All the Tees in China: Golf Boom Threatens Rainforest

In the Guardian, Jonathan Watts writes about the recent craze for building golf course on protected land in Hainan:

On the park’s map, the course is inside the core conservation zone, which is supposed to be off-limits to human activity. But Lu said the government permitted experimental development areas to generate funds for wildlife protection.

“There will be no impact on the eco-system,” he insisted. “Only the elite will be able to come. It is not for the masses.”

The plan looks certain to stir up controversy.

“You would have to be greedy and heartless to build a golf course in that area,” said Yang Xiaobo, a doctor of ecology at Hainan University.

“The biodiversity here is not just important for this island, but for the entire country. There are few rainforests like this in the world.”

If the plan for a resort sounds like the thin end of the wedge, it is not alone in Hainan, where golf is increasingly a tool for shifting land-usage rights towards an international jet set, often regardless of the environmental impact.

Read more about golf in China via CDT.

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