Hong Kong green groups say rare porpoise threatened by construction off Lantau, gov’t urged to close permit ‘loophole’

Vulnerable finless porpoise in Hong Kong may be driven away from their “favourite habitat” by construction work for an incinerator off southern Lantau, local green groups have warned. The concerns came as the government is set to allow work on four submarine cables to take place during the marine mammals’ peak season, despite such timing being banned by the project’s original environmental permit.

Construction work on an artificial island near Shek Kwu Chau. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

Close to the restricted island of Shek Kwu Chau, off the south Lantau coast, a bustling construction site with excavators and bulldozers stands in stark contrast to the nearby serene islands. Last Friday, HKFP observed the reclamation work from a distance on an inspection boat trip with environmentalists from WWF-Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society and the Save Lantau Alliance.

The 16-hectare artificial island will become the site of the government’s controversial Integrated Waste Management Facilities (IWMF) project. The facility – with the first phase expected to come into operation in 2025 – aims at easing the burden of the city’s landfills by treating 3,000 tonnes of waste a day, using incineration as the core technology.


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