American troops fighting among rubber trees. 16, 2004. When the forest gave way to fields, the truck stopped on a stretch of road that straddled two tree plantations — one of imported Australian acacia, and the other of a native hardwood, Hopea odorata, also known as thingan or takian. From 1980 to 1990, forest cover in Vietnam declined from 32 percent to 27 percent of the country. After the villagers handed over all their land, they only had some 12ha fields of rice left. like a bird of prey, the profile at night . Early on, France considered their Indochina colony a means to make money. In 1897, a French pharmacist on a mission to Java sent Hevea seeds to the Saigon Botanical Garden, which later became the Saigon Zoo. As Big Energy Gains, Can Europe’s Community Renewables Compete? In his expansive book, Rubber and the Making of Vietnam, historian Michitake Aso goes into great detail about that process and its particulars, of which this article provides a shallow overview. In a trend eerily reminiscent of colonial activities, these corporations are rarely snatching up unoccupied lands; instead, they force ethnic minorities to relocate, often through illegal or immoral means. Pages in category "Trees of Vietnam" The following 200 pages are in this category, out of approximately 222 total. Recognized by UNESCO as a worldwide biosphere in 2000, the Can Gio mangrove forest is considered as the “green lungs” of Saigon’s population. This is cause for major concern in Vietnam, as the nation exports 80% of the latex it produces. With some exceptions, their preference for profits demanded they take a bet-hedging and pragmatic approach to politics, hoping to remain in good enough standing with whomever ultimately prevailed in the wars. The native forests of Vinh Cuu were exploited until a 1997 logging ban halted the destruction, said Tran Van Mui of the Vinh Cuu Nature Reserve. Vietnam began offering subsidies for native-tree reintroduction in 1998, but they have proven insufficient for poor villagers, said Tran Lam Dong, a Ph.D. student at the University of Tasmania in Australia. Mike Ives is a Hong Kong-based journalist who previously covered Vietnam for The Economist and The New York Times. When America ramped up its presence, it mostly picked up where the departing French left off. Jump to navigation Jump to search. More than mere symbols, they also aimed to destroy plantation trees, equipment and infrastructure to harm the French economy. An average tapper was expected to cut between 300 and 600 trees a day. It was also a massive failure. During the Vietnam War, the US sprayed Agent Orange on the jungles and fields of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. In exchange for such physically devastating labor, workers faced violence and abuse from their overseers. Although the trees were good for business — by 2008, 850,000 hectares of domestic acacia and eucalyptus trees were supporting Vietnam’s $185 million-per-year wood-chip export industry — it became clear that acacia and eucalyptus monocultures didn’t protect watersheds or conserve biodiversity as native trees did. The slavery, murder and battles accompanying the collection and trade of rubber continued into recent times, as exemplified by its role in supporting Liberia’s murderous warlord Charles Taylor. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, a... Vietnam’s first craft brewery continues to ingratiate itself with local audiences. Separated from their families and communities, they were far less likely to flee. Vietnam's largest city, Saigon, was the capital of South Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. Thirty-five years after North Vietnamese tanks entered Ho Chi Minh City — formerly Saigon — and four decades after U.S. forces destroyed ordamaged large swaths of Vietnamese forest with bombs and defoliants, this landscape is a window into Vietnam’s struggle to regenerate its once-abundant forests. This acknowledgment of a worker’s desire for escape once they’d experienced plantation conditions resulted in devious recruiting methods. Moreover, plantation development results in roads, schools and other key infrastructure projects in remote regions of the country, including northern areas where production has expanded with the advent of hybrid species and advanced cultivation methods. This has a tangible effect on the number of jobs rubber can support, as well as the wages it pays. Reforestation and sustainable forestry is supported by the regional authorities, … The tripwire was then tied to each grenade. 