Date
15 December 2017
It is feared that construction work on the third runway may affect 70 percent of the dolphin population living in the northern Lantau area. Photo: HKDCS
It is feared that construction work on the third runway may affect 70 percent of the dolphin population living in the northern Lantau area. Photo: HKDCS

Dolphin lovers start signature drive against third runway

An environmentalist group is hoping to gather at least 10,000 signatures from the public to pursue its campaign against the construction of a third runway in the city, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported on Friday.

The Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society (HKDCS) said the construction work would affect at least 70 percent of the dolphin population in the northern Lantau area. That’s around 45 dolphins.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Airport Authority has made available its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for public consultation on the issue, which starts today and ends on July 19.

But HKDCS chairman Samuel Hung said the month-long consultation was a sham, and accused the government of being insincere in keeping its promise to protect the dolphins.

The Environment Bureau said the airport authority has proposed certain mitigation measures, including the setting up of marine parks.

But Hung said the marine parks, which will only begin construction in 2023, would not help as the construction work is set to start in 2016.

According to media reports, the population of the rare animals in the area had been reduced to 61 in 2012 from 158 in 2003.

The airport authority’s EIA report includes studies assessing the potential environmental impact of the project across 12 aspects.

Stanley Hui, the authority’s chief executive, said the EIA has taken as long as 20 months to complete, and over 500 events have been held for various stakeholders, including affected residents, professional bodies, schools, media and environmental groups.

The authority has scheduled another public forum on June 28 to gather views from the public, Hui added.

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EL/AC/CG

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