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10 illegal loggers punished in bid to save forests
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Forest authorities have punished 10 illegal loggers as part of a crackdown on those threatening the country's environment and ecosystem.

The perpetrators were exposed to media during the second round of crackdowns from May to September this year.

State Forestry Administration (SFA) spokesman Cao Qingyao said in Beijing yesterday that the latest operation focused on illegal logging and damage to nature reserves, forest parks and State-owned woodlands.

He said about a million forest law enforcers had taken part in the nationwide inspection that included uncovering more than 65,000 cases and recovering about 110,000 cu m of timber.

In Jiangcheng county in Yunnan Province, five violators were jailed and fined for logging 550 cu m of timber last year.

In Guangdong, wildlife smugglers were nabbed for dealing in more than 5,000 lizards, 30 pangolins, 21 bear palms and 3,000 tortoises. Nine suspects were taken into custody.

Cao said illegal logging and destruction of forest resources have made a comeback in recent years.

He listed illicit construction projects, profiteering of timber prices and improper use of forest recovery funds as some of the reasons behind the trend.

In the first six months of the year, there have been close to 210,000 cases of illegal forest activities, an increase of 3.4 percent from last year.

(China Daily November 9, 2007)

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