Scientists speak out to rescue Ba Vi National Park

Scientists speak out to rescue Ba Vi National Park

Unlicensed mineral exploitation, tourism and construction activities are seriously threatening the existence of the Ba Vi National Park in Hanoi.

The Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE) has called on to apply urgent measures to protect the Ba Vi National Park from the current unlicensed mineral exploitation, tourism and construction activities.

Right after people voiced their concern about the Ba Vi National Park which has been trespassed, scientists have conducted survey and made fact-finding trips to the national park.

Located next to the Ba Vi National Park, the Minh Quang pyrite mine has been left idle for the last 10 years, where rocks and waste ores have still been left on the site. Scientists have reported that the waste water here has the red color like the blood because it is rich in iron and sulfuric acid. The water seeping from the mine has a very low pH (around 2-3) and may contain arsenic.

There on the area, no plant can grow, except a plant called by local residents as ”chut chit” which easily gets flammable in the dry season. The waste water from the mine streams down the river, and soaks into the groundwater basin.

The asbestos mine in the Quyet hamlet of Yen Bai commune was exploited 3-4 years ago. However, the exploiters have done nothing to restore the environmental situation, leaving asbestos ore pieces and deep holes.

Scientists have also voiced their concern about the construction activities in the western slopes of Mount Ba Vi. The need to frequently reinforce the road will lead to the expansion of the road, which will make the artificial diverge from the natural landscape of the park.

Sometimes ago, local residents complained about the implementation of the project on building the Dong Xo lake-irrigation dam developed by the owner of the Thien Son-Suoi Nga tourism site, close to the Dong Xo Lake. The construction has caused the serious pollution to the stream in the lower section.

Moreover, the operation of the six resort projects namely Thien Son-Thac Nga, Ao Vua, Khoang Xanh, Thac Da, Tien Sa has also reportedly caused the environment pollution and forest encroachment.

Scientists urge to take actions

Scientists have expressed their concern about the inappropriate attention to the measures to protect the national park.

Nguyen Phi Truyen, Deputy Director of the Ba Vi National Park, said that though the mining activities are carried out on the foot of the Ba Vi Mount, not in the national park, but he has to send officers to the sites to supervise the operation activities in order to prevent possible bad impacts.

Regarding the tourism projects, Truyen said that the national park has found 23 points capable to develop tourism under the forest canopy. The areas would be leased to enterprises to develop tourism, while the enterprises must be capable to protect the forest and make reasonable contribution to the livelihood of local residents.

Dr Luu Duc Khai from the Hanoi National University has pointed out that not only the mining activities at Minh Quang mine, but the gold exploitation in Xoan hamlet of Van Hoa Commune and many other localities have also made the waster of the stream from Ba Vi Mount muddy.

Dr Ngo Dinh Tuan from VACNE said that the current activities around the Ba Vi National Park have been badly affecting the valuable assets of the park, calling management agencies to take actions to protect the national park, or it is too late.

Dat Viet /

Tourists discover nature on trek through national park

Nui Chua National Park, in the central province of Ninh Thuan, is considered "a desert" thanks to its dry conditions and low rainfall.

Located around 40km from Phan Rang City, the 30,000ha site in Ninh Hai District was first designated a national park in 2003.

It is bounded by the East Sea to the south and east, by Highway 1 to the west and to the north by part of Cam Ranh Bay in neighbouring Khanh Hoa Province.

The Nui Chua area consists of the southern end of the Truong Son Mountain Range of which the highest peak belongs to Co Tuy Mountain, situated at an altitude of 1,039m above sea level.

Located at the park's centre, the Chua Anh (elder brother God) and Chua Em (younger brother God) mountains, at over 1,000m in height, make for temperate conditions.

"It's ideal to visit the park during the dry season that extends from November to August," said park Director Huynh Vinh Kim.

"The harmonious combination of mountainous and marine landscapes, special geographical and weather features plus high biodiversity, makes the park a promising tourist attraction," Kim said.

Entering the park, tourists will encounter green trees growing amid stones and sand in an intensely hot and dry climate.

The park sports its own ochna tree forest that, rooted in the arid soil, resembles a collection of bonsai trees. During spring the trees blossom yellow to create a beautiful landscape. Typical ochna trees in the area belong to the hong mai family, which has red flowers, some of which have up to 13 petals.

Visitors are additionally afforded the chance to explore the park via 20km of asphalted roads embracing Mount Nui Chua, the Ngoan Muc Pass and Treo Lake on Mount Da Vach at an altitude of 250m.

Trekking the 10km road to a small lake, fed by an array of little streams, takes around four hours.

Lo O Stream in particular, is a historical beauty spot surrounded by cliffs and clear waterfalls, its flat granite stones idyllic for picnics.

The harsh climate combines both romantic lakes and effervescent waterfalls all year round. At a height of around 1,000m, 29,865ha of semi-tropical primeval forests on Chua Anh and Chua Em mountains are extremely bio-diverse thanks to an abundance of rainfall.

Flora in Nui Chua National Park includes 390 medicinal plants, over 100 varieties of bonsai as well as many edible varieties.

It also hosts 306 species of vertebrates, including the rare and precious black-shanked langur, the white-collared bear, and the jaguar.

The magnificent mountain ranges overlook the appealing and pristine bays of Vinh Hy and Ninh Chu Beach.

Guests interested in visiting the only savanna in Viet Nam can drive from Ninh Chu Beach in Khanh Hai Commune along provincial Highway 702 to Vinh Hy Bay.

After a few hours of sightseeing, tourists are free to choose among beaches spread over nearly 40km for swimming, as well as coral reefs with diverse marine life, visible via glass bottomed tourist boats.

The farthest border of Nui Chua National Park is Thit Beach where sea turtles come and lay their eggs.

Trekkers can also walk down to Cau Gay Village, home to the Raglai ethnic minority group, and visit local craft shops to catch a glimpse into the lives of the artisans.

Military base CK 19, used by the liberation army in the, anti-American war, lies near Treo Lake on Mount Da Vach and includes traces of guerrillas trench shelters and the smokeless stoves.

The local coast was formerly used to transit weapon and other military equipment from north Viet Nam to battlefields in the south.

Chieu Anh