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Highway project causes diversity loss for forest

Update: January, 18/2016 - 09:49
The construction of Cam Lo-Tuy Loan highway crossing through Bach Ma National Park, central Thua Thien Hue Province will have an adverse effect on ecology; however, there is no other choice for the location of the project. — Photo laodong.com.vn

THUA THIEN-HUE (VNS) — The construction of Cam Lo-Tuy Loan highway crossing through Bach Ma National Park, central Thua Thien Hue Province will have an adverse effect on ecology; however, there is no other choice for the location of the project, according to authorities.

The highway is a section of the Ho Chi Minh Trail and stretches from Cam Lo, central Quang Tri Province to Tuy Loan, central Da Nang City. It is 186km long with four lanes and is funded by the Ministry of Transport with a total of VND26 trillion (US$1.2 billion).

The road will cross 9km of Bach Ma National Park's core area and have an impact on 49ha of the forest as well as the ecology of the neighbourhood, according to the Director of the park, Huynh Van Keo. The road will use 26ha of Bach Ma Park's service and administrative zone.

Surrounding the road are tropical rain forest which is home to some 100 species of plants used as herbal medicine, 50 types of timber trees and 18 mammal, 12 frog and 16 reptile species, according to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources' report of assessing investment projects' impact on the environment (EIA).

The area is now dominated by the disturbing noise of vehicles coming to construct the road, the Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper reported.

Construction workers setting up tents, driving back and forth and cutting down trees will contribute to a loss of some valuable animal species, said the EIA.

The sound of vehicle engines also causes changes in animal habitats and a reduction in the number of plant and animal species.

The destruction of 25ha of trees leads to ecological imbalance and a loss of food sources such as deer, squirrel and wild hog for carnivore animals. The primeval forest is also affected, said the report.

Constructing a road crossing the core of the national park is the most feasible choice in terms of location given that the surrounding areas are strictly protected zones and ecology recovery zones.

To alleviate the impact caused by the construction work, the National Park has consulted the community and assessed the project's impact on the environment as well as suggested recommendations to reduce the biodiversity loss.

Two forestry stations will be set up to do research on the impact of the project on the environment and to see the impact by observing the biodiversity, said Keo.

"The most important thing is to raise the awareness of the locals making them strictly comply with forest protection regulations as well as to make appropriate planning and designing," said the EIA report. — VNS

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