Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG — Authorities plan to demolish 68 illegally built houses, villas and restaurants in the Sơn Trà Nature Reserve if the households are not dismantled before a September deadline.
Chairwoman of the Sơn Trà District’s People’s Committee Trần Thị Thanh Tâm relayed the information to Việt Nam News last week, saying that local officials had held talks with residents in the area on taking down the houses and restaurants.
Tâm said the existence of houses and villas in the area resulted from poor management from the reserve managing board in past years.
She said the district had reported to the city on the violations.
According to a report from Thọ Quang ward’s People’s Committee, more than 156 houses were permitted to log farm and protect 450ha of forest.
However, 68 households built their own houses and villas as well as restaurants and cafés.
The ward committee said some people built three-story houses with concrete infrastructure for eco-tours.
Vice chairman of Thọ Quang Ward’s committee, Lê Tấn Thanh said many discussions and meetings were held between households and local administration on destroying these houses.
“We encouraged house owners to dismantle them themselves by September. If they do not, the local administration will destroy them” Thanh said.
Violations including illegal logging and hunting were recorded in recent years, due poor management from the Sơn Trà-Ngũ Hành Sơn forest protection sub-department.
The reserve is managed by different agencies, including the Sơn Trà-Ngũ Hành Sơn forest protection sub-department, Thọ Quang Ward’s administration, Sơn Trà peninsula’s management board of beaches and tourism and the Border Guard, Air Defence and Navy.
Sơn Trà Nature Reserve, which is 600m above sea level, is known for its rich biodiversity, with 287 animal species and 985 plant species.
The reserve has shrunk from more than 4,400ha to 2,500ha to make room for dozens of resorts and hotels in the area.
The Đà Nẵng-based reserve is home to 300 red-shanked douc langurs, which are critically endangered and found only in Laos and Việt Nam.
In 2015, five hunters from Nghệ An Province were arrested after they were caught with 100 traps, a bag of dried meat and the bones of three red-shanked doucs.
The city has approved a plan through 2030 on the protection of biodiversity in Sơn Trà Nature Reserve.
Two illegally constructed two villas were found in the protected forest of the Hải Vân Pass north of the city last year.
The villas belonged to Phan Như Thạch, former director of Quảng Nam Province’s public security, and Ngô Văn Quang, director of the Phước Minh gold mining company and were dismantled, while the owners had to pay fines of VNĐ22.5million (US$1,000) each. — VNS