VNForest moots halting harmful projects

PHÚ YÊN – The Việt Nam Administration of Forestry (VNForest) has proposed halting two commercial activities projects on forest land in the central province of Phú Yên.

In a report issued on July 14, VNForest suggested the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development ask Phú Yên provincial People’s Committee to stop a beef cattle farming project in sub-areas 310 and 311 in Sông Hinh Commune of Sông Hinh District and list the sub-areas as areas for protection.

The first phase of the beef project of Thảo Nguyên Phú Yên Breed Joint Stock Company was set to cover nearly 39ha. The area is located next to and stretching over 20km along the main dam of Sông Hinh hydropower reservoir.

These areas are natural forests, beside the protection forest in the Hinh River basin, and the alternative forest of the Ba Hạ River hydropower project. Therefore, they are important to the protection of the Hinh River hydropower reservoir.

However, Phú Yên provincial People’s Committee did not assess the project’s effects as regulated in the then Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng’s Directive 1685/CT-TTg, dated September 27, 2011. Its actions were also not in line with Directive 13-CT/TW, dated January 12, 2017, of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat on forest management, protection and development.

VNForest also requested New City Vietnam Co. Ltd, the investor of a high-end tourism site in An Phú Commune of Tuy Hòa City, to suspend all activities harming coastal forest.

The administration asked Phú Yên’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to direct its forest protection sub-department and subordinate units to investigate the company’s exploitation of about 2.7ha of protection forest without permission of an authorised State agency.

VNForest also asked the agriculture ministry to request Phú Yên People’s Committee to clarify the responsibility and strictly handle violations. — VNS