1964 was a key year in the Vietnam War. This is the philosophy behind Kitchen, a new not-for-profit restaurant in District 2 that aims to nurture a community with delicious, healthy food. Inside the truck, workers from the Vinh Cuu Nature Reserve were trading war stories, recalling that the region was once a hotbed of fighting. this way- the stone lets me go. Sign up for the E360 Newsletter →. This was done to expose hiding enemy troops. Benefiting from improved methods and attention, the southern region produced more than one metric ton of rubber per hectare per year between 1957 and 1961. Agent Orange is a herbicide and defoliant chemical, one of the "tactical use" Rainbow Herbicides.It is widely known for its use by the U.S. military as part of its chemical warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. But as rubber expands to new areas in the region, little is being done differently, while modern machines and techniques make deforestation even easier. Despite these challenges, Vietnamese growers are planting Hopea odorata and other native Dipterocarps on small scales. I was one of the unfortunates to be bitten by a snake out in the bush. A 40-foot Hopea odorata tree was standing tall in fierce sunshine. These native stands of trees have been badly decimated not only in Vietnam but across all of Southeast Asia. He attempted to satisfy America’s automobile-fueled rubber needs by creating his own latex-centric city in the Brazilian rainforest. Bring that flamethrower back over here. Intrigued by latex, European explorers quickly imported it from the Americas, but the long ocean voyage revealed a critical flaw in the raw good: when it becomes too cold it cracks; when too warm, it melts. Venomous snakes. In addition to the environmental impact of rubber production, the industry still faces the risk of the South American Leaf Blight arriving and devastating plantations. From the time I began learning Vietnamese at home and English in public school, I have lived with dual identities pulling me from seemingly opposite ends of a spectrum. French companies controlled rubber plantations well into the 1960s, but production declined, hitting near zero by the 1970s. In doing so, however, individuals and small communities, often living on the margins of society, miss opportunities for economic independence and security, instead placing themselves at the mercy of large bureaucracies. Rubber production. In 1943, Vietnam used to possess more than 400 000 ha of mangroves. Also known as the Sacred Fig, the Bodhi is recognizable by its heart-shaped leaves, its distinctive canopy which flares out horizontally, and the multiple vines which grow around its thick trunk like veins. Vietnamese members of rubber unions in particular, argued that while they could serve important roles in resisting and overthrowing the French, their basic functionalities and infrastructure needed to remain intact so as to provide the future Vietnamese economy with necessary funds. The only thing standing between the country and the ocean is a tree. In another grove of trees sits the Vietnam Women's Memorial, another figurative sculpture depicting three nurses and one wounded soldier. Recognized by UNESCO as a worldwide biosphere in 2000, the Can Gio mangrove forest is considered as the “green lungs” of Saigon’s population. There, a number of colonial scientists experimented with it alongside other plants while the first plantations were being introduced. Agent Orange An herbicide dropped on the forests and bush in Vietnam to defoliate (strip the leaves from plants and trees) an area. In order to prevent the enemy from coming from the North, the soldiers had to destroy everything along the 17th parallel, even trees. More about Mike Ives →, Never miss a feature! A third one kneels behind the sandbags, forlornly holding an empty helmet in her hand. China is the world’s largest latex consumer, and any decrease in manufacturing or increased prices could destabilize the commodity, though some theorize India’s increased consumption could offset a drop in China’s. It provides more than 5,000 jobs with annual salaries of VND7 million per month, compared to the national average of VND3.2 million a month, though figures vary greatly across region and occupation. They also applied the latex to capes to create crude rain jackets. Series Vietnam: A Television History Title. They paid bribes and ransoms to insurgent forces while requesting help and providing support to the southern government. Two cans were mounted on trees along either side of a path. “Now I’d like to return to natural forests. Starting in 1943, large estates began to occupy a much larger percentage of rubber-producing lands, peaking at 82% in 1970. Phung Tuu Boi stands in front of a hopea tree at the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute in Hanoi. And most of them are poor, so planting acacia is easier.”