Representatives of a national bird organization called on the government Thursday to preserve Aichi Prefecture’s Fujimae tidal flats, citing predictions that building a landfill on the site would severely damage the nation’s most important wetlands.

Two representatives from the Ornithological Society of Japan and one from the World Wide Fund for Nature, Japan, met Environment Agency officials to submit a resolution adopted at the society’s 1998 annual convention requesting preservation of the wetlands.

“We request that the government consider alternative sites and that the Fujimae tidal flats, which are internationally valuable and important as one of our nation’s few remaining stopover and wintering sites for plovers and snipes, be preserved,” the document says.

A plan proposed by Nagoya and currently under review by the Nagoya Port Authority would reclaim 46.5 hectares of the 120 hectare tidal flats for garbage disposal. “Environment Agency officials said that although it is difficult to preserve nature in big cities, they intend to work hard to leave the Fujimae tidal flats unspoiled,” said Shinichi Hanawa of the WWF.

Hanawa also lauded the agency’s announcement Monday that it would ask the Nagoya Municipal Government to search for alternative landfill sites.

More than 5,000 plovers and snipes regularly stop at the tidal flats on their journeys from Siberia and Alaska to destinations as far away as Australia, according to the document.

The percentage of migratory birds that use the site is so high that it is important by international standards and qualifies for registration under international treaties, it said. “We passed the resolution because we think that Fujimae is a very important place for migratory birds,” said Yuzo Fujimaki, president of the Ornithological Society of Japan.

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