Vietnam to build road through world biosphere reserve to lure tourists

July 16, 2015 5:13 am 

HO CHI MINH CITY, July 15 — Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City has approved a plan to build a new road through Can Gio Mangrove Forest, a biosphere reserve recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to attract more tourists, local online newspaper Thanh Nien (Young People) News reported Wednesday.

To make space for the 3.5-km road with the width of 17 meters, some 18,600 trees will have to be cut down. Can Gio District conceded that the construction will destroy 6.4 hectares of forest and force creatures living in that area to move.

The construction will lead to erosion in the area, divide the natural community inside the forest and disturb the habitat with traffic noises, the rural district said. But the district said the plan will bring benefits to local residents.

The district has promised to replant the lost forest area by 2018. It said the project is expected to cost 190 billion Vietnamese dong (USD 8.7 million) and the city authorities are assessing environmental impacts before making the final decision later this month.

The mangrove forest of 31,000 hectares is already open to tourists, and a road running through it will draw more people.

The UNESCO in 2010 recognized the wetlands a world biosphere reserve as it supports thousands of mangroves, around 200 different species of wildlife and 150 species of flora.

It also plays an important role in preventing erosion in the coastal district. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/SSC

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