DONG NAI (VNS)— The administration of southern Dong Nai Province has petitioned the Government to stop two hydro-power projects planned to be built on the upper section of the Dong Nai River citing environmental concerns.
The petition, signed by Nguyen Thanh Tri, deputy chairman of the People's Committee and head of the Dong Nai Biosphere Reserve management, says Hydro-power Projects 6 and 6A, which encroaches on 137.5 ha of land belonging to the Cat Tien National Park, will have several adverse impacts.
It warns that the Dong Nai Biosphere Reserve will be affected, including direct impacts on major mangrove swamps like Bau Sau Ramsar.
The Dong Nai River's flow will be affected, causing floods in the rainy season and shortage of water in the dry season in the lower sections, it says.
The dams will destroy the habitats of some rare fauna and flora, bury relics scattered around Cat Tien and impact the culture and livelihoods of ethnic minorities in the area.
The construction of the power projects is also a violation of Vietnamese laws and international conventions on the environment.
The petition has been sent to the Prime Minister and the National Assembly's Science, Technology and Environment Committee.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has been considering applications for the two dams' licences.
The Dong Nai Biosphere Reserve, which spreads over almost a million hectares in 13 districts of Dong Nai, Lam Dong, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh Provinces, is home to 450,000 people.
At a meeting with District 10 voters on Tuesday, HCM City NA member Huynh Thanh Dat said the city also backs Dong Nai in demanding careful consideration on the pros and cons of the two hydro-power plants before approving them.
Dat, also deputy director of the National University of HCM City, echoed the province's concerns about the projects' impacts on the environment and the Dong Nai River's downstream residents.
Tens of millions of people in Dong Nai, HCM City and other southern provinces could also be impacted, he added. — VNS