guns, so sometimes they frighten our forest guards," he said.

State officials are also trying to combat the problem by educating communities about which trees they can cut down without damaging the forests' balance.

"We cannot stop them from building using local materials, but they should be selective when they are cutting the trees," Bongomin said.

"There are many trees around which can be cut for building, but the young ones which are not yet ripened should be allowed to ripen,” he said.

Deputy Forestry Director Daniel Alau said steps are also being taken to plant saplings in affected reserves.

Forestry officials will plant thousands of saplings in Imilai in January and, if the effort is a success, they will duplicate the effort in other reserves like Kalishoni forest in Magwi county, where the Forestry Ministry estimates that at least two percent of the forest's 1,000 acres have been cut down in the last year alone.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid