Wednesday , February 8 2023

Da Lat removing environmentally destructive greenhouses


A plan to restore the natural environment in Da Lat aims to rid Lam Dong Province of impromptu greenhouses blamed for local flooding.

In the Central Highlands Province of Lam Dong – home to the picturesque hill station of Da Lat and other popularly touristed mountain locales – the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has begun an effort to have poorly-regulated greenhouses removed through 2030.

Farmers and businessmen in the region have relied on greenhouses for 20 years, during which time Lam Dong has accumulated 4,500 hectares of the improvised structures, to the detriment of the natural environment. The region’s famed wintry forests are unique among the jungles of Vietnam and most of Southeast Asia.

Da Lat accounts for 57% of the province’s greenhouse occupancy, trailed by Lac Duong District with 21.7%.

Although these facilities have helped make the region a player on the global flower market (even the Dutch import flowers from Da Lat), most have been built by self-taught local tradespeople using iron and bamboo sticks, without much attention to eco-safety.

Because many of these hard-scrabbled structures built by entrepreneurial autodidacts don’t meet contemporary environmental protections standards, local authorities are now offering mortgage loans to greenhouse owners that disassemble their creations and switch to more eco-friendly models.

The project will cost an estimated VND178 billion ($7.5 million), of which VND173 billion will be sourced from private funders.

The Province Department of Agriculture has said that the mushrooming of greenhouses in Lam Dong happened too quickly for proper management, leading not only to encroachment on valuable, vulnerable natural ecosystems, but also to the destruction of “urban beauty.”

Experts have argued that greenhouses fail to absorb water from the area’s stormy environment and thus Da Lat and its environs flood nearly every time it rains heavily.

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