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Road project in Kaohsiung wetland conditionally approved

2014/07/17 22:24:24

Photo courtesy of Kaohsiung Wild Bird Society

Taipei, July 17 (CNA) A project to build a road through a wetland wild bird preservation in Kaohsiung won conditional approval from a city government environmental impact assessment committee Thursday.

The project in Jiading District has met with opposition from environmental, wetland and wildlife protection groups but has received support from local residents.

Before making its decision, the review committee held three special panel meetings to allow proponents and opponents to express their views.

The committee said Thursday that because of the concerns, it will require measures to reduce impact on the habitat, such as imposing traffic controls, providing alternative roads, setting up an ecology gallery and suspending work during migration season.

To prevent the passages of vehicles and people from splitting the habitat of the endangered black-faced spoonbill into two, the committee decided that construction companies must impose controls on the two ends of the road under construction in spring, when the bird species usually takes up residency in Jiading.

It also decided that a road traffic control committee composed of government officials, scholars and experts, representatives from civic groups and local residents should be set up to handle related issues.

In addition, an area of about 47 hectares originally intended for cruise ships must be converted into a wetland park to improve the habitat for migrating birds and aquatic plants.

Work on the road will only start after the wetland preservation plan has been submitted to and approved by the environmental impact assessment committee. Construction of the wetland park must be completed within two years of the approval of the plan.

(By Chen Ja-fo and Evelyn Kao)
Enditem/WH