The stories exposed the powerful commercial interests behind reclamation in China’s coastal regions over the previous decade and the widespread damage they had done to marine ecosystems.
About 6 per cent of city is reclaimed land, and while extending the shoreline of a land-starved society seems ever more attractive, critics say it would not solve housing issues. At the same time, conservation groups such as WWF and Greenpeace say reclamation is environmentally catastrophic.
Bringing in some significant changes in the way it governs its coasts, the government is moving to remove the ban on reclamation of land in coastal areas for commercial or entertainment purposes while also allowing tourism activities even in ecologically sensitive areas along the shores.
Survey shows that land reclamation has adverse effects on coral reefs and fish quantity has decreased in the last five years in the coastal areas of Doha, Quatar.
The government’s grand long-term blueprint for Hong Kong, which envisions a 1,000-hectare man-made island in the middle of the sea, could cost over HK$400 billion, a concern group estimated.
Extensive land reclamation is being proposed in an area already known to be rich in sea grasses that are protected by the European Union’s Habitats Directive and which is adjacent to a marine conservation area.
Work has begun on the maritime infrastructure that will constitute the first phase of the six-hectare land reclamation project. The total value of the maritime infrastructure works is approximately €1 billion.
Whilst reclamation in Jakarta and Bali are more well-known due to the frequent reporting and public controversies, similar projects are also either being planned or underway in other regions across Indonesia.
There are more than 15 planned reclamation projects across Indonesia, including a $3 billion project to build artificial islands in the middle of Benoa Bay in Bali. This proposed reclamation has spawned one of the largest environmental movements in Indonesia’s history.