The children’s entertainment company Nickelodeon wants to build a theme park in Palawan, the Philippines’ last ecological frontier. Local environmentalists are not amused.
Around the world, Nickelodeon is known for producing popular television shows like SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Dora the Explorer. The network’s parent company, the media giant Viacom, announced its plans for Palawan on Monday, Jan. 9. Viacom says it’s partnering with Coral World Park Undersea Resorts to build the park and an accompanying resort.
Dubbed the world’s first undersea attraction, the project features a 400-hectare (988-acre) resort located within a cluster of 16 white sand islands in Coron, Palawan. Coron, a popular tourist destination known for its white sand beaches, hidden lagoons, and pristine coral reefs, is part of Palawan province and home to various endangered species, which are threatened by unregulated commercial extractive activities.
After plans for the resort and theme park were announced, environmentalist Anna Oposa launched an online petition against the development plans. At the time of this writing, less than two days after the petition went live, there are more than 189,000 signatures.