16個團體建議1,120公頃紅花嶺郊野公園 保護當地重要資源 16 groups jointly propose a 1,120-hectare Country Park to protect the important resources at the Robin’s Nest area
香港地貌岩石保育協會、香港大學學生會理學會生態學及生物多樣性學會、香港地球之友、海下之友有限公司、綠領行動、綠色和平、環保觸覺、Hong Kong Outdoors、島嶼活力行動、西貢護牛天使
16 groups have jointly announced a joint statement on the expectations on the upcoming designation of Robin’s Nest Country Park (RNCP). The groups urge Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) to conserve areas of high ecological, historical, cultural, landscape conservation significance under the Country Park system as soon as possible, and to protect and strengthen the important terrestrial ecological corridor between Hong Kong and mainland China. A RNCP boundary was proposed for the consideration of AFCD, covering 1,120 hectares of land with over 95% of government land.
The conservation importance of RNCP has long been recognized by the Government. Roy Ng Hei Man, Campaign Manager of The Conservancy Association, mentioned that “Back in 1993 and 2008, the Territorial Development Strategy Review Study and feasibility study of the Land Use Planning for the Frontier Closed Area by the Planning Department have already recommended the designation of the RNCP respectively. The Government promised in the 2017 Policy Address that Robin’s Nest will be designated as a Country Park while The Secretary of Environment Mr. Wong Kam Sing also confirmed in December 2018 that the designation of the RNCP is on its way. It is clear that the conservation of Robin’s Nest is well-recognized and the Government should therefore not further delay the designation”.
The groups consider that the Country Park system is suitable for the protection, conservation and management of important ecological resources in the Robin’s Nest and associated areas. Woo Ming Chuan, Senior Conservation Officer of The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, said that “The northern slope of Robin’s Nest, extending from Shan Tsui to San Kwai Tin and Lin Ma Hang, is well covered with continuous secondary woodland intermingled with natural streams of conservation concern. It thus supports a high diversity of flora and fauna. Two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) were even designated in this area for the conservation of the highly restricted, rare freshwater fish Chinese Rasbora and one of the most important bat colonies in Hong Kong. The globally vulnerable Chinese Grassbird preferred upland grassland habitat stretches from the southern slope of Robin’s Nest to Wo Keng Shan and Heung Yuen Wai, while the lowland grasslands at Lin Ma Hang and Man Uk Pin are potential wintering sites of this species. Many large fung shui woodlands with mature trees are found along the foot of the southern slope of Robin’s Nest”.
Robin’s Nest is well-recognized as the only obvious terrestrial ecological corridor between Hong Kong and mainland China, with continuous secondary woodland at the northern slope ecologically connected to the Wutongshan National Forest Park in Shenzhen while strips of woodlands and other undisturbed vegetated areas at the southern slope are linked to those at the Pat Sin Leng Country Park. Dr. Cheng Luk Ki, Director of Green Power, said, “This corridor is the only well-vegetated pathway with little built-up area where wild animals (e.g. land birds, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals) can still move between Hong Kong and Shenzhen/Guangdong, thus their population in these two places can be healthily sustained. Therefore, all the habitats along this corridor should be well-protected to maintain such ecological connectivity both across and within the Hong Kong border”.
Various heritage resources within the Robin’s Nest area have different local historical interest or significance. Roy Ng added, “For example, the Grade-2-listed Macintosh Forts at Pak Kung Au and Kong Shan served the role in bringing law and order to the frontier and in the control of illegal immigration. Some ruins, pillboxes and other structures are believed to have been built for defensive purpose during the 20th century. Lin Ma Hang Lead Mine and its adjacent ruins form good evidence in reflecting Hong Kong’s mining history. The hilly terrain of Robin’s Nest is also identified as being of high landscape value in the Landscape Value Mapping of Hong Kong by the Planning Department in 2003”.
