Vietnam province says no to road cutting through Cat Tien National Park

Authorities in the southern province of Dong Nai have protested a project to build a road cutting through the local Cat Tien National Park, while forest rangers say the road will not affect the environment and living habitat of wild animals there.

The Dong Nai People’s Committee has sent its proposal to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to re-examine the construction of the road in the core of the forest.

On October 29, the ministry approved the project to build the 18km long and 6m wide road that runs along the bank of Dong Nai River, from Da Co to Dac Lua forest check posts in Tan Phu District.

The construction of the project is planned to last till 2017.

Vo Van Chanh, deputy chairman of the Dong Nai People’s Committee, said the road runs through a forest area that is ruled under strict protection and allowed for building road less than 1.5m in width.

In addition, the six meter wide road is unsuitable to the ten-year plan for sustainable development of Cat Tien, he added.

The road will cause a loss of 11 hectares of the forest, badly affect its ecology for separating the forest from the local Dong Nai River, and change the natural habitat of wild animals.

Besides, the Cat Tien national park locates at the core of the wildlife reserve and biosphere forest of Dong Nai, which will soon be petitioned to UNESCO for acknowledgement as the natural heritage garden of the world.

So, the construction of the road fails to match with international conventions that Vietnam approved, according to Chanh.

However, rangers of the Cat Tien forest have different point of view towards the project.

Nguyen Van Dien, director of the Cat Tien national park, said, “The road will not affect the forest because it runs through only grassplots, secondary forest, and poor forest.

“The road will facilitate rangers in quickly moving to protect the forest.

“Now we have to patrol it by boat and it is dangerous in raining and flood season.”

Source: Tuoi Tre News. Date: 19 December, 2015