Vietnam’s Lang Biang Mountain threatened by flattening activities
Visitors touring Lang Biang Mountain in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong may not be aware that the area around the base of the famous attraction is being severely destroyed by local farmers.
Hundreds of households have used bulldozers and excavators to flatten the mountain’s buffer zone, which consists of numerous hills at the foot of the mountain, located 20km from Da Lat in Lac Duong District, to make space for building greenhouses for their flower farming businesses.
According to experts, flattening activities not only ruin the natural beauty of the mountainous area but also threaten the environment and ecosystem of Lang Biang, a UNESCO-recognized biosphere reserve.
Biosphere reserves are conservation areas that focus on sustainable development, biodiversity conservation, and environmental protection, according to UNESCO.
Once full of green trees and coffee crops, the hills surrounding Lang Biang have been either completely or partially leveled by farmers wishing to grow flowers and vegetables.
The partially cleared hills are now home to a few patches of green trees dotting a sea of red dirt, the type typically found in the Central Highlands.
The Lam Dong administration has responded to the situation by requesting the cessation of all flattening and destructive activities at the base of the Lang Biang.
“All such activities must be stopped and all greenhouses and facilities built on the flattened areas must be removed,” Pham S, deputy chairman of the provincial administration, said at a meeting on Wednesday.
If the owners refuse to get rid of their facilities on their own, local authorities will do so forcefully, the official underlined.
Pham S also requested that planning be done for Lang Biang as well as its buffer zone.
In response, Pham Trieu, chairman of Lac Duong District, said the entire Lang Biang tourist attraction has been zoned for the Dan Kia-Da Lat tourism area, a 5,000 hectare megaproject.
Planning for the Lang Biang area will therefore be done based on the existing zoning plan.
“In the immediate term, we will stop licensing people to use land plots in the area as agriculture land or flatten the area at the mountain base,” he said.
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