Robin’s Nest is not only used by local people for passive recreational activities, but is also becoming more popular among hikers and the public since the opening-up of the Frontier Closed Area. Paul Zimmerman, Chief Executive of Designing Hong Kong, said “All these activities indicate the recreational potential of Robin’s Nest, and the urgency of the Country Park designation, in order to provide better habitat protection and management for the enjoyment of the public. The Country Park Ordinance (Cap. 208) would offer a higher level of protection than the land use control under the Town Planning Ordinance (Cap. 131). Habitats of conservation concern can be actively managed and protected with regular patrols. Facilities for visitors and hiking routes can be designed, provided and maintained in the ecologically and scenically less-sensitive areas of the Country Park, for public education and enjoyment. Existing graves and burial grounds can be respected and managed within the Country Park for better regulation and fire prevention”.
The groups strongly urge AFCD to consider the proposal and define the boundary of the RNCP according to the “Principles and Criteria for Designating Country Parks (2011)” (2011 Principles and Criteria). From the 2011 Principles and Criteria, conservation value, recreation potential as well as landscape and aesthetic value are the key themes of the intrinsic criteria for identifying suitable areas for designating Country Parks, while private land is not automatically taken as a determining factor for exclusion from the Country Park boundary. The aforementioned areas of high ecological, historical, cultural and landscape value should therefore be included within the boundary of RNCP for nature and heritage conservation and management.
Six co-organized groups (in alphabetical order):
The Conservancy Association, Designing Hong Kong, Green Power, The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, The Hong Kong Countryside Foundation, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden
Supporting organizations (in alphabetical order):
Association for Geoconservation, Hong Kong, Ecology & Biodiversity Society, SS, HKUSU, Friends of the Earth (HK), Friends of Hoi Ha, Greeners Action, Greenpeace, Greensense, Hong Kong Outdoors, Living Islands Movement, Sai Kung Cattle’s Angel
飲品業龍頭企業與非政府組織攜手減廢 目標回收七至九成飲品包裝Leading drink companies together with NGOs target 70%-90% recovery of used beverage packaging
太古可口可樂香港董事兼總經理，以及香港飲品商會會長利偉達（Neil Waters）先生表示：「我們非常重視可持續發展。我們不斷重新設計包裝，包括大幅減少PET樽中的塑料重量，使產品包裝百分百可回收。我們將於2019年底前全面轉用百分百循環再造的PET生產所有Bonaqua礦物質水包裝。另外，我們亦將於全港推出300部Bonaqua加水站，支持「自備水樽」。我們將積極尋求再進一步的所有可能性。」 其他主要飲料生產商亦作出類似的承諾。屈臣氏實業飲品製造市務總經理于德超先生表示：「我們自2015年開始一直自發轉用100%再生PET物料作產品包裝，不僅減少生產、使用和浪費塑料，還有助於減低碳排放量。」
(from left to right): Mr. Herbert Yung, Director, Risk Advisory, Deloitte Advisory (Hong Kong); Mr. Edwin Lau, Founder and Executive Director, The Green Earth, Hong Kong and Spokesperson for Drink Without Waste; Mr. Paul Zimmerman, Chairman of the Single-Use Beverage Packing Working Group; and Mr. Neil Waters, President of the Hong Kong Beverage Association.
Leading drink companies together with NGOs target 70%-90% recovery of used beverage packaging
• Over 80% of beverage packaging, or over 1.7 billion containers, were wasted last year.
• The Drink Without Waste initiative supports cash-on-return of used packaging and the installation of refill dispensers.
• The HKSAR government is urged to regulate packaging standards and provide support for recycling.
• The beverage industry will take voluntary measures to reduce waste.
Hong Kong, 6 December 2018: Hong Kong’s leading beverage producers and bottlers, representing nearly half of all the bottled water and soft drinks sold in the city, together with major retailers, recyclers and NGOs, today announce their proposals to reduce the over 1.7 billion used and discarded beverage containers that end up in Hong Kong’s landfills, countryside, beaches and the marine environment. Last year, recovery rates in Hong Kong were at 9% for PET and 0% for liquid cartons.
The Single-Use Beverage Packaging Working Group was formed to help reduce the waste generated from non-alcoholic beverage consumption in Hong Kong. They launched the Drink Without Waste initiative in December last year and now pledge to work towards 70%-90% recovery rates for PET containers and liquid cartons in Hong Kong. They believe that with all parties – government, producers, retailers, recyclers and consumers – working closely together, this increase could be achieved by 2025.
