Thursday , February 2 2023

UNESCO-recognized biosphere saved from highway construction


The southern Binh Phuoc Province has decided not to build a national highway section through a nature reserve after all.

The upgrades planned to the existing Road DT 753 to make it a part of National Highway 13C would be altered to keep the Dong Nai Culture and Nature Reserve safe, the province People’s Council, the legislature, said Friday.

The road has already existed and run through the nature reserve but remains just a small path and autos and trucks could not use it.

The highway connects Binh Phuoc with the Long Thanh International Airport, now under construction in neighboring Dong Nai Province, and the Cai Mep-Thi Vai Port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

Of the 86-km highway, over 40 km were to have been built in the nature reserve.

Dong Nai had sought opinions from various parties including UNESCO and reconsideration of the plan, citing concerns about the impact of the highway on forests and wildlife habitats.

The Ministry of Transport in June proposed a bypass in place of the highway.

Binh Phuoc has said it would follow the ministry’s advice and build the bypass.

As a result, the cost of the project will be adjusted downward from VND655 billion to VND480 billion.

The Dong Nai Culture and Nature Reserve, which spreads over 100,000 hectares, is part of the Annamite Range ecosystem.

It was named a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2011.

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