Projects encroaching on the sea damage environment

VietNamNet Bridge - More and more projects that encroach on the river and seas have been developed in every region of he country. To have more land for infrastructure, locals have been willing to compromise nature, though the long-term effects will ultimately hurt the economy. 


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A fruit park project in Cai Be district of Tien Giang province, for example, is facing strong opposition from the public. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection has asked local authorities to tell the investor to delay the project execution. 

The ministry has also ordered an assessment of the environmental impact, especially the possible impact on flood drainage, water current, sediment, and potential for landslides. 

Chair of Cai Be district, Nguyen Quoc Thanh, met with the press recently to talk about the project. He said the predecessor of the fruit park project was a residential quarter, trade and service infrastructure project.

Reporters discovered that the two projects had the same report on the impact on the environment. The investor used the old report for the new project. 

Under the old project, five hectares of Tien River surface would be encroached on, while 6.8 hectares of Tien River surface would be used for the new project. 

More and more projects that encroach on the river and seas have been developed in every region of he country. To have more land for infrastructure, locals have been willing to compromise nature, though the long-term effects will ultimately hurt the economy. 
Le Anh Tuan, deputy head of the Institute for Climate Change Studies under the Can Tho University, said all river encroaching projects will have an impact on the environment, economy and people’s livelihood. 

The projects violate the regulations on river management. The current regulations prohibit encroachment on currents and the narrowing of water flow.

However, it is necessary to determine how serious the violations are, because the environmental impact reports made by investors as stipulated by law are not made public.

“It’s necessary to publicize reports and the names of officials approving the reports. They must take responsibility for approval,” Tuan said.

Meanwhile, Tran Huu Hiep, a river expert, pointed out that when building airports, seaports or using water resources of large rivers, investors and local authorities must be sure that the projects do not affect neighboring localities.

He said it is necessary to learn the lesson from encroachment on Dong Nai River in Dong Nai province, which has influenced areas on the lower course, including HCMC.

Dao Trong Tu from the Vietnam River Network said rivers and seas are the most important natural resources for life and prosperity. 

He said at the seventh World Water Forum held in Daegu, South Korea in 2015, several countries affirmed the ‘no crude interference’ principle in treating rivers.

“Give the space back to rivers, so they can do what nature assigns them,” Tu said.


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