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Hydropower projects pose threats to national park

Hydropower projects pose threats to national park

Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 13:34 GMT+7

Two more hydropower plants that are planned to be built on the Serepok in Dak Lak Province will contribute to threatening the ecological environment in the Yok Don National Park, the park’s management warns.

>> Dong Nai hydro projects should be stopped: UNESCO>> Dong Nai hydro projects should be suspended: expert There have been 6 hydropower plants built on the Seperok River, including Buon Tuor Sar, Buon Kuop, Hoa Phu, Dray H’ling, Seperok 3, Seperok 4 and Seperok 4A, but two more will be built there.

The two new plants are the Drang Phok and Serepok 4 that will be located in Buon Don District, the core area of the park. The 26 MW Drang Phok plant, whose investor is the Construction Investment and New Technology Application Joint Stock Company (Tecco), will pose a direct threat to the environment and forest protection, Tran Van Thanh, acting director of the the park, said. About 53 hectares of forest of the park will be cleared and another 10 hectares will be temporarily occupied to make place for the plant. The plant will cause impacts on the ecological environment of the park and when it receives water in its reservoir, it will create a waterway for illegal loggers to transport their illegally exploited wood. The plant will affect the forest management and protection in the park in the long run, Thanh said. During the time of construction, emissions from motorized vehicles and the explosion of mines to blast rocks will cause environmental pollution and noises that will scare away wild animals. In addition, the plant’s dam will prevent the river’s flow and affect the habitat of many species of aquatic animal and plants. Meanwhile, the Serepok 4 A Plant, which is invested by Buon Don Hydropower Joint Stock Company, will threaten the ecological system in an area stretching 20 km along the river. This ecological system will die after the plant is put into operation, as the plant’s dam will make changes to the river currents, causing impacts on the habitats of the fauna and flora in the area, the park’s management said.

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