sparkly islands land reclamation project Tonglian/ZumaPress

China y el profundo mar azul

CIUDAD HO CHI MINH – Desde diciembre de 2013, China ha añadido más de 1,200 hectáreas a islas en el Mar Meridional de China. Las implicaciones geopolíticas de estos esfuerzos de reclamación de tierras están bien documentados: la mayor parte de dicha actividad se llevó a cabo en las Islas Spratly, un archipiélago en las aguas entre Vietnam, Malasia y Filipinas, países que junto con China, Taiwán y Brunei tienen reclamaciones contrapuestas  sobre esta región.

Existe menos debate sobre el impacto ambiental del proyecto, mismo que bordea lo catastrófico. Las actividades de China ponen en peligro a poblaciones de peces, amenazan la biodiversidad marina y crean un riesgo a largo plazo para algunas de las formas de vida marina más espectaculares del mundo.

Miles de arrecifes de coral, praderas de pastos marinos y otros ecosistemas de aguas poco profundas están siendo rápidamente destruidos y enterrados a medida que los líderes de China  se apresuran a ir tras el logro de su objetivo de reclamación territorial sobre la región. El proyecto de reclamación de tierras está socavando la conexión ecológica entre las Islas Spratly y el Mar Meridional de China, cortando el suministro de nutrientes de los cuales dependen estos ecosistemas.

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