Inspection on Da Nang’s projects begins hinh anh 1An embankment of the Da Phuoc International Urban Project is built on coastal Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Da Nang City. (Source: VNA)

Da Nang (VNA) - The Government Inspectorate of Vietnam (GIV) will begin inspection on the controversial Da Phuoc International Urban project, along with all investment and construction projects on the protected Son Tra Peninsula.

The inspection will consider land use and land management practices and forest and environmental protection on the peninsula, 10km from the city.

At a working session with the city’s people’s committee yesterday, it was revealed that the inspection would be carried out in 45 days on instructions from Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh.

The 17-member inspection team will verify land management and land use practices of investment and construction projects on the peninsula, and inspect the growth of the Da Phuoc Urban project in Da Nang over the 2003-16 period.

The inspection of projects in Da Nang was spurred by public concerns over mass development of buildings, hotels, resorts and villas on the Son Tra Nature Reserve on the peninsula.

Members of the public also called for a halt of the tourism master plan, which had aimed to build 1,920 villas, 24 bungalows and 1,600 luxury hotel rooms by 2030 on the 4,439ha Son Tra Nature Reserve.

In August, the Prime Minister asked the Da Nang City’s People’s Committee to clear up the Son Tra Master Plan and ensure it fully complied with laws on forest and environmental protection, biodiversity conservation, defence and security.

But the city administration failed to comply with the Prime Minister’s request for detailed plans to resolve the clash between the need to preserve the Son Tra Nature Reserve and the desire to accelerate tourism development at the site.

According to a 2004 law on forest protection and a 2008 law on biodiversity conservation, all land-use changes and forest land encroachment in the nature reserve are banned. Any change of land-use purpose in the Son Tra forest must be decided by the Prime Minister.

Up to now, 18 out of 25 planned hotels and resorts on the Son Tra Mountain have been approved by the city on a total of 1,220ha, while 137 private villas, of which more than 20 villas have already been built, are planned on 2.4ha in the reserve.

The reserve is unique in Vietnam and the world. Its biodiversity ranges from primary forests to ocean dunes, with more than 1,000 plants and 370 animal species.

More than 1,300 red-shanked douc langurs (Pygathryx nemaeus), which are critically endangered and found only in east-central Laos and Vietnam, live in the Son Tra Nature Reserve.

Last month, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued an official warning to Da Nang City’s People’s Committee Chairman Huynh Duc Tho over joint responsibility for violations and shortcomings in land and urban management.

The developing Da Phuoc International Urban Project was suspended in April when the city’s construction department deemed the project’s environmental assessment report incomplete and uncovered and the use of illegal sand for sea embankments for the project.-VNA