“We all are responsible. We harm the environment when we dispose of single-use beverage containers at our landfills and in the natural environment,” said Edwin Lau Che-feng, Founder and Executive Director of The Green Earth, Hong Kong and spokesperson for Drink Without Waste.
“Our aim is to reduce single-use beverage packaging and, where this is not possible, to increase the recycling rate of packaging with financial incentives. This is to encourage return and collection. Hong Kong also needs to develop efficient recycling for PET bottles and liquid cartons, ensure the quality of used packaging through legislation, and increase public education.”
Strategies and actions to reduce waste from beverage consumption
The group is making four major recommendations to producers, importers, retailers, waste management services, consumers and the HKSAR government: to reduce single-use beverage containers, to regulate packaging standards, to recover used packaging, and to recycle them.
“We support creating an environment in Hong Kong, where consumers routinely refill their own bottles and cups from dispensers for water, soft drinks and other beverages throughout the city,” said Dana Winograd, Director of Plastic Free Seas.
Simeon Cheng, Head of Sustainability at MTR Corporation Limited echoed this view: “We have installed water dispensers in Tung Chung Station and Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, and we are continuing to monitor the usage and effectiveness of our programme.”
Mike Kilburn, Assistant General Manager, Sustainability at the Airport Authority Hong Kong, said: “HKIA has one of the largest networks of drinking fountains and hot water dispensers in Hong Kong. As of 2018, Airport Authority Hong Kong has installed 104 drinking fountains and 23 hot water dispensers in 13 locations throughout the terminal buildings. These fountains and hot water dispensers provide a welcome amenity and a free alternative to drinks served in single use plastic beverage containers to the passengers and staff travelling through and working at HKIA. Information about the locations of our drinking fountains and hot water dispensers is available through the “HKG MyFlight” app and other NGO platforms. We would be delighted to share our experience with others who may be interested to deploy drinking fountains and hot water dispensers of their own.”
The group supports the HKSAR government call for cash-on-return schemes to increase recovery rates of plastic bottles. The group proposes that these schemes are extended to other packaging, including liquid cartons. Currently the recovery rates for used metal cans in Hong Kong is 85%, demonstrating the effectiveness of a monetary value. The group proposes that a levy should be collected from producers and importers to cover the cost of cash-on-return schemes and to help subsidise logistics and local recycling.
According to the group, regulations to homogenise all plastic bottles and liquid cartons allows used packaging to be processed into valuable feedstock such as PET and paper for new packaging and other products.
“We take sustainability seriously,” said Neil Waters, Director and General Manager of Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong and President of the Hong Kong Beverage Association. “We continuously reengineer our packaging, including significantly cutting the amount of plastic in our bottles and making our packaging 100% recyclable. Through 2019 we will complete the conversion of all our ‘Bonaqua’ Mineralized Water packaging to 100% rPET. In addition, we will launch 300 Bonaqua water stations across Hong Kong to promote the Bring Your Own Bottle initiative. We will continue to search out all possible opportunities to do more.”
Other major drink producers are also making similar commitments. “We have voluntarily taken steps to transform our packaging to 100% recycled PET material since 2015,” said Edmond Yu, General Manager – Marketing of A.S. Watson Industries. “This not only reduces the production, use and wastage of plastic, but also helps with cutting carbon emissions.” “Vitasoy Hong Kong supports the Drink Without Waste initiative. Consistently with our Company’s sustainable growth model, we are working on both plastic and carton packaging. For plastics, beyond having implemented and continuing weight reduction, installing Reverse Vending Machines to collect used bottles and Water Refilling machines to support the Bring Your Own Bottle initiative, we are working on enabling recycled PET pilots in our 2019/20 fiscal year. For carton, we are engaging our suppliers and relevant recyclers to collaborate on carton pack collection and recycling in Hong Kong,” said Dorcas Lau, CEO of Vitasoy Hong Kong and Vice President of the Hong Kong Beverage Association.
