Huh? Vietnam Official Wants to Evict Bears


| November 15, 2012 - 5:07 pm

It looks like some of Yogi’s unfortunate cousins may be looking for a new home soon.

A $2 million bear rescue center in Vietnam is currently at risk, as the country’s vice defense minister ordered the nonprofit group operating it to find another location.

Here’s some further details into the matter, via Yahoo! News:

“The defense official wrote, without elaborating, that the Chat Dau Valley is of strategic military interest, but environmentalists allege that vested interests have urged an eviction. They point to documents showing that the daughter of the park’s director is involved in a proposed ecotourism venture that wants to lease park land.

Conservation groups say the dispute in Tam Dao National Park is emblematic of conflicts brewing across Vietnam’s protected areas. When developers want the land, they say, environmental safeguards disappear.

Vietnamese laws adhere to international environmental standards, but in practice are “minor considerations” in land-use and infrastructure-planning decisions, the World Bank said in a report last year.”

State media say the agriculture ministry is working with the central government to resolve the dispute. However, the prime minister has final say over the bear center’s fate.