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HK says farewell to Xuelong 2

The nation’s first domestically built Antarctic research icebreaker, Xuelong 2, has completed a five-day visit to Hong Kong and began its return journey to Shanghai this afternoon.   A farewell ceremony was held at Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, where Under Secretary for Environment & Ecology Diane Wong and the committee that organised the visit led the farewells for Xuelong 2 and its crew, the 40th Chinese Antarctic scientific expedition team.   The chairman of the organising committee, Ma Fung-kwok, expressed his deep satisfaction with the visit. He emphasised that it had not only fostered a genuine interest among citizens in polar research but had also raised awareness about the pressing issue of climate change.   Looking ahead, the organising committee is already in discussions with relevant departments to explore opportunities for Hong Kong scholars and students to participate in future scientific expeditions, particularly in the field of polar research.   Du

Eco impact report to be revised

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today said the Civil Engineering & Development Department (CEDD) will submit a revised appendix to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report for the San Tin/Lok Ma Chau Development Node.

 

In a press statement responding to the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society's (HKBWS) claim that the EIA report misidentified various bird species, the EPD said its preliminary understanding from the CEDD suggested the mismatch of photos and names of birds pointed out by the HKBWS was an editing issue that occurred when the CEDD’s consultant team compiled an appendix of the EIA report. 

 

The EPD explained that the CEDD hired a professional environmental consultant to conduct an EIA study for the San Tin/Lok Ma Chau Development Node, which includes an ecological impact assessment.

 

When drafting the EIA report, the consultant submitted the ecological baseline survey results to the Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department (AFCD) and the EPD for review.

 

A total of 152 species of birds were recorded in the ecological baseline survey, with 68 being species of conservation importance.

 

After reviewing the survey results and relevant data, the AFCD and the EPD confirmed that the birds recorded in the ecological baseline survey covered the four bird species identified by the HKBWS, including the marsh sandpiper, little stint, wood sandpiper and long-toed stint, and the ecological impact assessment under the EIA study has been conducted based on the ecological survey results.

 

However, the EPD was informed that the CEDD’s consultant misplaced the photos for the marsh sandpiper and little stint, and the CEDD will submit a revised Appendix 10.2 to the EIA report to the EPD.

 

As for the question about the crested goshawk, the CEDD’s consultant confirmed that the recorded bird species was the crested goshawk, the EPD added.

 

The EPD also requested the CEDD to submit a report within one week to explain in detail the cause of the incident and its follow-up action.

 

The EPD made it clear that according to the Technical Memorandum, in case the EIA report requires certain amendments but such amendments will not affect the assessment’s validity and the overall results and conclusions of the report, there is no need to resubmit the EIA report.

 

The EPD said it will review the CEDD’s application for approval of the EIA report in strict accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance's (EIAO) requirements.

 

The EIA report has been uploaded to the EIAO website. Members of the public can submit comments in writing between February 2 and March 2 by post to the EIAO Register Office at the EPD, 27/F, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, by fax at 2147 0894, or by email.

 

Before making the final decision on the EIA report, the Director of Environmental Protection will fully consider all environment-related comments submitted by the public and the Advisory Council on the Environment during the public inspection period in accordance with the EIAO, the EPD added.


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