Experts believe hydropower plants will cause irreversible damage

At a seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 16, Le Anh Tuan, an environmentalist at Vietnam River Network, said the construction of the Dong Nai 6 and 6A Hydropower Plants will cause immeasurable and irreversible damage to the natural environment in the area. 

View of a river section that will be flooded after Dong Nai 6 and 6A Hydropower Plants are built (Source: Thanh Nien)

Tuan added that the environment impact report on the projects had ignored reference to two very important issues. First, the investor should have asked for approval from the National Assembly because this project allows for clearance of more than 50 hectares of the Cat Tien National Park.

Second, the 6 and 6A Hydropower Plants will not serve either national defense or public security purposes. As a result, their construction violates Clause 7 of the Biodiversity Law.

He said that the actual forest area that will be destroyed for building the Hydropower Plants will be much more than stated in the environment impact report, according to which the Dong Nai 6A Plant will clear 175 hectares and Dong Nai 6 will clear 198 hectares.

Dr. Le Tu Trinh, chairman of the Vietnam Association for Environment Impact Assessment, warned that if the Dong Nai 6 and 6A Plants are indeed built, their will be total devastation of the  ecosystem in the Cat Tien National Park area.

He said that the Government should not permit such projects to be built in protective forest areas.

Experts at the seminar said that the Cat Tien National Park is part of Dong Nai Biosphere Reserve. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are assessing documents to recognize the National Park as a World Natural Heritage Site and construction of the plants might affect their decision.

The environment impact report on Dong Nai 6 and 6A Hydropower Plants should clearly specify all details and be made by an independent consultancy firm, to ensure accuracy and objectivity.

Experts are of the opinion that the environment impact report submitted by the investor Duc Long Gia Lai Group does not fully estimate the effect of Dong Nai 6 and 6A Plants on the lower reaches of Dong Nai River.

Related articles:
Council finds report on Hydropower Plants peripheral
Dong Nai seeks Politburo intervention to stop hydropower projects
Environment impact to decide future of hydropower projects on Dong Nai river
Dong Nai Province objects to hydropower plants

By Hai Thuy – Translated by Hai Mien

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