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Hydro-power plants have negative impacts

Update: November, 18/2013 - 09:22

Hydro-power projects located in areas of ecological varieties have affected the ecological system and caused losses of water-head protective forests.— File Photo

LAM DONG — Hydro-power projects located in areas of ecological varieties have affected the ecological system and caused losses of water-head protective forests.

The assessment was heard at a conference on the protection of Dong Nai River Basin held in Da Lat last Friday.

Hydro-power projects located on the upper sections of the regional rivers have negative impacts to the water environment and cause floods in the lower section, said Nguyen Van Thanh from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Thanh was presenting a report titled "Hydro-power Projects on the Dong Nai River Basin and Measures to Minimise Their Impacts on the Water Environment of the River."

He said the basin is housing 20 hydro-power projects, 15 of them being operational and the other five are under construction.

In related news, in late October 2013, MoIT has rejected projects 6 and 6A from the country's hydro-power development plan.

The decision was made after PM Nguyen Tan Dung asked MoIT to re-consider the development plans of hydro-power projects No 6 and 6A and other hydro-power projects along the Dong Nai River in September this year.

In an environmental impact assessment sent to the Government Office in early September, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment 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, the investor in these projects (Duc Long Co) pledged to afforest the area, but the investor's report did not show the areas and did not map out plans for afforestation, according to the ministry report.

Measures to be taken to minimise the impact on biological diversity were not feasible.

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.

It will also affect Nam Cat Tien National Park, it said.

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. — VNS

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