A Bigger Wild Bird Park is Needed sign now


Fukuoka City Hall
1-8-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
810-8620 Japan
Fax: +81-92-733-5862
E-mail: [email protected]

A Bigger Wild Bird Park is Needed to Compensate for the Loss of Waterbird Habitat

ABOUT US:
The Wetland Forum is an environmental group dedicated to the protection of wetlands in Hakata Bay, Fukuoka City, Japan through conservation, activism and public relations.

BACKGROUND:
Fukuoka City has carried out many reclamation projects with the aim of developing the cityfs port and harbor facilities and transportation infrastructure. Two most recent projects are Kashii Park Port Project (reclamation of 334 acres of the Bay) which commenced in 1988, and Island City Project (construction of a 990-acre man-made island in the frontal waters of Wajiro tidal flat) which commenced in 1994 and is still underway.

The reclamation work for the man-made island has had a significant impact on the contiguous environmentally sensitive areas. The hardest hit is Wajiro tidal flat, which is known as a critical stopover and wintering site in East Asia and has traditionally supported tens of thousands of migratory waterbirds such as the critically endangered black-faced spoonbills and sheldrakes. The number of shorebirds flying over to the tidal flat has almost halved since the project started.

As the reclamation work is done by throwing dredged sand into the dyke, there appeared a temporary wetland of approximately 173 acres in size, and it has become an important resting place for many waterbirds at high tide. Ironically, more shorebirds are now observed in the temporary wetland on the island of environmental destruction than in the natural tidal flat of Wajiro, whose ecological service has been degraded due to the impact of the reclamation work. In addition, the unpaved surface of the man-made island has now become an important breeding site for little terns and snowy plovers.

The temporary wetland on the man-made island as well as Wajiro tidal flat is eligible for Ramsar site registration both by its nature and the population of endangered species it supports, and deserves conservation.

The City plans to construct a 19-acre wild bird park on one edge of the man-made island facing Wajiro tidal flat and calls it compensation. The proposed 19-acre site would include buffer zone, parking lot and visitor facilities, leaving only half the site for an engineered pond.

The temporary wetland will eventually be filled as the reclamation work advances and there is much doubt as to whether the tiny engineered pond can offer enough ecological service to support the current number of waterbirds. The wild bird park plan must be revised to reflect the current state of wetlands in the bay, or it may invite massive extinction of endangered waterbirds bringing disgrace on the wild bird park. This is not at all beneficial for Fukuoka City as it wants to raise its profile as the greenest city in Asia.

PETITION:
For these reasons, we, the undersigned request Fukuoka City Mayor Mr. Hirotaro Yamasaki and members of Fukuoka City Council to do the following:

1. Allocate more area for the wild bird park.
Allocating only 19 acres for the wild bird park can hardly be called compensation for the loss of 990-acre bay waters. Instead, it is a recipe for habitat deprivation. At least 99 acre is needed for the wild bird park.

2. Secure habitat for waterbirds during the construction period.
The construction of the wild bird park would take seven to ten years. Waterbird habitat must be secured somewhere on the man-made island until such time as the wild bird park has been completed.

3. Protect the existing temporary wetland.
It is absolutely a waste gMottainai!h to completely fill the existing temporary wetland teemed with diverse organisms and dig a pond afterwards. There is no guarantee that the migratory waterbirds would return to the newly engineered environment. Wise use of the existing wetland is considered more beneficial from both environmental and financial viewpoints.

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Melvin CervantesBy:
LGTBIn:
Petition target:
Fukuoka City Mayor Mr. Hirotaro Yamasaki and Members of Fukuoka City Council

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