Vietnam’s agri ministry calls for rethink on hydropower project in protected forest

Vietnam's agriculture ministry has proposed canceling a hydropower project in the Central Highlands to preserve the environment and avoid threatening the existence of tigers and elephants.

The ministry said in a statement that the project at Yok Don National Park in Dak Lak Province will rob many wild animals of their habitat

The ministry said construction of a dam for the project on the Srepok River will also affect the river's biodiversity. The rise of water at some parts may also facilitate the illegal transport of wood from the park, it said.

The 26-megawatt plant, with a cost estimate of VND850-billion (US$38-million), has been licensed to take over 90 hectares of forest land in the park

It said the Central Highlands has seen serious loss of forest coverage in the past five years, of around 6 percent, especially around Yok Don National Park.

That loss, coupled with climate change impacts, has caused extremely harsh weather conditions in the area, which is going through the worst drought in decades this year

Source: Business