Date
16 December 2017
Development plans for Lantau Island are in breach of the spirit of an international biodiversity convention, according to environmentalists. Photo: Bloomberg
Development plans for Lantau Island are in breach of the spirit of an international biodiversity convention, according to environmentalists. Photo: Bloomberg

Govt told to honor biodiversity commitments

Environmentalists are urging the Hong Kong government to do its best to protect the habitats of rare species on Lantau Island.

They want the government to abide by its commitments as a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity which calls for increased efforts to maintain biodiversity and prevent damage to the environment, Apple Daily reported Friday, citing a study. 

The study was carried out by researcher Ip Sin Hang and New Zealand-born Clive Noffke of Green Lantau Association.

The two-year effort produced a report titled Lantau — Gem Of Hong Kong.

Lantau is home to many rare species such as Chinese white dolphins and mangrove horseshoe crabs, according to the study.

These species are under threat from ongoing construction work on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and on a third airport runway which requires extensive land reclamation.

Ip said these projects are creating tremendous ecological pressure on Lantau which already has lost a quarter of its coastline.

Noffke said development plans for the island violate the spirit of the biodiversity convention signed in 1992.

He accused the government of ignoring its obligations under the international treaty, saying most of the work has been done by volunteers.

The study has been sent to senior government officials including Chief Secretary Carrie Lam.

Noffke, a 40-year Hong Kong resident, said there had been some signs of hope from the administration of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying until the government began dismissing petitions from environmentalists.

Although Noffke does not expect any positive response from the government, he said it is his responsibility to future generations to undertake the study and publish it.

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TL/AC/RA

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