Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Press Release: Pink Dolphins vs Kuokuang Petrochemical – Who is in Whose Way?

Press Release:
Pink Dolphins vs Kuokuang Petrochemical – Who is in Whose Way?
Time and Place: 2010/07/13 (Tuesday) 13:30
Environmental Protection Administration - Jhongjheng Rd Sec 1 #83, Taipei 行政院環 境保護署 (中正 區中華路一段83號)
Contacts: GAN Chen-yi 0982-225613 (Matsu’s Fish Conservation Union Secretary General)
SHIH Yue-ying 0911-761839 (Changhua Environmental Protection Union Secretary General)
Participating Organizations: Matsu’s Fish Conservation Union, Changhua Environmental Protection Union, Green Party Taiwan, Taiwan Environmental Protection Union, Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, Taiwan Environmental Information, Society of the Wilderness, Office of Legislator TIEN Chiu-chin, participating scholars (other groups being invited)

Special Surprise Performance

At 2 pm the Environmental Protection Administration will hold an experts meeting on the Taiwan pink dolphins. Premier Wu Dun-yi doesn’t want the dolphins to get in the way of the Kuokuang Petrochemical project slated for the Dacheng wetland* area in southern Changhua County, a stones throw from the infamous Formosa Plastics Group’s Mailiao Offshore Industrial Park just to the south of the Jhuoshui River. Regarding the building of a 4000 hectare industrial park smack in the middle of the IUCN critically endangered population of the Eastern Taiwan Strait Indo-pacific humpback dolphins, Premier Wu says to the dolphins: “just go around it”. In the meantime environmental groups and those asking for a more long term approach to Taiwan’s economy say to the Kuokuang project: “just get lost!”

Can the dolphins “just go around it”? Premier Wu’s choice of words is often stunning, but for demonstrating ignorance and arrogance, as well as disrespect for the law, the environmental impact assessment system and the many scholars who are participating in the meetings.

The ETS population of the Indo-pacific humpback dolphin is already facing extinction according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s August 2008 listing of the animals as CR or critically endangered. Who would have thought the highly educated Premier Wu would land such a blow against the dolphins, a blow that could well result in their extinction during his term in office!

The location of the Kuokuang Petrochemical Park is a mistake. Whether at the EPA meetings or in the Ministry of Interior’s Construction and Planning Administration hearings, the experts all agree the geological changes brought from the project to the ocean shore and floor will be a disaster, not to mention the impact on the Jhuoshui River Estuary. Moving the project north is also not an option according to the scholars. Kuokuang will suffer as will all the people in the wake of this poorly conceived development project.

Premier Wu Dun-yi apparently doesn’t know where the project is located or he would move the project instead of telling the dolphins to move. Kuokuang is going to cause Taiwan’s greenhouse gas emissions to sky rocket and put the nail in the coffin of the endangered population of ETS pink dolphins.

Makes one wonder what Ma Ying-jeou has been talking about when he mentions, carbon reduction, wetland protection and “saving the country through protecting the environment”?

*The Dacheng Wetland (also spelled Tacheng Wetland) in Changhua County at the mouth of the Jhoushui River in Central-West Taiwan is listed as an internationally Important Bird Area (IBA) by the IUCN/BirdLife International. The IBA registration of this internationally important wetland is TW016. The wetlands are critical winter habitat for the globally threatened Saunders's Gull Larus saundersi. Click to see the BirdLife International listing for the Dacheng Wetlands.

Also see:
Taipei Times editorial says the dolphins might be smarter than Premier Wu

Buy a patch of land, help save a dolphin! - Taiwan NGOs to present 'wet' land trust application to the government this Wednesday (7 July)

KK Petrochemical Plant: Why Should the White Dolphins “Just Go Around It”?

Plans to buy another 800 hectares of wetlands to save pink dolphin habitat and to protect threatened birds and marine life

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