. As Vietnam cultivates its own expertise and experience, companies have increasingly looked beyond the borders to Laos and Cambodia to establish plantations. In the case of Hopea odorata, he said, unless the tree is planted with acacia at a special density ratio — 600 hopea trees and 1,000 acacia trees per hectare — shade from the acacias stunts the hopeas. Japan’s arrival in Vietnam in 1940 stymied rubber production. While the trees do serve to collect and store atmospheric carbon, they do so at a lower rate than that of a more diverse ecosystem. Vietnam’s forest recovery efforts have been driven in part by Phung Tuu Boi, a forester who experimented with various regeneration projects after the war. Acting as huge natural filters to clean the air and waste water coming from industrial zones along … 4:00 a.m. RSS. You know what kinds of animals love a hot, humid … Vietnamese soldiers have been searching two hamlets on the outskirts of the Vietnamese capital for at least 18 unexploded bombs dropped by a U.S. B-52 bomber in December 1972, during the late American President Richard Nixon's Christmas bombing offensive. Photo via Bao Moi. And while French plantations vanished in favor of state-owned enterprises after 1975, the battle between large operations and smaller family- or community-run operations continues. Our consumer-centric commodification of nature may soon lead to an inhospitable planet, to say nothing of the suffering of our fellow humans along the way. Natives were forced to harvest latex from trees growing naturally in the forest. Hue is a city of empires, dynasties, armies, conquest and rule. Synthetic rubber, meanwhile, has limitations that make it unsuitable for use in tires. The name “Vietnam” derives from “Nam Việt”, which literally means “Southern Viet”, with “Viet” simply being a name for a group of people living in present day Vietnam and southern China all the way as far back as 200 BC. He said that the reserve’s effort to spur villages to replant native tree species has faced some resistance. Rubber also plays a role in carbon emissions, in regards to both the trees and the energy needed for latex processing and transport. At the end of the film, the ghosts of abused workers rise from the earth to enact their revenge on their villainous overseers. The “Ba Vai” tree is also over 800 years old, 20m high and trunk diameter of 1.8m. The vietnam war Pictures That Moved Them Most While the Vietnam War raged — roughly two decades’ worth of bloody and world-changing years — compelling images … And while ultimately quelled, on several occasions workers overwhelmed their overseers and occupied the fields and mansions, including famously at Michelin’s Phu Rieng Du plantation, as detailed in Binh’s memoir. By some estimates, forest cover in Vietnam declined by 50 percent between 1945 and 1980. How could we produce enough to fill our bellies with those little fields?". Whether it is fish placed neatly inside rectangular tins or uniform meat slabs stored in cylindrical cans with colorful packages, eating canned food is a strange experience. The transition from diverse forests to monoculture plantations results in soil erosion, reduced soil quality and increased likelihood of landslides. We've heard the negatives about this movie, and most of them are basically correct but there are a few things to say that, if not positive, put the movie in a less negative light. The Trees of Vietnam’s Tropical Forests SEARCH NEWS 03/10/2019. However, most of it got wiped off and got reduced to 155 000 ha in 2006 because of the war. At Micheline’s Phu Rieng Du plantation, 90% of workers suffered from malaria. In line with the thinking of the time, colonial officials had little interest in researching or developing native plants such as fruit and rice that locals were proficient in harvesting, and instead looked to use land for foreign botanicals. In the first decades of the 20th century, plantations were established in the south and Central Highlands, and by the start of World War II, the industry produced more than 60,000 metric tons of rubber annually. With much of the country’s woodlands and jungle lost or damaged over the past half-century by war, the spread of agriculture, and logging, Vietnam’s forestry experts are split over what the nation’s new forests should look like. The foreign companies and French colonial administration weren't willing to abandon their lucrative latex dreams, however; upon the defeat of the Japanese, they set about re-establishing rubber production and bringing back or re-training as many workers as they could. Although the trees were good for business — by 2008, 850,000 hectares of domestic acacia and eucalyptus trees were supporting Vietnam’s $185 million-per-year wood-chip export industry — it became clear that acacia and eucalyptus monocultures didn’t protect watersheds or conserve biodiversity as native trees did. The plantation’s