According to Edwin Lau, the waste import restrictions launched by mainland China since 2018 have changed the recycling practices in Hong Kong and around the world. “Relying heavily on exporting recyclable materials to the mainland and other economies is no longer a solution,” he said. “Hong Kong has to build state-of-the-art recycling facilities to take care of our own waste. This in turn will help develop a circular economy and help our city become sustainable.”
Land and logistic support from the HKSAR government are considered essential to controlling the cost of recycling and to achieving the goal of between 70% and 90% recovery of packaging early.
About Drink Without Waste
The Drink Without Waste initiative demonstrates how industry players and environmental groups can work together to tackle environmental issues. Since December 2017, the Single-Use Beverage Packaging Working Group, a broad coalition of drink producers, bottlers, retailers, recyclers and NGOs, has been working to develop strategies and actions to reduce waste from the consumption of beverages in Hong Kong.
“We all know there needs to be wholesale change in the ways we design, use and recycle single-use packaging,” said Paul Zimmerman, Chairman of the Single-Use Beverage Packing Working Group. “The strategies and actions we recommend are meant to be pragmatic and inclusive for Hong Kong. To stop 90% of beverage packaging from going to waste, all stakeholders including the industry, general public and the HKSAR government, will need to work together closely to limit impacts on consumer price, choice and convenience.”
Members of the group include Airport Authority of Hong Kong, A.S. Watson Group, Dairy Farm Company Limited, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Limited, MTR Corporation Limited, Plastic Free Seas Limited, Swire Beverages Limited, Vitasoy International Holdings Limited, WWF-Hong Kong and other key players.
The group commissioned Deloitte Advisory (Hong Kong) Limited, together with Cistri Limited, to carry out a comprehensive study to identify and evaluate how to effectively manage waste from single-use sealed beverage containers in Hong Kong. The findings informed the development of a positioning paper published by the group.
環團聯合聲明 – 拒絕參與破壞郊野公園 Joint Statement – Green groups refuse to participate in the destruction of Country Parks
長春社、世界自然基金會香港分會、綠色力量、香港觀鳥會、創建香港、綠色和平、綠惜地球、綠領行動、環保觸覺、西貢之友、海下之友、島嶼活力行動、Hong Kong Outdoors、保衛郊野公園、香港地球之友、香港大學學生會理學會生態學及生物多樣性學會、香港海豚保育學會、香港鄉郊基金
Green groups refuse to participate in the destruction of Country Parks
Paragraph 117 of the 2017 Policy Address considered the allocation of country park areas for development of public housing and non-profit-making elderly homes. On 17th May 2017, the Government confirmed that it had invited the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) to undertake studies regarding two sites located on the periphery of Tai Lam Country Park and Ma On Shan Country Park. On 27th April 2018, HKHS announced that it had appointed consultant to study the feasibility of developing the sites.
Green and concern groups received an invitation to attend a consultation meeting on 11th July and to comment on the proposed ecological survey methodology. We are frustrated and discontented with the Government’s proposal of developing the Country Parks, which ignores the original intention of the Country Park Ordinance, the function of Country and Marine Park Board, and undermines the well-established and effective system of protected areas. Furthermore, the Government and HKHS started to plan for developing the periphery of Country Parks before the completion of the public consultation for land supply which claimed to seek for public consensus. All of the above suggests that the Government has always intended to develop the Country Parks. And therefore we refused to join the meeting under such premise and to endorse the act to destruct Country Parks.
Comprising 40% of total land area, Country Park is a valuable asset for Hong Kong. Apart from ecological value, Country Park also contains the value of protecting water gathering grounds, education, landscape, recreation, and so on. The function of Country Park should not be served as land reserve for development. However, the study by HKHS focuses on the ecological value of Country Parks and the technical feasibility for development. Such practice would neglect other important and legal functions of Country Park other than ecological aspect. This would mislead the public to think that the areas of relatively low ecological value at the periphery of Country Parks can be identified solely through the current ecological assessment, thus justifying Country Parks can be developed in a scientific and legitimate way.
