Ministry rejects three land conversion proposals
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has turned down proposals from Binh Thuan, Quang Nam, and Ninh Binh provinces for forest land to be used for several projects.
|The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development asked Ninh Binh Province not to convert land designated for special-use forests and protective forest to carry out mineral exploitation for Duyen Ha Cement Plant. Photo anninhthudo.vn|
The projects include limestone exploitation in Ninh Binh, the Hoa Thang 1.2 wind power project in Binh Thuan, and building roads to the Ngoc Linh Ginseng production area in Nam Tra My District, Quang Nam Province.
In a document sent to the Ninh Binh Province People’s Committee, the MARD said the conversion of natural forest designated as special-use forest and protective forest for mineral exploitation activities was prohibited under Decree 83/2020/NĐ-CP.
The project failed to meet criteria for converting to other purposes, it said.
Earlier, the provincial People’s Committee submitted a plan on forest land conversion to implement a project exploiting limestone for the production of Duyen Ha Cement Plant. The province wanted to change the land-use purpose of 38.17 hectares of natural protective forest land.
The proposal from Binh Thuan provincial People’s Committee to convert forest land to carry out the Hoa Thang 1.2 wind power project was rejected for a similar reason.
The MARD said following a Government resolution on land-use for 2016-2020, the land allocation for the project was 60ha. But the province just mentioned that 29 out of a total of 45.41ha of the project is natural forest, and information about the rest has not been disclosed by the provincial authority.
Because it didn't satisfy the requirements, the proposal hasn’t been referred to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc who decides on forest-use conversion.
The land conversion for the project building roads to Ngoc Linh Ginseng production area on the Mang Lung-Dak Lay route in the central province of Quang Nam’s Nam Tra My District was turned down for several reasons.
The MARD said the provincial People’s Committee didn’t clarify the natural forest area of Ngoc Linh Nature Reserve that was supposed to be converted. Therefore, there were no grounds to determine whether the project met the criteria for land conversion or not.
The ministry also said the approval of the project’s environmental impact assessment report was not relevant in terms of authority.
In line with Government Decree No. 18/2015/NĐ-CP, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is authorised to approve such a project.
Climate change, extreme weather, and natural disasters have become more and more common, causing floods and severe landslides in some localities, threatening the lives of many people.
Although there is no official conclusion about the cause, the public and experts believe the reduction of natural forests has harmed the environment and increase erosion, especially in Quang Nam Province.
The MARD recommended local authorities of Quang Nam and Binh Thuan provinces carefully consider the proposals on the conversion of forest land as well as other activities which might leave an impact on the natural ecological balance of local coastal and mountainous areas.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development asked Ninh Binh Province not to convert natural forests under the planning of special-use forests and protective forest to implement mineral exploitation for Duyen Ha Cement Plant. VNS
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