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Nghe An

The central province of Nghe An has begun to determine 148 tourist attractions and historic places around which mining will be forbidden. "They will also make a geographical list of 985 other places of interest," said Cao Duc Vinh, director of Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The move by the provincial Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism was to prevent the negative impacts of mining, Vinh said.

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Already, rampant illegal mining activities in areas near Truong Bon historical site in Do Luong District had caused major earth erosion, he said. Efforts to stop these activities would help preserve the areas.

Compared to other provinces, Nghe An had a large reserve of natural resources scattered throughout, Vinh said.

At the same time, it had more than 1,000 historical and cultural sites, 87 of which had national ranking.

"If there was no mechanism to control mining, it would threaten or destroy the sites," Vinh said.

From now on, applications for mining activities in permitted areas did not necessarily require registration with the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

However, the department and local authorities had been instructed to regularly inspect and supervise mining activities that may affect cultural, sport and travel areas.

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