The Sea Eyes project with the total capital of VND1.7 trillion (US$73.29 million) has faced the wave of fierce opposition from residents and scientists. It is expected to reclaim 54.6 hectares in Can Beach, An Vinh commune comprising 3.6 hectares on land and 51 hectares at sea.
The Sea Eyes project was proposed by Ly Son Development Company on 10 December last year.
Although the island district and investor have many times taken opinions from residents but failed to seek their consensus because the project overlaps the boat anchorage area of residents in An Vinh commune, traditional boat racing area, the place to organize “Le khao le the linh Hoang Sa” (Feast and Commemoration Festival for Hoang Sa Soldiers) ceremony, temples and communal houses, Ly Son marine protected area and the area where underground electric cables run through.
In addition, the project affects Global Geopark project which has been submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and a BT (Build-Transfer) road upgrading project, approved by the provincial People’s Committee. Part of the project locates in the coastal protection corridor in An Vinh commune.
Ms. Pham Thi Huong, deputy chairman of Ly Son district People’s Committee, said that residents have concerned that the project will negatively affect spiritual, festive and environmental factors. Some worried about the ability of the investor. She said these all concerns right and reasonable.
Mr. Phung Dinh Toan, deputy head of the Fisheries Division under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Department cum head of Ly Son marine protected area, said that the project not only overlaps the marine protected area but also neighbors on the strictly protected area of precious coral reefs.
Therefore, he proposed the Department of Construction responsible for assessment of the project to invite scientists and specialized agencies to estimate the project’s impacts on Ly Son marine protected area, make clear beneficiaries from the project and if its benefits are worth for exchanges. Assessment agencies must be independent and should not be invited by the investor.
The spokesperson of the provincial People’s Committee said that the committee has not made any decision about the project. The committee’s chairman just required the Department of Construction to collect opinions and proposals from agencies.
Director of the Construction Department Nguyen Phong said that after collecting opinions from relevant agencies, he found many problems hindering the project’s implementation. The agency has gathered all these problems to submit to the provincial People’s Committee and proposed the committee to organize a meeting for agencies and the investor to once again report related matters before deciding to permit the project investment or not.
Dr. Nguyen Xuan Nam from Vietnam Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources has warned against big impacts in Ly Son Island to prevent from breaking plan and causing conflicts between development and conservation.
By Ngoc Oai – Translated by Ngoc Thanh
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