combination of orderly rows of plants adjacent to more rugged terrain played into the advantages and needs of Viet Minh forces. Hopea seedlings require two years in the nursery — about 20 months more than acacia seedlings — and are 5 to 10 times more expensive. There also are numerous species of woody vines (lianas) and herbaceous plants. The climate in the highlands of southern Vietnam offered ideal conditions for rubber trees. They also wanted to kill off the agricultural crops that fed the Viet Cong (as well as local civilians). Pages in category "Trees of Vietnam" The following 200 pages are in this category, out of approximately 222 total. This was done to expose hiding enemy troops. A rubber boom in the late 19th and early 20th centuries resulted in enormous colonial plantations and collection efforts in South and Central America, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Africa. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China and North Korea, while South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, New … Rubber production in Vietnam slowly recovered after reunification, with growth coinciding with the general economic boom the country has experienced in the decades following Doi Moi reforms. He worked with Australian colleagues to plant Australian acacia and eucalyptus trees in deforested areas of central and southern Vietnam. I turn that way- I’m inside the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Heartbreak Grass, Flame Lillies, Twisted Cord Flowers, and Bark Cloth Trees are all powerful enough to kill a human or cause blindness upon contact or accidental ingestion, which is more common than one might think. (Vietnam is the world’s second-largest coffee exporter behind Brazil. These are the best Vietnam … Vietnam is slowly regaining its forests through tree planting and natural reforestation though. by Perry Deane Young. These activities represented the first instances of native communist parties in Indochina taking an active role in mass labor struggles. As global movement becomes faster and more frequent, the risks increase exponentially. Colonial opinions were not much more united. In Vietnam, much of the damage has already been done, and people are left to lament what has already been lost. Moreover, plantations have long relied on cloning trees, which means they all have the same susceptibility to infection. Data from 11 of the 20 biggest plantations exceeding 700 workers reveals death rates between 12% and 47% in 1926 and 1927. Unlike native Dipterocarps, acacias block indigenous trees, shrubs, and lianas (woody vines) from growing underneath them, which eliminates the habitat of native insects, vertebrates and fungi; reduce biodiversity; and lead to species extinction. The Vietnam War (also known as Second Indochina War or American War in Vietnam) lasted from 1 November 1955–30 April 1975, (19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day). Defoliants and Agent Orange laid waste to vast stretches of plantation land in an effort to expose and impede supply chains and troops seeking shelter and safe passage through the thick canopies. The hopea is a big tree with a long life.”. They preferred a more restrained approach and condemned the devastation performed by their more aggressive peers. When it fell to the Vietnamese People's Army and the Viet Cong at the end of the Vietnam War, its name was changed to Ho Chi Minh city in honor of the leader of Vietnam's communist movement. An early Mesoamerican game played with a rubber ball before the arrival of the Europeans. Not all revolutionaries, however, condoned the wanton destruction of the plantations. After glancing at topographical maps on his wall, he stood, pushed open his office door, and walked through a courtyard toward the Vinh Cuu reserve’s front gate. The new government, however, chose to operate the industry in accordance with colonial structures that showed little concern for workers and gave preferences to the large foreign companies that remained. Horrific crimes against humanity accompanied the wealth. So even with last year’s considerable increase in total volume, the industry netted 6.1% less money. Photo via Flickr user manhhai. The colonial government nevertheless made vast swaths of forest available to European companies to start plantations while also establishing necessary transportation infrastructure and providing financial support. A letter intercepted at the Phu Ly post office exemplifies the type of rhetorical positioning the political agents used to gain support: Fellow countrymen and women! That, sadly, is not reality. All Rights Reserved, The Harrowing History of Vietnam's Rubber Plantations, plantation employee and writer Tran Tu Binh, plantation owners were rumored to be so rich, sent Hevea