Photo available at: http://www.udel.edu/PR/NewsReleases/98/Spoonbill/bird.html
A 7,000-acre industrial complex planned for the west coast of Taiwan threatens the black-faced spoonbill with extinction and will increase greenhouse gas emissions, according to a University of Delaware professor who recently testified before a Taiwanese legislative committee.
John Byrne, director of UD's Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, told the committee that the oil refinery, petrochemical plant and steel mill complex could wipe out the wetlands winter habitat of the black-faced spoonbill. The Binnan Industrial Complex also could increase that nation's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent, Byrne testified. And, any development resulting in higher greenhouse gas emissions would place Taiwan in direct conflict with the international community, which is trying to meet Kyoto (Japan) treaty targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to Byrne.
"Taiwan is the 24th largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the world," Byrne says, "and with its emissions already growing at one of the fastest rates in the world, the Binnan project places in serious jeopardy the ability of the country to meet international standards. It is the wrong technology, in the wrong place, at the wrong time."
Byrne and four other U.S. academics-members of a group called SAVE (Spoonbill Action Voluntary Echo)-testified that the water needed to feed the massive complex will deplete marshlands where the spoonbill nests and forages for fish. SAVE calculates the spoonbill population at 550 worldwide. Approximately 300 use Taiwan's Chi-gu Lagoon to nest and feed during the winter, he adds.
Advocates of the proposed Binnan Industrial Complex say it would offer
employment and economic benefits, given a projected annual production value
equivalent to about $10.5 billion. Byrne contends, however, t
Contact: Barbara Garrison
University of Delaware