Two scientific and environmental agencies are set to ask the National Assembly to reconsider two hydropower projects on the Dong Nai River on environmental grounds.
A family lives on the bank of the Dong Nai River, where the Dong Nai 6 hydropower plant is planned to be built. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Dr Vu Ngoc Long, a representative of the Vietnam River Network and deputy director of the Tropical Biology Institute, identified them as the Vietnam River Network and the Union of Vietnam Technical and Scientific Associations.
The projects’ environmental impact assessment does not mention or insufficiently mentions many important issues, including the impacts on the ecosystem, movement of fish, wildlife, river currents, and water saturation level, they said.
Dr Long spoke to Tuoi Tre about this issue.
Reporter: On what basis do the scientists seek reconsideration?
Dr Long: The proposal is based on Resolution 49/2010 of the NA and the Law on Biological Diversity.
According to the Resolution, projects or works using lands belonging to national parks, conservation areas, landscape protection areas, forests for research purposes, areas for scientific experiments of 50 hectares or more, and upstream preventive forests of 50 hectares or more must get National Assembly approval.
These two projects, Dong Nai 6 and 6A, cover 372.2 hectares, including about 137 hectares in the Cat Tien National Park, and so must be subject to NA approval.
We will provide the NA with accurate information about the possible impacts the two projects will have on the environment.
According to Article 7 of the law, except for works undertaken for defense and security, all others are banned from being built in strictly protected areas like the Cat Tien National Park.
But the investor is going ahead with work to obtain approval for the two projects. What do you have to say about this?
As I said, approval for these projects will go against the NA Resolution and the Law on Biological Diversity.
What opinions will be included the proposal?
We will ask the NA to review five issues:
1. There must be additional studies on and assessment of the possible impacts of the two projects on the river basin and the environment;
2. The legality of the two projects must be re-considered;
3. Impacts the projects may have on the biological diversity of the Cat Tien National Park must be re-studied and reassessed;
4. There must be an assessment report on the impacts of the projects on agricultural production in four provinces: Dak Nong, Binh Phuoc, Lam Dong, and Dong Nai; and
5. There must also be an assessment report on social, economic, and cultural impacts the projects may have on ethnic minority groups like the Chau Ma, T’Sieng, and M’Nong who live in the region.