Legal loopholes allow illegal building in national parks

Last update: 10:28 | 11/04/2016

VietNamNet Bridge - Many illegal buildings in national parks have been discovered even though investors have paid fines.


Stories about illegal construction works in national parks and natural reserves have flooded local newspapers these days.

A tourism complex was found at the Hon Ba Natural Reserve in Cam Lam district of Khanh Hoa province. A resort was illegally built in the Ba Vi National Park. A vast illegal sand exploitation site on Duong River in Bac Ninh province was also found. The forests in the Son Tra Natural Reserve in Da Nang have been devastated for many months in front of forest rangers.

More recently, in late March, an illegal tourism complex was discovered in Hon Ba Natural reserve. On the site, construction items were found completed, while many trees were felled. The investor brought machines to bulldoze land on the Hon Ba Mount, causing serious consequences to the natural environment.

Hon Ba Natural Reserve, located at the height of 1,578 meters above the sea water level, just 50 kilometers far from the sea city of Nha Trang, is cool all year round. 

Scientists say there are 592 vascular plant species, including 43 rare and precious species listed in Vietnam’s Red Book, and 255 animal species, including endemic ones such as black-shanked douc and white-cheeked gibbon. It is the place where doctor Alexandre Yersin set up a research camp for medicinal studies in the early 20th century.

In 2012, after the Khanh Hoa provincial agencies inspected construction activities in Hon Ba Natural Reserve, they sent a report to higher-level agencies, emphasizing the unlicensed construction violated the current laws on the forest and forestry produce protection.

If the authorities only ‘impose fines and let illegal construction works exist’, Vietnam will never have a law-governed state.

The report also pointed out that the tourism site may harm the Hon Ba Natural Reserve.

However, the local agencies’ discovery could not prevent the bad impact on the natural reserve.

In July 2012, the Khanh Hoa provincial People’s Committee released a decision on imposing the fine of VND125 million on the enterprise which developed the tourism site. However, the investor was not forced to remove the illegal construction works.

The investor accepted to pay fine and continue the construction. 

Dang Hung Vo, former Deputy Minister of the Natural Resources and the Environment, commented that if the authorities only ‘impose fines and let illegal construction works exist’, Vietnam will never have a law-governed state.

Local authorities and state management agencies haven't forced investors to demolish illegal construction works because they think this would be a waste.

However, Vo pointed out that this must not be considered a ‘waste’. “This must be seen as a necessary cost for a law-governed state,” he said.

Dai Doan Ket

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