Humans and living creatures rely on and depend on the ecosystem and biological resources which are the product from natural and biodiversity that able to be used for living life. Currently, biodiversity is threatened for many reasons, such as habitat loss, a beyond balance utilization of the biological resources, climate change, threats from invasive alien species and pollutions from human activities, etc., especially those in the areas where high biodiversity is existing. The Company is well aware of the importance of biodiversity and has commitment to conduct the power business with cautions and taking into account the project’s potential impacts in order to prevent and reduce the effects to a minimum.
The Company has the biodiversity management guidelines by avoiding any impacts as the first priority since the beginning of selecting operating areas that do not affect the high biodiversity areas. We are committed to conducting biodiversity operations as follows:
• Assessing risks related to biodiversity in all business units
• Conducting a biodiversity study in the project areas possibly having high biodiversity so as to collect data and develop the operational plan to reduce impacts prior to commencing operations
• Taking into account the biodiversity impacts in all periods of project operations, ranging from exploration, construction, operation, and closure stages of the project life cycle
• No business units operated in the areas of world heritages and in the protected areas of the International for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Category I-IV
• Committing to operating projects promoting the net positive impact on biodiversity through following guidelines:
– Avoidance: Avoiding conduction activities possibly causing negative impacts on biodiversity
– Reducing: Reducing unavoidable impacts by identifying operational plan and clear measurements
– Rehabilitation: Rehabilitating the affected areas
– Offset: Operating projects in compensation of biodiversity effects
• Establishing stakeholders’ engagement especially the local communities and academic institutions in order to implement the biodiversity conservation projects
• Supporting in biodiversity research initiatives
• A complete biodiversity assessment for high potential to have biodiversity impacts in all areas of business units
• No business unit operated in the areas of high biodiversity
Wind power plants may have an impact on the ecology and natural habitats of birds and bats. The Company is well aware of the importance of preserving the ecosystem in the area. It is, therefore, conducting a biodiversity study in the surrounding area of the Vinh Chau Wind Power Plant Project in Vietnam to collect biodiversity data before the commencement of project construction. The assessment of potential impacts and preventive and corrective measures were also implemented before the project’s construction. The research methods and specimen collection were in accordance with the academic standards with reference to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standard 6. The biodiversity study consists of:
Flora Diversity Study: A study on plant diversities was conducted by using secondary data, satellite image and a survey in the area. It was found that most of the project areas are used for shrimp and other aquaculture farming. As the surrounding areas are the mangrove forests encroached on fishery, only 40 species of plants are found, most of which are shrubs while 19 species are in the mangrove forest group.
Bird Diversity and Flying Route Survey: A study on bird diversity and flying routes in the area was conducted during both the dry and rainy seasons to cover local species and migratory birds, their flying routes and heights as well as species differences in the seasons. From the study of 52 bird species, it was found the most of them flew below 35 meters, which is the minimum height of the wind power plant’s turbines.
Bat Diversity Survey: Since bats are nocturnal animals and are harder to see than birds, it is necessary to use various methods for this study, such as a secondary data research, an expert review, a use of a sound wave called “mobile acoustic transects and stationary acoustic point count,” net trapping, temperatures observation, and community interviews on bats’ nesting in the area, etc. It was found that bat species can be classified as approximately six species from sound wave identification, two species from net trapping, three species from surveying their habitats during the daytime. From surveying in the area, a number of bats are less than that of the secondary data. This might be caused by unavailable fruit and food sources for bats in the project area.
The Company is confident that this study will be beneficial to the biodiversity conservation in the future.