Is It Just a “Serious Mistake” for the EIA Engineer? We Must be Alert to the Chaos of Environmental Assessment Behind “Shenzhen Bay Channel Dredging Project Description” by the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology of Chinese Academy of Sciences (I)
2020/4/1 17:34:00 本站

On March 28th, the Research Office of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) posted an article about “Even forget to change the city name when plagiarizing! EIA problem for Shenzhen Bay Channel Dredging Project”. After the publication of the article on the alleged plagiarism of the EIA for Shenzhen Bay Channel Dredging Project at the expense of public environmental interests, many people contacted CBCGDF and said that this kind of mess problem about the EIA industry was just the tip of the iceberg.


On the morning of March 29th, the South China Sea Institute of Oceanography, Chinese Academy of Sciences (SCSIO), issued a statement on the matter for the second time.


This statement, entitled “Statement on Alleged Plagiarism in the Environmental Impact Statement on Shenzhen Bay Channel Dredging Project (Phase I)”, highlights the following:


(1). SCSIO believes that the EIA team is working following regulations. “Our team undertaking the environmental impact assessment of Shenzhen Bay Channel Dredging Project (Phase I) has carried out field survey, investigated and collected the marine environment and ecological status data of Shenzhen Bay and carried out relevant numerical simulation calculation following the specified procedures during the implementation of the project”;


(2). SCSIO’s explanation for forgetting to change the city name and suspected of plagiarism is, “but in the part of qualitative analysis, due to the use of the report completed by SCSIO in the past as a template and the submission of the unfinished report process draft as publicity materials, there are many appearances of ‘Zhanjiang’, and some of the analysis contents include ‘Zhanjiang Port’ and relevant planning, etc.” (Note: can the meaning be interpreted as use our content, so it should not be considered as plagiarism?).


(3). SCSIO said that this is a “serious mistake” of “the EIA engineer of the project”, and express the “sincerely apologize”;


(4). SCSIO promised that “the institute will conduct a further in-depth investigation on the implementation of the project, seriously deal with the relevant responsible personnel, and publish the treatment results on time.”


According to this statement, the focus of the dispute seems to be whether it is “plagiarism”; moreover, the responsible person is the individual - the EIA engineer of the project; but the name on the “Construction Project EIA Qualification Certificate” can be left off.


At present, after carefully reading the second statement, the author thinks that it is not a good sign that SCSIO wants to make matters smaller and smaller. The author will continue to pay attention to the incident.


One marine expert in the industry, who did not want to be named, said he was worried that “the institute undertakes China’s scientific research task of more than one billion RMB. However, the attitude of the above EIA work is very worrying. You can browse their official website to see some of their projects.” At the same time, in response to the statement about the mistakes made by an “EIA engineer”, this expert said that, “EIA engineer is a necessary qualification for EIA, and belongs to internal staff. EIA engineers can be senior researchers or middle and low-level researchers. Usually, the internal personnel of the institute takes part in the national qualification examination to obtain the EIA engineer qualification.”


However, should the result of this matter only be a “sincere apology”?


How many other EIA issued by SCSIO are likely to be similar and undetected?


Questioning behind the mess of EIA


There are also important personnel in this matter who has not yet appeared - Director Zhang Xie.


That is to say, the name of the legal representative is printed on the “qualification certificate" which is valid until February 2019 on the second page of the EIA report of Shenzhen Bay Channel Dredging Project (Phase I).


According to the well-known self-media “Ocean Circle”, just three days before the incident (March 24th, 2020), SCSIO held a meeting to announce the individual adjustment of the leadership group.


Does this leader seem to be “retiring honorably”? The author didn't understand clearly.


However, the author has noticed that SCSIO’s first “statement” indicates that an investigation team has been set up by SCSIO and will investigate the suspected plagiarism of the EIA report of Shenzhen Bay Channel Dredging Project.


However, can they look into their problems? Can they give credible results to the public and society?


“Enjoying Shenzhen on the Sea” Tourism Project


Let’s not mention whether EIA report is “suspected of plagiarism” or “suspected of fraud”; this incident all started with a tourism project called “Enjoying Shenzhen on the Sea”.


What is the "Enjoying Shenzhen on the Sea” project? According to “Shenzhen Tourism Network”, the project overview of  “Enjoying Shenzhen on the Sea” is the first route “Shekou Cruise Home Port → SCT Terminal → Shenzhen Bay Bridge → Shekou Cruise Home Port” will take Shenzhen’s new business card “Taiziwan Cruise Home Port” as the starting and ending point of the cruise line of this tourism project, and will cover SCT Terminal, Taiziwan Cruise Home Port, Shenzhen Bay Bridge and other areas.


The route covers a journey of 100 minutes, two times a day, with daily cruise time of 16:00 - 18:00 and night cruise time of 19:00 - 21:00; the cruise fare is 200 RMB per person, and the promotion price in the early stage is 150 RMB per person, and the fare content adopts the one price all-inclusive method (that is, including the cruise ticket, the afternoon tea package provided on the cruise, the top deck sightseeing, etc.).


Shenzhen Transportation Bureau: “It is not in the ecological red line area”.


This project originated in 2017 and has a history of two years. In a news report released by China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings Co. Ltd. in September 2019 - “‘ Enjoying Shenzhen on the Sea’ project is two years old now! The second anniversary and route upgrading release activity will be held soon” introduced the investors behind this project:


“Enjoying Shenzhen on the Sea” tourism project is operated and built by Shenzhen Xunlong Shipping Co., Ltd., a professional company engaged in water passenger transportation in Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Macao under China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings Co. Ltd. After the opening of Shekou Cruise Home Port and the Establishment of the Cruise Professional Committee of Shenzhen Travel Agency Industry Association, this project is a sign that China Merchants Shekou once again contributes to the upgrading of tourism in Shenzhen.


The article also mentioned that “the upgrading of the route, extending the route to the east side of Shenzhen Bay Bridge, allows tourists to enjoy the beautiful skyline of Shenzhen from the sea at a closer distance, connecting the Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base, Houhai area, Talent Park, Mangrove Ecological Park, and other urban highlights areas.”


Similarly, on March 29th, some discerning netizens pointed out that the above news report also showed that the leaders of the Shenzhen Transportation Bureau were among those attending the second-anniversary celebration.


It cannot help but think that on the night of March 27th, the day before the “suspected plagiarism” was exposed, on March 26th, due to the environmental protection dispute caused by Shenzhen Bay Channel Dredging Project, Shenzhen Transportation Bureau quickly responded, “it’s not in the ecological red line area”.


The netizen asked a question: how can they come to the conclusion that “it is not in the ecological red line area” so quickly?


Mangrove in Shenzhen: The Inaudible Crying


Why do cruise lines have to be dredged? According to Ocean Circle report, the project leader of Guangzhou Pearl Bay Human and Ecological Environment Research Center (CECA), a non-governmental environmental protection organization, said that this project is simply to dig out the bottom mud of Shenzhen Bay in the designed channel route to meet the depth and width requirements of the channel. This is no different from “performing a dangerous operation” in Shenzhen Bay.

(Photo source: Internet)

Original Chinese article:

By / Tongtong Modified / Maggie