seeds to the Saigon Botanical Garden, Data from 11 of the 20 biggest plantations, The earlier murder of Alfred François Bazin, annual salaries of VND7 million per month, national average of VND3.2 million a month, complicated set of international and cross-sector factors, threatens to further depress Vietnam’s rubber profits, still faces the risk of the South American Leaf Blight. PTSD Chihuahua, also known as Chihuahua Vietnam War Flashbacks, is a reaction image depicting a dog staring off into the distance with a double exposure of photos from the Vietnam War overlaid on top of the image. An ambitious, disjointed and often inefficient scientific approach was taken to exploring the best ways to exploit rubber for profit in and around Saigon. "Oh it’s easy to go to the rubber and hard to return, / Men leave their corpses, women depart as ghosts. An Australia-based forestry expert, Tran Lam Dong, reports that defoliants destroyed about 7,700 square miles of forests — six percent of Vietnam’s total land area. As 19th-century plantation employee and writer Tran Tu Binh explains, Vietnamese were forced to "become fertilizer for the capitalists’ rubber trees.". Saigoneer will never see coffee the same way again. Vietnam’s most beautiful trees and flowers are also its deadliest. It quickly ravaged entire crops, dooming the project. Colonial officials knew it was in their best interest to present the region as uninhabited, and thus free for the taking. While treatment at the hands of colonial exploiters sets an exceedingly low bar that is easily surpassed today, the work remains physically demanding and dangerous, with risks from snakes and insects, as well chemical poisoning during processing. In truth, numerous quasi-nomadic ethnic minorities, such as the Stieng, lived on the land. It's hard to find a Vietnam war movie that DOESN'T come full of distortions based on the film makers political agendas; it's just this time "The Green Berets" comes from the pro-involvement side. Colonial officials knew it was in their best interest to present the region as uninhabited, and thus free for the taking. When displaced to new land they are unfamiliar with, the people struggle to adapt their traditional ways of life and agriculture, as depicted in the short film, Rubber in a Rice Bowl and Rubber Barons: Growing rubber on an industrial scale can devastate natural environments. A landmark 1998 decree set a goal of restoring Vietnam’s forest cover to 1940s levels by 2010 through planting 5 million hectares (19,300 square miles) of trees — 2 million for reserves and 3 million for wood production. There are other complications. In the By the end of the war in 1975, estimates put Vietnam's forest coverage at just 17%, down from more than 40% in the 1940s. The kitchen is the heart of a home. The Micheline Plantation described them as "often depraved (opium addicts, public girls, lazy) having only an idea: desert to go to Cholon.". They believed that extracting goods such as coffee, tea, rice and sugar, in addition to controlling local markets for items such as alcohol, could pay for their costly presence in the region. This list may not reflect recent changes . In the Amazonian city of Manaus, for example, plantation owners were rumored to be so rich that they gave their horses champagne to drink and paid upwards of US$8,000 a night for imported prostitutes while filling the city with extravagant and absurdly impractical buildings, such as an ornate opera house. These rubber efforts brought about enormous wealth. This makes the nation a key player in an industry that sources 97% of its raw rubber from Southeast Asia. Mui sat under a portrait of former Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh. November 4, 2010. A nose-dive in natural rubber production because of the blight would certainly have a calamitous effect on aviation, shipping and transportation, rippling across all aspects of modern-day life. Communist activists saw great potential among the workforce and actively infiltrated ranks to gain supporters, form unions and instigate strikes arguing for better wages and treatment. Working conditions on Vietnamese rubber plantations demand consideration as well. Jun. 4:00 a.m. RSS. A former UPI war correspondent remembers Errol Flynn's son and the photos he naively took. The stories of great bloodshed and barbarism certainly warrant further discussions outside the scope of this article’s focus on rubber in Vietnam, while providing illuminating parallels. On the one side are those who would replace the lost forests with acacia and eucalyptus plantations — alien, monocultural forms of regeneration that supply abundant wood products but support little biodiversity. By the time the Americans fled in defeat, the rubber fields had suffered great damage, and