The internationally listed Dacheng wetlands were until Friday going to be turned into a petrochemical complex.
Following Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s opposition to the construction of the Kuokuang Petrochemical complex on the site of the internationally important Dacheng wetlands on the Changhua coast on Friday, Minister of the Interior (MOI) Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) has announced that his ministry would soon begin the process to turn the area into a nature reserve. This is welcome news and we hope that this is the start of a new attitude by the government to rehabilitating the west coast which has been greatly damaged by heavy industry.
Given the government's poor environmental record, the question needs to be asked if this is just a government ploy to appear to be doing something for the environment so they can say "we've taken action" and then allow further so-called heavy industrial development at other locations on the west coast.
The Dacheng wetlands are an internationally listed important bird area (IBA) and vital habitat for the critically endangered Taiwan pink dolphins. Until Friday, the government was planning to reclaim these internationally important wetlands for a petrochemical complex.
See Changhua wetland to become a park in yesterday's Taipei Times.