The Third Runway EIA – stay tuned for the latest developments from WWF-Hong Kong!

The public consultation period for HKIA’s Third Runway Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report is over (19 July 2014), but the issues raised by the report still rage on. WWF-Hong Kong is deeply disappointed with the quality of the EIA, and has already submitted a report to the Environmental Protection Department addressing our concerns about the potential impacts of the project on Hong Kong’s Chinese white dolphin (CWD) population and the wider marine ecology. Here is a summary of our submission:
  • WWF believes that the proposed new marine park, offered as a compensation measure for the Third Runway project, will be put in the wrong location at the wrong time. In addition, there is no guaranteed that the majority of the dolphins displaced by the project’s construction work will return to the area and use the new marine park.
  • The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge project has already proven the ineffectiveness of the EIA’s other proposed on-site measures.
  • During the peak reclamation construction period (2016/17), the maximum number of construction-related vessel movements will be 120 per day, while 120 stationary vessels will be located within the works area. In combination with other vessel traffic, more than 400 daily vessel movements are expected in the vicinity of the project area. This large volume of traffic will certainly create disturbance and adversely impact the CWD in the North Lantau area.
  • The non-statutory no-take marine protected area (Airport Exclusion Zone) which was established in 1998 contains a richer and higher abundance of marine fauna and vulnerable fish species; however, a total of 240 ha of this area will be destroyed by the project, with no compensation measures offered.
  • A globally-rare gorgonian species named Guaiagorgia has been found in the western waters of Lantau. WWF is urging the government to properly evaluate the conservation importance of this species and adopt the appropriate conservation measures.
  • The project proponent has not taken into account the benefits to fisheries resources that have been and will be brought by the trawling ban, nor have they provided any figures on the expected loss of fisheries production or the total cost of this loss.
  • There is little justification for the expectation that an extended marine park will compensate for the permanent loss of approximately 672 ha of habitat and the consequent impact on fish populations.

If you are as concerned as we are about the impacts caused by this proposed project, please leave your contact details so we can get in touch with you and contact you with action alerts to save the marine habitat.
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