83% Citizens support Nam Sang Wai Conservation
Green Groups call for Government Conservation Proposal
In March of this year, the reed beds in Nanshangwai caught fire, and the state of conservation and threats in Namshangwai give rise to concerns again. A number of green groups Designing Hong Kong, Greenpeace, Green Power, The Conservancy Association (CA), Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (HKBWS) and Friends of the Earth (HK) entrusted the Public Opinion Program of the University of Hong Kong (HKU POP) to conduct public opinion survey on the conservation of Nam Seng Wai and successfully interviewed 1,300 citizens.
According to the poll result, 83% of citizens supported the conservation of the natural landscape in Nam Sang Wai. 61% of citizens support land resumption from landlord with reference to law and the non-in-situ exchange etc, in hopes of continuously protect and conserve the natural environment of Nam Seng Wai. Mr. Hei Man Ng, the Campaign Manager of CA, pointed out that citizen’s determination on conserving Nam Seng Wai is undoubted based on the poll’s result. It also showed that Hong Kong government should put effort on conserving Nam Seng Wai from the public’s perspective. He further supplemented that the conservation measures under the New Nature Conservation Policy are no longer practical as the policy has been implemented since 2004. Government should review the conservation measures under the policy again.
Ms. Ming Chuan Woo, the senior conservation officer in HKBWS, stated that Nam Sang Wai has its unique ecology and natural landscape. Nam Sang Wai has been listed as one of the priority sites for enhanced conservation under the New Nature Conservation Policy since 2004. Its importance is at similar level of other priority site. Moreover, Nam Sang Wai is adjacent to the Ramsar Site, which is well-known in the world, and inside the Conservation Area. It is an important part of the Deep Bay Wetland Ecosystem that cannot be separated.
She pointed out that there is a rich ecological environment in Nam Sang Wai, including fish ponds, mudflats and tidal belts. Its large reed beds are one of the best in Hong Kong. This provides forage and habitat for many conservative species of birds and wildlife, including the globally endangered Black-faced Spoonbill, Chinese Penduline Tit that are of regional concern, Yellow Bittern that are of local concern, and Eurasian Otter. The trees next to the fish ponds in this area are also important habitats for common migratory birds Great Cormorant in the Deep Bay area. Therefore, the ecological environment in Nam Sang Wai must be conserved.
Mr. Chun Yu Kwong and Mr. Hoi Dick Chu, the two legislators, also pointed out the recreational value of Nam Sang Wai among general public. The government should take action to confront the land destruction. Nam Sang Wai is close to the Yuen Long Town Hall. Apart from having a high ecological and conservation value, Nam Sang Wai is also a location for many movies and TV dramas production. It attracts many tourists to cycle, relax and have picnic during holidays. It is a very popular rural leisure spot. In the past ten years, there have been seven fires. However, no one has been arrested. Couple with the private development threats, it is suspicious that the government intentionally indulge the destructive behavior.
Dr. Luk Ki Cheng, the director of the Green Power, said that the citizens are not reluctant to, or even support, the land resumption or the non-in-situ exchange etc as long-term measures in Nam Sang Wai Conservation. The government should make efforts in studying the long-term conservation program of Nam Sang Wai. In the short term, the Government should also take measures to prevent the fire and various threats of destruction, and formulate a management agreement so that the existing habitat can be protected and managed. Meanwhile, public and the next generation can enjoy this natural environment