CBCGDF Urges Authorities to Include “Biodiversity” into “Green Airport” | Policy Advisory

Recently, the Standard Working Committee of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) held a seminar to discuss the first draft of “Notice on Further Strengthening the Management of Environmental Impact Assessment and Construction of Green Airports (Draft for Comments)” (hereinafter referred to as “Draft for Comments”) to be submitted to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment for feedback.

Source: Government Website of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment

As China’s leading scientific association and a policy-advisory think tank, CBCGDF involves in almost all of China’s important rules of laws over the past decade, among which are the Environmental Protection Law, the Wildlife Protection Law, and many others. And, to mainstream biodiversity, the Beijing-based association kept on advising the government to establish a national-level China Biodiversity Conservation Law.

According to the fruitful discussion on Green Airport, this Draft for Comments still needs some key improvements, especially the omitted consideration on “Biodiversity”. In fact, the construction of airport is closely linked to biodiversity. For instance, airports and their physical expansions will obviously cause great disturbance for local wildlife habitats.

Therefore, when the authority is considering relevant issues on building a green airport, biodiversity factor should be taken into account.

CBCGDF has achieved many projects on this topic: for example, the conservation group have done comprehensive research on the conflicts between airports-running and birds’ conservation, especially the unreasonable approaches the airport personnel used to kill or threaten birds. A good example comes from the latest report in Nov. 2021 from a CBCGDF volunteer saying that, for a single airport, bird-trapping mist nets settled around the airports can kill numerous birds per year, which, as a result, can lead to a great loss for ecosystem services.

A real green development must avoid one-fits-all measures. Instead, constructors should not only keep the airplanes as safe as possible but also protect birds well. After all, these furry things did nothing wrong.

Furthermore, reporting system is required so that the public could become aware about the bird species in the bird-strike issues. So far, the reporting rate is as low as 5.66% of all bird-strike accidents. 

In addition, the construction and operation and maintenance of airports often involve a large number of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications. In terms of AI ethics, experts suggested that airports’ AI application should refer to the first Global AI Ethics Agreement – Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence – which adopted by all UNESCO member states in late 2021. CBCGDF proposed to UNESCO in July 2020 that   “biodiversity”, “environment” and “ecosystem” should be included in this Code, and it turned out to be successful. China is an important stakeholder supporting the adoption of the proposal. Therefore, the AI application of the airport should take the AI ethics of “biodiversity” into account.

The seminar hosted by CBCGDF also included many supportive suggestions that prove favorable for a harmonious atmosphere in which the conflicts of birds and human could be dramatically eased.

(Words above come from personal records and should merely be used for basic reference.)

CBCGDF Media is a powerful supporter for ecological and environmental policies and standards.

Original Chinese article:  https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/JqsKOYqntUWRiidpxh4M1w



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