Skip to content
Menu

Local activist slams government over plan for ‘ecological island’

Joe Chan’s petition to prevent an island being built from construction refuse off Hac Sa Beach, in an area visited by endangered dolphins, is nearing its 1,000-signature target.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

The president of the Macau Green Students Union, Joe Chan has likened discussing Macao’s environmental issues with the SAR officials to “talking with the walls,” Hoje Macau reports. His comments, posted on social media, are in relation to an artificial island the government has proposed building in waters near Hac Sa Beach.

The “ecological island” – as the government terms it – has received tentative approval from some civic groups. It would be made using construction refuse, as Macao’s landfill has reached capacity, and eventually become a leisure facility. However, its proposed location is in one of the SAR’s most scenic areas, where the waters are visited by endangered Chinese white dolphins.

On Friday, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng confirmed that Beijing authorities had deemed the location “suitable” – while implying there were no viable alternatives to the island currently on the table, Hoje Macau reported.

“If we had other solutions, we definitely wouldn’t want to fill that place [in the ocean],” he said. However, he also noted that the project remained in its consultation phase. 

[See more: ‘We will not dump solid waste into the sea,’ the government says]

According to Hoje Macau, Chan said the artificial island appeared to all but have Beijing’s tick of approval. “Under these conditions what is the meaning of a public consultation or an environmental impact assessment?” he asked.

The environmental activist also noted that most developed places in the world tackled waste disposal through production regulations, recycling, and new technologies. He reportedly said Macao’s strategy was akin to “sacrificing nature.”

Chan is behind a petition to stop the artificial island’s construction. It describes the project as liable to cause “permanent damage to precious marine resources,” destroy part of the habitat of rare Chinese white dolphins and degrade the beach’s water quality.

As of Friday morning, the petition had almost reached its 1,000 signature goal.

Send this to a friend