The government misleads the public further by using the ambiguous term “periphery” suggesting that these areas are of relatively low ecological value. However, the study areas provided to HKHS are clearly within the Country Park boundary. Country Parks are delineated under the Country Park Ordinance without distinguishing their core or periphery. There is in fact no difference in developing Country Parks or developing the periphery of Country Parks. All such development causes irreversible impacts on their ecological, landscape, recreational and educational values. Moreover, any predetermined development of Country Park areas sets a bad precedent.
Finally, the Government has proposed to use Country Parks for public housing and elderly homes and to test the Country Park Ordinance by using the term “public need”. Without consideration of the availability of ample suitable sites for these types of development, the government puts conservation and housing development unnecessarily in a confrontational position. The Government continues to emphasize the urgency of development of Country Parks and create unnecessary social conflicts. Instead, comprehensive planning and the wise-use of land resources for all social needs should be promoted with priority for redevelopment of brownfields and other under-utilized or idle sites.
The Conservancy Association, WWF-Hong Kong, Green Power, The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, Designing Hong Kong, Greenpeace, The Green Earth, Greeners Action, Green Sense, Friends of Sai Kung, Friends of Hoi Ha, Living Islands Movement, Hong Kong Outdoors, Save Our Country Parks, Friends of the Earth (HK), Ecology & Biodiversity Society, SS, HKUSU, Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, The Hong Kong Countryside Foundation
12th July 2018
Nam Sang Wai Conservation Poll Result 保育南生圍投票結果公佈
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
有害醫療廢料再現香港 市民健康繼續受嚴重威脅 Dangerous and harmful medical waste found on HK’s beaches continues to put people at risk
今天創建香港行政總裁司馬文先生，居民Moran Zukerman，無塑海洋行政總裁Tracey Read及梁嘉麗小姐於政府總部外再次展示在大嶼山海灘收集的大量醫療及化學廢料，並呈交環境保護署進行調查。
Collected medical waste within 7 months
Letter submission to Environmental Protection Department (EPD)
Dangerous and harmful medical waste found on HK’s beaches continues to put people at risk
Hazardous medical waste continues to pollute Hong Kong’s water and beaches. The waste poses a huge risk to the health and safety of tourists and Hong Kong people.
Today, Designing Hong Kong’s CEO Paul Zimmerman, Moran Zukerman, a local resident, and Plastic Free Seas’ CEO Tracey Read and Julia Leung again submitted a large amount of medical and chemical waste retrieved from a Lantau beach to the Environmental Protection Department.
It is the third and largest delivery of medical waste to the EPD for investigation. In a letter they seriously urged EPD to take follow-up action. The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has yet to publish the investigation outcomes after large amounts of medical and chemical waste were collected and delivered to the government on 12th July 2016 and 6th December 2016 respectively.
Reports of syringes and needles washing up on beaches all over Hong Kong have been lodged since 2008. To show the scale of the issue Mr Zukerman has concentrated his efforts on collecting dangerous medical waste from one small Lantau beach since last year. This third delivery in 12 months includes 529 syringes, 402 without needles and 127 syringes with needles. Also included are drug vials, medicine bottles and medicine packets. Some of the items have evidence of bite marks by fish. “Government has hired more contractors for beach cleaning, but I keep finding more medical waste,” Zukerman said. “I don’t want beach cleaning. I want full forensic investigation into potential source points, and preventative strategies to stop medical waste floating in our seas.”
“Some of the medicine looks to be originating from China, others are obviously from Hong Kong,” Plastic Free Seas’ CEO Tracey Read said. “The HKSAR government needs to have an inter-departmental collaboration with Guangdong counterparts to investigate the sources and nature of the waste and establish an action plan to deal with the illegal disposal of hazardous medical and veterinary waste in China and Hong Kong. Preventing the waste from leaking into the environment is of the utmost importance.”
One solution to stop improper disposal of local medicines and used syringes is to facilitate a Hong Kong “take-back” program for unwanted medicines and accessible disposal facilities for used syringes. Government can work with public and private health facilities to provide sharps bins (for used syringes) and containers for unwanted medicines.
