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Binh Dinh Suspends Wind Energy Project Over Destruction of 140 Hectares of Forest

Despite years of construction, the wind farm project is nowhere to be seen, while the nearby protection forest has been severely damaged.

According to Tuoi Tre, the People’s Committee of Binh Dinh Province has suspended the Phuong Mai 1 wind energy project and ordered the provincial police department to investigate the destruction of 140 hectares of protection forest on the site of the wind farm.

Phuong Mai 1 is an ongoing wind farm project in the Nhon Hoi Economic Zone in Binh Dinh. It was greenlit more than a decade ago with an estimated construction timeline of three years (2009-2011). The site of the facility is based in 250 hectares of protection forest in coastal Tuy Phuoc and Phu Cat districts, comprising mainly Casuarina pine trees, or phi lao. The green area serves as a buffer zone to cushion residential communities in the vicinity from the impact of natural disasters such as sandstorms and coastal erosion.

When Phuong Mai 1 was approved, Binh Dinh authorities allowed the project to manage the protection forest, though the company is only allowed to touch at most 10% of the forest to build wind turbines. It was recently discovered that over the years, about 100,000 trees and a 140-hectare stretch of forest were burned or chopped down.

Local police are working to determine whether the investor carried out the deforestation itself, or if poor security measures allowed poachers to enter the area. Chairman of the Binh Dinh People’s Committee Ho Quoc Dung told Tuoi Tre that Phuong Mai 1 still has to take responsibility for the destruction and must replant the damaged area.

[Photo by Oai Ngoc via Tuoi Tre]

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