WWF Calls for Rethink of Reclamation Project and How to Preserve Lantau Today for Future Generations | WWF Hong Kong

WWF Calls for Rethink of Reclamation Project and How to Preserve Lantau Today for Future Generations

Posted 04 December 2020
Lantau Island
Lantau Island
© WWF-Hong Kong
WWF-Hong Kong (WWF) considers the Legislative Council Finance Committee decision to approve funding for the feasibility study of the Lantau Tomorrow project to reclaim 1,000 hectares of ocean to build artificial islands in Central waters flawed. WWF strongly urges the government to rethink its approach for Lantau Tomorrow and understand the irreversible impact of this reclamation project.
“Throwing rocks into the ocean is wrong in so many ways,” says Dr David Olson, Director of Conservation, WWF-Hong Kong. “WWF doubts that any robust Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) can effectively assess this reclamation program as having any acceptable level of environmental impact. This massive reworking of land and sea will have huge and seriously negative environmental impacts - there is no way to sugarcoat this fundamental reality.”
According to an underwater sound study conducted by WWF in 2019, finless porpoises have been recorded in the proposed reclamation area, and other surveys have found rare pipefish, seahorse, and unique lizards seen nowhere else in the world.
“Filling in a large area of the ocean in a key channel of the Hong Kong archipelago will dramatically change the hydrodynamics of current flows through the islands, in turn changing the supply of nutrients and fish larvae to the already stressed fisheries. Such pharaonic works in the ocean will alter water currents and create sediment plumes that will extensively damage beaches, navigation, recreation, and fisheries. The impacts are irreversible and inestimable that we can’t afford this unbearable cost,” says Angel Lam, Oceans Conservation Manager, WWF-Hong Kong.
WWF continues to ask that the housing needs for Hong Kong be met by fast tracking  development of available brownfield sites. This approach would bring similar economic development benefits to those projected from Lantau Tomorrow, but at much lower financial and environmental costs to Hong Kong.
Lantau Island
Lantau Island
© WWF-Hong Kong Enlarge