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Demonstrators protest impact of HK runway on local dolphins

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Members of several Taiwanese environmental groups demonstrated outside the Hong Kong representative office in Taipei Friday to express concern over the third runway project at Hong Kong's airport which could threaten the habitat of Chinese white dolphins there.

The protesters took the last day before a public consultation period on an environmental impact assessment ends to hand a petition to the Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office.

Hsu Hui-ting, a representative of the Taiwan Environmental Information Association, said that only around 60 white dolphins remain in Hong Kong after years of population decline.

“If the Hong Kong airport reclaims land to build the third runway, it will directly destroy the habitat of more than half of the white dolphins (in Hong Kong) and cause ecological imbalance,” she said.

She urged the Taiwanese public to write to Hong Kong environmental authorities and lend support to the cause of “living rights” for the white dolphins.

According to Hong Kong airport authorities, adding another runway would boost the capacity of the airport by about 44 percent by the year 2023 to meet expected growth in air traffic. The existing two runways are forecast to reach capacity in 2019.

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