Protests over the construction of waste landfill south of Coloane arrive at AL

Lawmaker Lo Choi In has joined protests against the government’s plan to build a new waste landfill in the sea off the southern coast of Coloane.

The lawmaker raised the matter in a spoken inquiry to the government in the period before the agenda of yesterday’s plenary session at the Legislative Assembly (AL).

Lawmaker Lo noted that the building of landfills always poses “certain damage to the marine ecological environment and the sea areas,” noting that in this case the area in question “is a habitat for Chinese white dolphins, first-class national protected animals.”

Lo said society does not want to pay the high ecological costs of building this so-called “ecological island” which is merely a landfill for construction waste.

The lawmaker said the land, ocean and ecological resources are precious resources granted by the country and therefore, the government has a responsibility to make good use of them.

She said the government needs to find a balance between development and preservation.

The lawmaker said the government claims the facility is needed because the existing landfill is nearing full capacity.

Lo wants the government to consider other existing forms of technology to treat and dispose of the waste instead of choosing landfill.

Lo said the government should, instead, “support the development of local renewable energy companies or build crematoriums and forensic facilities, among other facilities essential to the life of the population, to promote the diversification of the economy and investment and, at the same time, increase jobs, thus solving the basic needs of society.”

Last week, local environmental protection advocate Joe Chan started a petition opposing the government landfill project.

Chan predicts the landfill will damage marine life, intensify water pollution and risk the health of aquatic activities practitioners.

More importantly, he said “it will destroy the ecology of Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphins.”

Chan also criticized the government for not providing any scientific data to support the project as well as failing to provide any environmental assessments.

The landfill is planned for a location 1 km off the coast, south of Coloane.

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