the people living in their proximity were filled with toxic chemicals whose effects would continue to be felt for decades to come. The 2016 horror movie Co Hau Gai (The Housemaid) takes place on a Vietnamese rubber plantation during the colonial era’s waning years. So in addition to places of rebellion, the rubber plantations became sites of sabotage and death, as well as safe havens, way stations and valuable supply caches. Many Vietnam veterans who had been exposed to Agent Orange during the war have shown an increased risk of cancer. When planted in neat rows, rubber trees in the area were susceptible to a devastating plague known as South American Leaf Blight. By 1928, more than half of all workers employed on the plantations were recruited from Tonkin. Yet global rubber prices have fallen to a third of their peak in 2010–2011, and may not truly recover before 2030 due to a complicated set of international and cross-sector factors that determine its global price. (previous page) () During the Vietnam war, the United States used large amounts of defoliants which destroyed large swathes of forests. The road turned to clay and snaked into a dense bamboo canopy. Menu. 16, 2004. Affordable and search from millions of royalty free images, photos and vectors. Making matters worse, malaria and other illnesses ran rampant, with insufficient medical attention available. Companies and private individuals faced a back-and-forth with government officials. Investigating their complex history and ecological footprint helps articulate the complex interplay between commodities, exploitation and development, as well as man and nature. Category:Trees of Vietnam. The nearest city was Bien Hoa, home of an American air base during the Vietnam War. During the Vietnam War, U.S. forces sprayed 72 million liters of herbicides, including Agent Orange, on the Vietnamese countryside and dropped roughly 13 million tons of bombs, according to Jakarta-based forestry expert Chris Lang. Ford’s folly didn’t immediately stop the western world from sourcing rubber from South America, however. The International Union for Conservation of Nature said in 1998 that a “long period of selective logging” had reduced Vietnam’s Hopea odorata stock to “small groups of trees or isolated individuals.” The Viet Nam News reported this month that illegal logging was so rampant in 2010 that four forest rangers had been killed and 44 injured trying to stop it.Hopea odorata is a species in the Dipterocarp genus, a family of large tropical hardwoods native to the lowland forests of Southeast Asia. “That’s what you have to do to meet the needs of the rural poor.”. Yet we paid the owners of the Michelin plantations $600 for each rubber tree we damaged, while the family of a slain Vietnamese child got no more than $120 in payout for a life.”. In the 1960s, the tropical forests were destroyed through the slash-and-burn method as well as deforestation. We should fear such a comeuppance. 314 videos Play all Vietnam War - Country Music Vietnam War Song Project Derrik Roberts - There Won't Be Any Snow (Christmas in the Jungle) - Duration: 3:03. A chilling report issued by the Vietnamese government estimated that 10,224 children were involved in rubber production, 42.5% of whom were below the legal working age of 15, and 22% of the children were between five and eleven years old. Inside the home of a plantation operator. Thus, by the turn of the 21st century, Asia was supplying more than 90% of the world’s rubber, with Vietnam serving as an important player. Now they are recruiting coolies, whom they first stupefy with drugs, then forcibly transport far away to their deaths. A 1964 CIA memorandum that the US government only declassified in 2006 provides a remarkably straightforward and cynical assessment of the “gloomy” situation. The climate in the highlands of southern Vietnam offered ideal conditions for rubber trees. Terms and Slang . To destroy one rubber tree is to kill one invader.” All told, 10% of all high-value trees and 17,000 of a total 150,000 plantation hectares were ruined. Complete with housing, churches and community buildings, Fordlandia was a massive development. The earlier murder of Alfred François Bazin, a Hanoi-based labor recruiter for the company, revealed both the resentment plantations had fomented and the lengths at which Vietnamese were willing to go to put an end to them. “Hopea has existed in Vietnam for thousands of years, and it grows in friendship with other species. In 1943, Vietnam used to possess more than 400 000 ha of mangroves. With large swaths of forest destroyed by wartime defoliants, and even larger areas lost to post-war logging, Vietnam has set an ambitious goal for regenerating its woodlands. 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