Illegal houses in natural reserve to be razed hinh anh 1A cafe in the S​on Tr​a Nature Reserve in ​Da Nang city.(Photo: Danang Portal)
Da Nang (VNA) - Authorities plan to demolish 68 illegally built houses, villas and restaurants in the Son Tra Nature Reserve if the households are not dismantled before a September deadline.

Chairwoman of the Son Tra District’s People’s Committee Tran Thi Thanh Tam relayed the information to Vietnam News last week, saying that local officials had held talks with residents in the area on taking down the houses and restaurants.

Tam said the existence of houses and villas in the area resulted from poor management from the reserve managing board in past years.

She said the district had reported to the city on the violations.

According to a report from Tho Quang ward’s People’s Committee, more than 156 houses were permitted to log farm and protect 450ha of forest.

However, 68 households built their own houses and villas as well as restaurants and cafés.

The ward committee said some people built three-story houses with concrete infrastructure for eco-tours.

Vice chairman of Tho Quang Ward’s committee, Le Tan Thanh said many discussions and meetings were held between households and local administration on destroying these houses.

“We encouraged house owners to dismantle them themselves by September. If they do not, the local administration will destroy them” Thanh said.

Violations including illegal logging and hunting were recorded in recent years, due poor management from the Son Tra-Ngu Hanh Son forest protection sub-department.

The reserve is managed by different agencies, including the Son Tra-Ngu Hanh Son forest protection sub-department, Tho Quang ward’s administration, Son Tra peninsula’s management board of beaches and tourism and the Border Guard, Air Defence and Navy. 

The Son Tra Nature Reserve, which is 600m above sea level, is known for its rich biodiversity, with 287 animal species and 985 plant species.

The reserve has shrunk from more than 4,400ha to 2,500ha to make room for dozens of resorts and hotels in the area.

The Da Nang-based reserve is home to 300 red-shanked douc langurs, which are critically endangered and found only in Laos and Vietnam.

In 2015, five hunters from Nghe An province were arrested after they were caught with 100 traps, a bag of dried meat and the bones of three red-shanked doucs.

The city has approved a plan through 2030 on the protection of biodiversity in Son Tra Nature Reserve.

Two illegally constructed two villas were found in the protected forest of the Hai Van Pass north of the city last year.

The villas belonged to Phan Nhu Thach, former director of Quang Nam province’s public security, and Ngo Van Quang, director of the Phuoc Minh gold mining company and were dismantled, while the owners had to pay fines of 22.5million VND (1,000 USD) each.-VNA