Reply To: Soko Islands will be harmed by ExxonMobil-CLP LNG terminal


WWF expresses serious concerns on CLP’s LNG Terminal EIA procedure
and the future of the Chinese White Dolphin
(21 September 2006)

WWF considers that CLP is attempting to sabotage public debate and the decision-making process on its proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) Terminal because the company has stated a firm preference for the Soko’s site before the government has completed its examination of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and after only releasing highly selectively information to the public.

CLP revealed its preference on site location to the public three weeks ago without fully considering other viable site options for its LNG Terminal. CLP has refused to release the draft EIA preventing anyone from properly considering the impacts of the two sites in the EIA or what other options were considered.

“This is a deliberate attempt by CLP to prejudice the decision-making process by stating its preference while controlling the information which has violated fundamental principles of the EIA public consultation process ,” stated Mr Eric Bohm, CEO, WWF Hong Kong.

In the Study Brief issued by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), outlining the requirements of the EIA, CLP was required to compare the environmental merits and demerits of the Soko and Black Point option with other options.

“CLP should provide clear and objective comparisons on the Pros and Cons for all other possible LNG sources, including other alternative LNG supplies. Despite the efforts by EPD in recent years to encourage the project proponents to allow continuous public participation in the EIA process from initial planning through to final design, CLP has decided to release selective and piecemeal information,” said Dr Alan Leung, Senior Conservation Officer, WWF Hong Kong. “By doing so they are deliberately biasing the public debate on this important infrastructure project in an environmentally sensitive area which could have ramifications for decades to come.” WWF has written to CLP several times to request that the whole draft EIA be released, as has been done for some recent government projects recently, but the response so far has been negative.

CLP’s stated preference as of the 1 st September is to build a terminal on the South Soko Island, with its surrounding waters endorsed as a Marine Park in 2002. The areas have been identified as important fishery spawning and nursery grounds. The Sokos waters are also unique being the only location where the Chinese white dolphin and the Finless porpoise co-occur in local waters. The proposed gas pipeline associated with the Soko option will also cut through the prime habitat of the Chinese white dolphin near the Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park and another Marine Park proposed for Southwest Lantau. Unbelievably, the information released to the public by CLP to date comparing the Black Point and Soko sites makes no mention of the marine mammals found at the Sokos.

“WWF is extremely concerned by the Government’s casual dis regard to the continuous and cumulative encroachment from large scale developments within the marine areas inhabited by the only two residential marine mammals in Hong Kong. Over the past 10 years, more than 10 projects with over 1,700 ha of the sea area have been reclaimed. Reclamation has not just caused a direct loss of these mammals’ habitats, it also removes habitat for the fish on which the dolphins feed,” continued Dr Leung.

Endless past, present and future works on dredging, dumping, facilities installation, and pollution not only pose threats to the dolphins and the porpoises, but the whole marine environment, and have contributed to our declining fishing industry. Although the dolphin and the porpoise population is holding up at the moment, we worry that these magnificent animals will not be able to withstand unlimited and on-going developments, such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge and the Container Terminal 10 near Tai O.

“WWF is calling on the Hong Kong public to support the only two warm-blooded resident marine animals by demanding the Government cease this casual disregard for the areas in which they live. While WWF does support the move towards greener fuels like natural gas for power generation, we cannot accept the trade off to the Soko Islands and the dolphins and porpoise while other options are available” stated Mr Bohm.






中電在 9 月 1 日表示屬意在大鴉洲南部興建接收站,但早在 2002 年,當局已同意將該處鄰近水域列為海岸公園, 有關範圍是公認的重要魚類產卵和育苗場地。大鴉洲水域更是本地唯一有中華白海豚和江豚出沒的生境。中華白海豚在鄰近沙洲與龍鼓洲海岸公園,以及建議中的大嶼山西南部海岸公園中範圍的棲息地,將被大鴉洲接收站的輸氣管貫穿。中電公開有關龍鼓灘和大鴉洲的選址比較資料中,竟然完全沒有提及大鴉洲的海洋哺乳動物,委實不可思議。

梁博士續道:「中華白海豚和江豚是唯一棲居本港水域的海洋哺乳動物,在牠們的棲息地中進行大規模發展項目,將對該處環境構成深遠且日漸嚴重的影響,政府對有關問題卻採取輕率和漠視的態度,對此本會深表關注。過去 10 年來,該帶水域共發展超過 10 個項目,填海面積達 1,700 公頃。填海不僅直接縮小這些哺乳動物的生境,也導致海豚的主要食物 — 魚類的生境流失。」



See also WWF Hong Kong webpages: No Go at Soko

Post edited by: Martin, at: 2006/11/01 08:36