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Central govt urges explanation of Guia lighthouse conservation PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 August 2008

The letters disclosed by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (ICM) yesterday revealed that the Chinese central government had urged the Macau government to explain the conservation status of its heritage site.
The letters were sent between the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO and the SAR government after the UNESCO World Heritage Centre wrote to the Chinese government regarding the conservation of Macau's Guia lighthouse.
Lawmaker Ng Kuok Cheong sought the ICM for the disclosure of the two letters, citing the reason that Guia lighthouse involved "the entire reputation of the SAR" and had also aroused public concern.
According to the letter from the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, the director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre was "concerned" about the effects some construction projects near Macau's heritage site's buffer zones would create for the landscape and views.
Thus the Chinese commission urged the SAR government to "coordinate such matters" and also to "describe the conservation status of its historical areas".
The Macau government in return wrote a letter responding to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre through the Chinese National Commission.
The content read that, regarding the new issue raised by the World Heritage Centre – the already approved height limits of construction projects situated right outside the borders of the buffer zones – the SAR government decided to put forth "the biggest effort" to set new restrictions on the maximum height of buildings.
Such new limitations "does not only respond to the problem in the two special zones", the letter read, but were also "a solution for urban infrastructure and challenges Macau encountered in the development of society and economy".
Abiding by the principles of existing physical and visual links between Guia lighthouse and the ocean, the Macau government said they have also restricted the maximum height of  buildings between 35 metres and 90 metres in neighbouring zones so as to "ensure that current and future construction projects will not deteriorate the urban environment outside the buffer zones".
However, lawmaker Ng Kuok Cheong said although the 126-metre or 34-level building's construction across Calcada do Gaio and Estrada do Visconde de S. Januario had been halted this year, areas around Avenida do Dr Rodrigo Rodrigues were still allowing for 90 metre buildings which had "practically destroyed the contour of Mt Guia and views of Guia lighthouse".

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