Nickelodeon is currently under fire for revealing its plans to build an underwater park in the island of Palawan in the Philippines. Those who are against it argue that such a park would compromise the ecology of the island, home to coral reefs and the famed underground river, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Petition Signed By Concerned Citizens
The company announced on January 9 its partnership with the Coral World Park Undersea Resorts to build “the world’s first undersea attraction.” The park will span 100 hectares. It will also be built in the well-known tourist spot of Coron.
However, many have already slammed the project over environmental concerns. An online petition has been set up urging the local government of Palawan to scrap the construction.
The petition also urges Nickelodeon and Coral World Park Undersea Resorts to invest in marine biodiversity-friendly endeavors. As of writing, the petition has garnered over 150,000 signatures, 50,000 shy of its goal of 200,000 signatures.
According to the petition on Bataris, the underwater park will “undeniably damage and disrupt Palawan’s marine ecosystems.” This is contrary to the company’s statement claiming that the project will also “advocate ocean protection.”
The child-friendly channel is a subsidiary of media giant Viacom. The petitioners claim that by doing this, the channel is setting a bad example for children by disregarding the environment.
Nickelodeon Also Needs To Obey With Strict Government Regulations To Construct The Park
According to Rappler, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) spokesperson John Vincent Fabello revealed that the media was the one that informed them. However, if Nickelodeon intends to push through with its plans, it must first secure a clearance from the PCSD.
To obtain clearance, the proposed project must comply with three guiding principles. These principles are the following: ecological viability, social acceptability, and integrated approach. “We do not categorically say we will accept the project, but as far as we’re concerned we have to look into their documents when they apply for a clearance,” said Fabello.