Eleven green groups have jointly called on the government to scrap a major reclamation project off Lantau, snubbing a closed-door briefing on the Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands project on Monday afternoon.
Officials launched a three-month consultation exercise back in December, to seek views from District Councils and professional bodies.
But Greenpeace, which is boycotting the briefing session, said the consultation needs to be a lot more transparent.
“We refuse to attend such kind of consultation, because the government only meets the professional bodies, but not the general public or civil groups. If a meeting with the public is to be held, it must be held under broad daylight,” said Chan Hall-sion, a senior campaigner with the group.
The government earlier said the plan is to build three islands with a Y-shaped water channel running between them, which will be kept away from the surrounding natural islands by water channels to “avoid impact on coral of ecological value”.
But Chan stressed that’s far from enough, saying the proposed development will bring about "irreversible damage" to marine life in the area, including the Chinese white dolphins.
"For the construction, it will decrease the turbidity, salinity and velocity and also temperature [of the water]. It actually changes the basic surviving environment of any marine animal living around," she said.
She urged the government to look at other options to speed up land supply, including consider utilising some 2,000 hectares of brownfield sites in the New Territories.
The 10 other groups refusing to join Monday’s briefing are Green Power, Clean Air Network, Peng Chau Reclamation Concern Group, Save Lantau Alliance, Green Sense, Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, The Green Earth, Greeners Action, Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, and Designing Hong Kong.