Press release on 12thJuly 2016: https://goo.gl/42p5DX
Press release on 6th December 2016: https://goo.gl/3kGZSB
New dangerous medical waste found at HK’s beaches puts residents at risk 新危險醫料廢料襲港，對市民構成嚴重威脅
創建香港行政總裁司馬文先生，居民Moran Zukerman及無塑海洋行政總裁Tracey Read今天於政府總部外展示大批於大嶼山海灘拾獲的醫療廢物，並再次交給環境保護署化驗及作進一步的調查。此外，他們更向環境保護署遞交信件，表達對事件的極度關注及促請有關部門盡快展開調查及跟進工作。
Hazardous medical waste continues to pollute Hong Kong’s water and beaches. The waste threatens the health and safety of local residents.
The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has yet to respond and publish the investigation outcomes after large amounts of medical waste were collected and delivered to government on 12 July 2016.
Today, Designing Hong Kong’s CEO Paul Zimmerman, Moran Zukerman, a local resident, and Plastic Free Seas’ CEO Tracey Read submitted again a large amount of medical waste retrieved from a Lantau beach to the EPD outside the Central Government Office. In a letter they urged EPD to take follow up action.
The newly found dangerous medical waste collected at one Lantau beach from July – November 2016, includes 303 syringes without needles, 96 syringes with needles, more than 200 drug vials, a collection tube suspected of containing human blood, plastic medicine bottles and packets. Some of the items have evidence of bite marks by fish.
What is now needed is an in-depth inter-departmental investigation into the source and nature of the waste and to establish a database and action plan which deals with the illegal disposal of hazardous medical waste.
The government is urged to act with expediency in response to the medical waste found.
Press release on 12 July 2016: https://goo.gl/42p5DX
鄉議局破壞郊野公園 土地已售予發展商 Country Parks under attack from the Heung Yee Kuk
上週末在高塘下洋慘遭破壞的季節性濕地有超過6成土地屬於榮登拓展有限公司。該公司由陳麗明持有，並由范惠玲擔任秘書，在2012年2月以$6,702,008購入鄰近多個地段。我們到訪該公司的註冊地址，發現現址為“New Hall Design Limited” 的建築設計公司，同樣由陳麗明持有。職員稱公司擁有高塘下洋的土地，但負責人正在休假。她們會在下週聯絡我們，以得知鄉議局是否合法地取得業主同意下斬樹。
【Country Parks under attack from the Heung Yee Kuk】
Last Sunday, the Heung Yee Kuk felled trees and removed vegetation on wetland deep inside the Sai Kung Country Park.
It was a protest against Government’s plan to zone the area for conservation. The Kuk claimed the zoning would restrict farming on this enclave of private land. This is nonsense for two reasons. First, farming is always allowed, even on agricultural land in country parks. Secondly, our investigation has now revealed that the land in question was sold to developers in 2012. The indigenous villagers long gave up their interest in farming.
What the Heung Yee Kuk is really after is the right to build small houses on private land in country parks. The pattern of the sale of village land to developers, destruction of vegetation, the push for rezoning and the illegal sale of the “Ding” right to build small houses, is replayed constantly throughout the New Territories, including deep inside our country parks.
The Small House Policy is unsustainable, attracts illegal activities, and results in environmentally disastrous developments. The Kuk’s push for small houses in country park enclaves is harmful to the surrounding country parks and nearby marine resources. Since the Tai Long Sai Wan incident in 2010, Designing Hong Kong together with community, hiking and conservation groups has worked hard to protect the country parks from these destructive developments.
Heung Yee Kuk ‘farming’ lies exposed
Over 60% of the seasonal wetland in Ko Tong Ha Yeung which was subject to tree felling this weekend, was bought by Glory Top Develop Limited on February 2012 for $6,702,008. The company is owned by Chan Lai Ming, and Fan Wai Ling is the secretary. We visited their office which was branded “New Hall Design Limited” – a company with the same directors. Staff confirmed that the land at Ko Tong Ha Yeung was theirs, but that the person in charge was on holiday and would call us back upon her return next week. Whether the Heung Yee Kuk had approval to cut the trees is yet unclear.
