Sun, Sep 10, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Kaohsiung wants wetland on list

NATIONAL IMPORTANCE:The Ministry of the Interior is to add 10 more locations to its ‘national wetlands of importance’ program, which already covers 83 areas

By Ke Yu-hao and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A water pheasant is pictured at the Niaosong Wetland Park in Kaohsiung’s Niaosong District in an undated picture.

Photo courtesy of Kaohsiung Wild Bird Society

The Kaohsiung City Government is to lobby the central government to include the Niaosong Wetlands (鳥松溼地) in the Ministry of the Interior’s “national wetlands of importance” program, officials from the city’s Public Works Bureau said.

The Niaosong Wetland Park is a 3.8-hectare natural conservation and recreational park that was created artificially, but is home to 96 documented species of birds, 166 species of insects and more than 180 types of plants.

There are 83 nationally important wetlands, 41 of which are managed by local governments, bureau Director Chao Chien-chiao (趙建喬) said earlier this week.

The ministry’s Construction and Planning Agency is to consider 10 additional locations for inclusion in the program and the city government has submitted a full study to lobby for the wetland’s inclusion, Chao said.

Opinions gathered at a town hall meeting on the issue on Wednesday are to be forwarded to the ministry, the bureau said.

Kaohsiung has 21 wetlands with a combined area of 1,055 hectares, more than any other special municipality or county in the nation, it added.

The city had previously been commended by the agency for having an exceptional wetland conservation program, the bureau said, adding that non-governmental organizations deserve credit for their work with the city government.

However, sources said that Taiwan Water Corp’s local branch might oppose the wetland’s designation as nationally important, fearing it might interfere with operations at the Chencinghu Reservoir (澄清湖).

The Kaohsiung Wild Bird Society and other environmentalist groups are planning to protest the company, sources said.

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