加载中…
正文 字体大小:

Protect Shenzhen's endangered coastline

(2014-03-31 09:56:40)
标签:

petrochina

land

reclamation

dapeng

 Lin Min

CHINA’S oil and gas behemoth PetroChina announced a plan to reclaim 39.7 hectares of land from the sea off Dapeng Peninsula in eastern Shenzhen for the construction of a liquefied natural gas depot and wharf. The unscrupulous profit-seeking move is threatening to further shrink the city’s disappearing coastline.

 

This is an outrageous plan because it comes at a particular juncture when the country is striving for greater conservation efforts even at the cost of slower growth. Shenzhen leaders have also vowed to protect the environment and ecology after three decades of breakneck development that has seen the deterioration of air quality, water quality and the shrinking of the city’s beautiful coastline.

 

The proposed land reclamation project, if approved, will accelerate overdevelopment of the city’s coastline. Of Shenzhen’s 254-km coastline, just some 40 km remains undeveloped. The planned project contradicts Shenzhen’s plans to make Dapeng Peninsula a tourist attraction and holiday resort.

 

Shenzhen has reclaimed 69 square km of land — more than the size of six Shekou Peninsulas — from the sea in the past 30 years to aid its epic growth. However, this comes with a heavy cost to the city’s coastline that it was once proud of.

 

To say Shenzhen’s coastline is endangered is not an overstatement. The famed Shajing oysters are gone because of a land reclamation project along Bao’an coast. The beautiful beaches in Shekou where residents could go swimming three decades ago have also disappeared. A quarter of Shenzhen Bay has been turned into land, resulting in the mangrove forests being halved from around 140 hectares to 70 hectares. This has led to the decline of the numbers of migratory birds that spend winters here, as well as the buildup of sediments in Shenzhen Bay, which could lead to the bay eventually drying up if the situation continues to worsen, experts have warned.

 

Dapeng Peninsula has beautiful beaches and seashores like Xichong, Dongchong and Judiaosha, which are popular attractions for Shenzhen residents. However, just a few kilometers away from these beautiful resorts, the Dapeng coastline is already crammed with seven petroleum, natural gas and power generation projects. Most of the residents in the Diefu area, where the proposed PetroChina project will be located if given the go-ahead, have already relocated to other places because of the environmental impacts from the existing projects.

 

The initial report on the project’s environmental impacts, commissioned by PetroChina, says it is feasible that the project can ensure the protection of the ocean environment if all recommended environmental protection measures are taken. Does a report commissioned by the project’s beneficiary and initiator have credibility? To say the least, those who penned the report are outsiders who don’t share concerns and interests with Shenzhen residents.

 

Over 82 percent of about 2,400 participants of an online poll by sznews.com opposed the project as of Friday. Local writer Nan Zhaoxu called for residents to reject the project, saying, “opposing land reclamation from the sea should be Shenzheners’ choice for the next 30 years.”

 

“Our offspring will continue to live here. We should not allow Dapeng Peninsula, which has one of China’s most beautiful coastlines, to be occupied. We should not lose the freedom to enjoy the ocean,” he wrote.

 

Authorities have announced that a public hearing will be held soon on the proposed project. However, many public hearings on pricing and projects in China have long been manipulated, with most participants being cherry-picked by proposal sponsors or government agencies.

 

The question now is not whether the hearing will be conducted fairly and openly to reflect Shenzhen residents’ wishes, but whether such a hearing is really needed in the first place — because the land reclamation proposal isn’t worth consideration.

 

Shenzhen’s failure to keep Baguang’s pristine villages, centuries-old trees and breathtaking coastline is still fresh in our memories. Although Baguang — on the northeastern tip of Dapeng Peninsula — survived plans to turn it into a refined petrochemical industrial park with the downfall of former Mayor Xu Zongheng, and then proposals for a new power plant in the area last year, most of the homes in the 18 villages in Baguang have come under the bulldozers. The hundreds of Heritiera littoralis trees (aka looking-glass trees) there — some of them more than 500 years old — face a grim future as the area is set to become an industrial park for emerging industries.

 

These villages and ancient trees were rare remnants of Shenzhen’s past. Sadly, the city has lost them because the government chose to build modern industries and made the area a cash cow. Now the remaining undeveloped coastline in and near Dapeng Peninsula represents the few locations that Shenzheners can bring their children close to the ocean. The decision on the project proposal will test whether sustainability just serves as empty talk, whether we choose conservation or higher GDP, and whether the city can be easily bought off by a powerful, deep-pocketed corporation.

 

 

0

阅读 评论 收藏 转载 喜欢 打印举报
  • 评论加载中,请稍候...
发评论

    发评论

    以上网友发言只代表其个人观点,不代表新浪网的观点或立场。

      

    新浪BLOG意见反馈留言板 电话:4006900000 提示音后按1键(按当地市话标准计费) 欢迎批评指正

    新浪简介 | About Sina | 广告服务 | 联系我们 | 招聘信息 | 网站律师 | SINA English | 会员注册 | 产品答疑

    新浪公司 版权所有