NICKELODEON abandons plans to build an “undersea resort” in Palawan due to backlash from environmentalists who said the development would damage the area’s marine ecosystem.
An online petition which collected over 260,000 signatures called for the project to be shelved, and that the decision was “mutually agreed” upon with its Philippines partner, Coral World Park.
According to The Guardian, conservation groups refer to Palawan as “the last frontier” because of its unspoiled coastlines and forests, some of the oldest in Southeast Asia.
Vince Cinches of Greenpeace Southeast Asia told the publication: “We commend Viacom for heeding the call of more than 200,000 online petitioners and the offline community campaign.
“They were able to dodge the bullet that has a huge reputational backlash for Nickelodeon, which has been claiming it is children-oriented.”
— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) August 24, 2017
The 100ha project – slated to launch in 2020 – was first announced in January, and was marketed as the “world’s first undersea attraction”.
The project was meant to bring in popular characters from the American television network including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Visitors would have been able to immerse in a “multi-island experience” that includes island hopping, hidden lagoons, hot springs, visits to animal reserves, and shipwreck diving.