Golf project recalled after criminal deforestationLam Dong Province People’s Committee has issued an official decision to suspend the Da Lat Golf and Resort Project of Han Viet Investment Company. The Department of Planning and Investment was asked to complete the procedures and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development must work with Duc Trong District authorities to assess the damages caused to the forest. The Department of Finance will evaluate and order Han Viet Company to compensate.
The project was given an investment permit in 2007. 268 ha of forest land was allocated to Han Viet Company. But in the past 13 years, Han Viet Company has done nothing, abandoning the project and letting illegal loggers destroy the forest.
They also didn’t include a forest fire prevention plan in their application, nor assign any guards to the forest. As a result, hundreds of 20-50cm diameter pine trees were cut down. Most of the trees were taken away before the authorities arrived.
In some areas, the loggers even put up concrete poles and barriers to claim land plots. They divided the land into small lots which are 1,000 to 2,000 square metres which were then illegally sold to different buyers to plant agricultural trees for some hundreds of millions of VND each lot.
The forest protection departments have sent employees to patrol the forest and asked Han Viet Company many times to meet with them to discuss compensation and reforestation but the company refused to co-operate.
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