[enviro-vlc] Phu Quoc officials oppose forest lease plan
vern at coombs.anu.edu.au
Tue May 6 05:13:45 EST 2008
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 10:01:36 Vietnam (GMT+07)
E-mail to a friend Print version
Phu Quoc officials oppose forest lease plan
Officials of Phu Quoc Island, a favorite tourist destination in southern
Vietnam, are protesting the Kien Giang Province administration’s plan to use
over 8,700 hectares of the island’s forests for ecotourism projects.
The plan, which envisages allocating roughly a quarter forest areas of Phu Quoc
Island to property developers by 2010 to invest in tourism activities under
lease contracts, was delivered to Phu Quoc District authorities last week and
met strong opposition.
Under the plan, investors will be allowed to use 5 percent of the leased forest
area to build tourism facilities while the remaining territories are only
permitted to serve as landscapes.
More than 100 businesses have thus far registered to develop the designated
areas according to the plan.
Pham Phu Hai, former vice chief of Phu Quoc District’s Communist Party Unit said
he could not understand why Kien Giang provincial administration had not
previously announced such a big project to Phu Quoc authorities before
cooperating with investors.
Hai said the forest area reserved for construction of tourism facilities would
face high risks of fire, deforestation, and pollution.
Head of the district’s Inspection Division Pham Thi Kim Dung said apportioning
Phu Quoc’s forests for tourism development would go against the central
government’s scheme until 2010 to develop the island.
According to the decision issued in 2004, the government required an increase in
planted forest areas from some 4,300 hectares to between 6,500 hectares and
7,000 hectares by 2010 – to achieve a total of 38,000-39,000 hectares of forests
on the island.
“While the forest areas have yet to increase, more than 400 hectares would be
earmarked for tourism constructions,” Dung said.
“It’s a violation of the government’s mandate.”
Other officials suggested the provincial People’s Committee suspend the project
Colonel Nguyen Van Luan, the former head of the district’s Veteran Society,
meanwhile, proposed authorities select several investors to invest on a trial
Kien Giang is a southern province in the Mekong Delta region, home to many
famous coastal districts like Phu Quoc and Ha Tien.
Reported by Tran Huynh Thi
More information about the enviro-vlc