The Word Wide Fund for Nature has been accused of acting 'more like a developer than a green group' in choosing not to complete an environmental impact assessment for the marine life centre. WWF chairman Markus Shaw has publicly defended the development's environmental credentials. In a letter to the South China Morning Post dated May 3 he wrote: 'We not only complied with the requirements of the government but had in many cases applied even higher standards on ourselves. The environmental impact assessment legislation was not in place when the centre was conceived but WWF commissioned its own 76-page ecological assessment.' But Gordon Maxwell, an EIA expert, said the absence of a law making an EIA compulsory when the centre was proposed in 1993 was a poor excuse as it had been common practice to commission a study. Dr Maxwell said in light of the level of awareness at the time and the fact that the developer was a large environmental group, he would have expected the WWF to be fastidious in its assessment. Instead, the 76-page environmental review prepared by the WWF for the government fell far short of the mark. 'I have assessed EIAs for many years and I am a university author on this subject. Quite frankly, if I had to mark this [WWF] report, I would grade it D minus. 'No mention is made of basic EIA issues such as the environmental benefits versus the impacts, how the community might be affected, surrounding infrastructure and potential adverse impacts during construction and operation.'