Group junk Nickelodeon’s underwater theme park proposal in Philippines
Jan 12, 2017 10:08 AM EST
Following the news of Nickelodeon’s plan of developing an underwater theme park among scenic and pristine islands of the Philippines, environmentalists have expressed their disapproval over the debatable project.
The theme park is part of a development, covering 400 hectares, that is planned in Palawan, known globally for its serene beaches and well-preserved coral reefs.
Gina Lopez, secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, took to Twitter and shared her views opposed to Nickelodeon’s project, saying that she “won’t allow” this development to happen.
Amidst criticisms of the planned theme park, Coral World Park is offering assurance, explaining how the project will not meddle with Palawan’s “undersea” nature.
"The only infrastructure in the water is floating and all developments are on land," the firm, which has partnered with Nickelodeon, said in its official statement.
However, this contradicts the announcement that was recently made by Viacom, which heralded the project as “the world’s first undersea and attraction to be built in Asia.” Moreover, its resort will be comprised of “underwater restaurants and lounges” situated 20 feet below sea level, among others.
However, environmental groups are not convinced.
"It's quite despicable for them to put up a theme park in paradise," Vince Cinches, an oceans advocate working for Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said. "The project will basically destroy the marine ecosystem."
Comprised of one main island along with smaller islands, Palawan currently serves as a UNESCO World Heritage Site marine park as well as a biosphere reserve.
Nickelodeon said the theme park will be situated within the white sand islands, which can be reached by guests through a speed boat.
On the other hand, a petition created by the Save Philippine Seas has already garnered over 100,000 signatures online, opposing the controversial plan.
"Whatever kind of safeguards you put in place, you will disrupt marine life," Save Philippine Seas executive director Anna Oposa said. "If [Coral World Park] were really serious about protecting the sea, they would invest that $150 million in marine protected areas and livelihoods in the community."