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MoIT asked to rethink hydro-power plants

Update: September, 27/2013 - 09:22
The Prime Minister has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to re-consider the development plans of hydro-power projects No 6 and 6A and others along the Dong Nai River.— File Photo

HCM CITY (VNS)— The Prime Minister has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to re-consider the development plans of hydro-power projects No 6 and 6A and others along the Dong Nai River.

The request is part of a document giving the PM's response to a petition by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) on the negative impacts these projects would have on the Dong Nai River Basin.

In an environmental impact assessment sent to the Government Office in early September, MoNRE asked the Government to conduct a comprehensive examination of the Dong Nai Hydro-power projects No 6 and 6A, saying that many issues still must be clarified.

The ministry made its suggestions after sending its report to the Government Office about the proposed investment by Duc Long Co.

The MoNRE said the two hydro-power projects would remove 372.23ha of forests, including 128.37ha of land in Cat Loc, a core zone under Cat Tien National Park.

In its environmental impact report, Duc Long pledged to afforest the area, but the investor's report did not show the areas and it did not map out plans for afforestation.

Duc Long's environmental impact report also neglected to mention the estimated losses of biological diversity in Cat Tien National Park and other losses to ecological systems in the region.

Measures to be taken to minimise the impact on biological diversity were not feasible, according to the ministry report.

The report said no measures were taken to protect and preserve fauna and flora while the negative impact on stream flows in the lower section would affect the ecological systems, water levels and the areas of swamp in Bau Sau Ramsar.

In addition, these hydro-power projects would also pose other disadvantages.

Work on related support facilities such as transmission lines and roads to support the implementation of these projects will have a negative impact on the environment and socio-economic conditions. This will also affect Nam Cat Tien National Park.

The projects could adversely affect the subsistence of local residents who earn their living from farming, aquaculture and fisheries on the lower sections, and thus cause disadvantages for Nam Cat Tien National Park's application for World Heritage status.

Based on these assessments, the Ministry of Resources and Environment petitioned the Prime Minister to urge the Ministry of Industry and Trade to reconsider the master plan for development of hydro-power projects 6 and 6A as well as all other hydro-power projects in the Dong Nai River Basin. —VNS

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