Joint green group recommendations on Northern Metropolis Strategy:
A call for a holistic conservation policy and timetable for the protection of sites of conservation importance
Photo credit: WWF-Hong Kong
We appreciate and welcome the proactive conservation measures proposed by the Government under the Northern Metropolis Strategy, including the resumption of private fishponds and other wetlands in the Deep Bay area in the Northwestern New Territories under the Land Resumption Ordinance (Cap. 124). However, the Northern Metropolis also has been planned to host a population of about 2.5 million people. With development at such mammoth scale, we consider that a series of measures and actions are required to ensure current conservation efforts are not compromised by developments in the Northern Metropolis area before and during the planning, construction and operation phases. Thus, we urge the Chief Executive and her teams to take the following measures in regard to the nature conservation issues of the Northern Metropolis Strategy: (more…)
土地共享先導計劃 關於南生圍及社山兩宗申請的聯合聲明 Joint Statement from NGOs concerning Two Applications under the Land Sharing Pilot Scheme at Nam Sang Wai and She Shan
Click here for the English version
1. 就最近兩宗在土地共享先導計劃(LSPS)下分別位於南生圍(LSPS-002 )及林村社山(LSPS-003 )的申請，我們希望藉此聯合聲明表達深切關注。該兩個申請地點現在主要為鄉郊環境所覆蓋及包圍，發展密度極低；而有關申請不但會為該兩處引入高樓大廈(LSPS-002：24至25層；LSPS-003：17至39層)，更會帶來龐大人口(LSPS-002：10,487人；LSPS-003：33,937人)。簡而言之，我們認為這兩個項目實在難以理解，我們會在下文詳細闡述。 (more…)
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
Joint statement regarding dumping and land filling by concern groups and environmental NGOs 關注團體及環保組織就傾倒泥頭和填土問題的聯署信
Dumping and land filling on land reserved for conservation and agricultural uses continues to impact Hong Kong’s habitats, ecology and biodiversity. Concern groups and environmental NGOs are deeply concerned over the lack of preventive and enforcement action by government against unauthorized and unintended land uses.
Today, Designing Hong Kong together with other concern groups urge government to remove the obstacles in legislation, establish a public and transparent land database and set up a Conservation Enforcement Task Force.
Joint statement by concern groups and environmental NGOs regarding dumping and land filling:
Government is preparing a Biodiversity Action and Strategy Plan.
The objective is to better safeguard Hong Kong’s biodiversity, and to contribute to safeguarding the world’s biodiversity.
Our concern is the absence of a comprehensive debate.
Hong Kong’s land supply strategy and conserving biodiversity need to be looked at as one and not two discussions in separate rooms.
There is also an urgent need to reform legislation to protect habitats on private land, as proven by the ongoing land filling and tree felling throughout rural areas and country parks.
The BSAP consultation will conclude mid-nite 7 Apr 2016.
Below are links to the Government website as well as suggestions and form letters to aid your timely response.
Designing Hong Kong form letter for your use.
2. Presentations Public forum – BSAP: Charting a sustainable future for Hong Kong – held on 19 March.
關注東涌發展的組織包括： 創建香港、生態教育及資源中心、綠色力量、香港觀鳥會、Hong Kong Outdoors、大嶼山愛護水牛協會、長春社、世界自然（香港）基金會
An alliance of concern groups has submitted a proposal to Government for a River Nature Park covering the Tung Chung River and Estuary.
The proposal is for Government to resume the private land along the Tung Chung River, most of which will be zoned for conservation and coastal protection uses according to the Tung Chung New Town Recommended Outline Development Plan published by the Planning Department in 2014.
It is proposed that the land is resumed for public purposes including flood control andnature conservation. We further propose that the Tung Chung River Nature Park will be managed as a public amenity for leisure, recreation and appreciation of nature, as well as for flood hydraulics.
We believe this proposal will benefit land owners, as well as local residents and visitors. The park will provide a quality nature experience for the growing population of Tung Chung and for visitors, while protecting the community from flooding.
Alliance of concern groups includes: Designing Hong Kong, Eco-Education and Resource Centre,Green Power, Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, Hong Kong Outdoors, Lantau Buffalo Association, The Conservancy Association, WWF – Hong Kong
Currently Hong Kong has over 80% of the international flights out of the Pearl River Delta. With the 3rd Runway proponents hope to maintain a large share of this growing market. But with only 7% of the population and manufacturing moving ever further land inwards, how sensible is that? The economic gains benefit a few, while the rest of the community pays. It is not just the money: Air pollution, noise, loss of marine habitat, and traffic – lots of it.