Dong Nai seeks UNESCO opinion on biosphere highway

By Phuoc Tuan   April 22, 2022 | 03:45 am PT
Dong Nai seeks UNESCO opinion on biosphere highway
The Dong Nai Culture and Nature Reserve where the 13C National Highway project has been planned to cut through. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan
Dong Nai Province authorities have asked the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO to comment on a highway project cutting through a world biosphere reserve.

The province, which borders Ho Chi Minh City, said it needs feedback from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to report on a plan to build Ma Da Bridge and upgrade the existing DT 753 road into 13C National Highway to the prime minister.

The highway plan aims to develop infrastructure and connect localities in southeast Vietnam. However, as the road would run through a nature reserve, the province is yet to finalize the plan and is requesting adjustments.

If the highway is constructed as planned, there would be a 40-kilometer section running through Dong Nai Culture and Nature Reserve, which spans over 100,000 hectares and is part of the Annamite Range ecosystem.

Dong Nai said the construction of the highway will leave certain impacts on the reserve, which was named a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2011.

Now in its statement sent to UNESCO, the province raises concerns over the preservation of forests should the highway be constructed as planned, citing the Environmental Protection Law and the Forestry Act.

The provincial administration said the highway will run through the core zone of a special-use forest and could lead to "serious impacts."

The project goes against UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program as it would cause fragmentation of the ecosystem and affect the habitat of wildlife species.

The construction of the Ma Da bridge and the road through the biosphere reserve would disrupt the landscape and affect the conservation of three national historical sites, it said.

Dong Nai has the largest forest coverage in southeast Vietnam at 169,000 hectares, inclusive of "special-use forests, protective forests and planted forest."

go to top