"Kuokuang grumbles about policy," well, so says today's Taipei Times. As expected the Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co has lashed out at everyone concerned except themselves because they have been forced to scrap their plan to build a naphtha cracking plant on the internationally listed important Dacheng Wetlands in Changhua County.
Kuokuang chairman Chen Bao-lang (陳寶郎) ranted, "Why wasn't the government aware that there were valuable wetlands in Changhua?" "If it was aware, why didn't it tell us at the very beginning of the project?" Obviously the planning of such a project takes several years. During that period shouldn't you look into possible environmental concerns? Does Chen really expect us to have sympathy for such poor planning? Could it be that Kuokuang was well aware of the importance of the wetlands? Could it be with the legacy of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration's (EPA) legacy as a rubber stamp body that they thought they could just get away with it? Get away with it just like so many other environmentally devastating projects have in the past.
The Dacheng Wetlands are listed as an Important Bird Area or IBA by Birdlife International. BirdLife International acts as the evaluation body concerning birds for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN is the international body that draws up and puts out the Red List of Threatened Species. BirdLife International through its local partners identifies and lists areas that are of great national or international importance to birds. A quick glance at BirdLife's directory of 'Important Bird Areas in Asia: Key sites for Conservation' lists the Dacheng Wetlands as IBA TW-016. The directory was published in 2004. However, the Chinese Wild Bird Federation, BirdLife's Taiwan partner, published the Important Bird Areas of Taiwan in 2001. Come now chairman Chen? That's ten years ago! You mean to tell us you guys didn't even take a peak at the Taiwan IBA list? I somehow doubt it.
*The Dacheng Wetlands are often spelt using the old Wade-Giles system of romanisation and spelt "Tacheng."