Following a court order for the Kaohsiung City Government to withdraw a proposed road construction in a major winter habitat for black-faced spoonbills, bird-lovers yesterday called on the city government to respect the verdict and put conservation above development.
To accommodate increasing traffic demand, the city government proposed building a 900m roadway cutting through the northwestern part of the Cieding Wetlands (茄萣溼地) — the nation’s second-largest habitat for black-faced spoonbills after the Cigu Wetlands (七股溼地) in Tainan.
The proposed project passed an environmental review in 2014, but local residents filed an administrative lawsuit demanding that the city withdraw the project.
Photo: Su Fu-nan, Taipei Times
The Kaohsiung High Administrative Court on Tuesday overruled the environmental review, but has yet to release its written judgement and reasons for the verdict.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs stated that the Cieding Wetlands is a nature reserve of national importance inhabited by black-faced spoonbills, peregrine falcons and other protected species, and developments such as the proposed roadway that would have a significant ecological impact should be avoided where possible, but the city government pushed the project despite feasible alternatives to the roadway, which was in violation of the Wetlands Conservation Act (濕地保育法) and the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (環境影響評估法).
Kaohsiung Wild Bird Society general manager Lin Kun-hai (林昆海) said that the environmental review process was hasty and flawed, as the review committee had a predetermined position on the project.
The committee overlooked a more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable option in favor of the roadway, whose advantage has been questioned because a 900m passage would hardly save time for travelers, he said.
Lin added that it was unreasonable for the committee to favor the roadway over an alternative solution that proposes to improve existing roads surrounding the wetlands.
Plans for construction of the roadway showed that it would be closed in winter to avoid disturbing migrating birds, thus making the roadway a dispensable option with a higher environmental cost compared with improving nearby roads, he said.
“The court’s overruling of the case was a clear message to the city government, warning it against having a predetermined mindset and disrespecting the review process. We call on the city government to accept the verdict and not to appeal the case to protect the environment,” Lin said.
COSTLY TECH FAILURE: More than 25,000 files for nearly 8,000 students from 81 schools were lost when system administrators updated a server, the Ministry of Education said The academic records of 7,854 high-school students have been lost due to a hard-drive failure, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The records were being stored at National Chi Nan University, which was commissioned by the ministry’s K-12 Education Administration to host a computer server of student portfolios that universities could access to evaluate their applications. Under a program introduced in 2019 for high-school students starting that year, students are to create portfolios to be used for university applications, which include their grades, extracurricular activities and other information related to their character and achievements. System administrators discovered that files were missing when rebooting
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
CONFUSING RESULTS: A New Taipei City worker tested positive for COVID-19 in a rapid test and a PCR test, but negative in a traditional nucleic acid test, the CECC said Travelers from Bangladesh, Brazil and Peru are no longer required to quarantine at a government center, and from Saturday can choose to quarantine at hotels, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The three nations are no longer considered “key high-risk countries,” as their COVID-19 case numbers have continued to fall, the CECC said, adding that no travelers from these countries have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 in the past two months. The revised classification would allow travelers from the three countries to choose where they stay during their mandatory 14-day quarantine, although they would be required to pay
‘TECHNICALITY’: The full moon was at 7:55am, but the Taipei Astronomical Museum said it technically remained a ‘real’ full moon when it rose again at night The Mid-Autumn Festival had a “real” full moon, the first time the astronomical categorization has fallen on the day of the festival since 2013, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. The festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar — which this year was yesterday — does not always coincide with an exact full moon, the museum said. A full moon occurs when the Earth is between the sun and the moon — or, more precisely, when the ecliptic longitudes of the sun and the moon differ by 180° — which has a cycle of