Records uncovered by Designing Hong Kong’s land searches for Tai Tan, Uk Tau, Ko Tong and Ko Tong Ha Yeung can be found here:http://goo.gl/QJPt4B
News Reports on Designing Hong Kong Findings:
News Report on villagers tree felling and vegetation clearance:
Hong Kong Free Press: https://goo.gl/10Ynma
大量危險醫療廢料襲港，團體促請政府徹查廢料來源 Dangerous medical waste found at HK’s beaches
創建香港行政總裁司馬文先生、無塑海洋教育項目經理梁嘉麗小姐及居民Moran Zukerman今天展示大批於大嶼山三白灣 (愉景北商場旁) 拾獲的醫療廢料，這些廢料由本年5月起開始收集，經分類及調查後，有明顯證據顯示廢料來自中國廣東省。
Dangerous medical waste found at HK’s beaches
Large amounts of marine waste washes up at Hong Kong’s beaches regularly, especially during rainy season. Heavy rain fails over the last month has triggered large amounts of waste washing into the seas.
“What is now needed is an in-depth investigation into the type and source of the waste rather than black bag beach cleaning actions,” said Paul Zimmerman.
Paul Zimmerman, CEO of Designing Hong Kong, together with Julia Leung, Program Manager – Education of Plastic Free Seas and Moran Zukerman, a local resident, presented dangerous medical waste found among rubbish collected from a Lantau beach, Sam Pak Wan, since May this year. Many items had definitive markings pointing at locations in the Guangdong Province.
Medical waste collected were for human and veterinarian use (antibiotics and preventative medicine), and many are hazardous and potentially poisonous.
Paul Zimmerman explained: “We sorted and investigated the waste, most of them are vials, syringes, plastic/glass bottles, dialysis bags, medical pills, fully intact glass ampoules. From the brands and simplified Chinese text, it is obviously come from locations in the Guangdong Province. We even found a working pass from a Chinese government transport officer among the waste.”
Open waste dumps are a long standing problem in Hong Kong and on the Mainland. Exposed waste is subject to flooding and washing out to rivers and seas. Hazardous medical waste poses a health risk as beachgoers could injure and infect themselves by stepping on needles. Moran Zukerman, a local resident who has been living in Hong Kong for over 15 years, expressed his concern: “Medical waste is beyond littering, it’s not only harmful to the environment and oceans, but also causes a threat to human beings who consume the fish and many of the medical products shows signs of fish bites who are exposed to those dangerous items, and are eventually consumed by humans.”
Julia Leung explained: “Plastic Free Seas and Green DB have since 2013 reported the medical waste found on beaches to the Marine Department and the Environmental Protection Department. There were also media reports at that time. It is entirely unclear what investigation has been conducted by the EPD into the sources, and what action have been taken to contact the authorities and medical institutions both in Hong Kong and the Mainland.”
“We urge the government to seriously investigate the medical waste we found. The items will be sent to the Environmental Protection Department for investigation and follow up action.”
Fix it: Stop waste before it floats
Waste retrieved from Aberdeen Harbour by the Save Aberdeen Harbour Alliance on 25 June 2016
Fix it: Stop waste before it floats
Report of open waste dump at Wei Ling Ding island: http://goo.gl/WKOzQy (Chinese only)
Facebook video of illegal waste dumps in Hong Kong: https://goo.gl/77r5AL
Let’s not blame the rain
For as long as the government has tracked data on marine refuse, it shows that during the rainy season, the weight of marine refuse collected from the seas and shores increases.
The latest increase in floating rubbish washing onto Hong Kong shores has been linked by the government with the recent extreme rain events throughout the region.
The relationship is plausible. Rainwater washes floating debris left on the land into drains, culverts, streams and rivers, and on to the open seas.
Extreme rain also causes flooding which dislodges debris and again this will flow to the sea. So what to do next? First of all, let’s not blame the rain and climate change.
The Pearl River Delta has (for a very long period) had a subtropical climate with rainy seasons. Repeated sudden deluges of large amounts of water have been a fact of life for many centuries. Climate change is predicted to result in fewer rain days but an increase in the average rainfall intensity.
Consumerism is a problem – but not the cause of marine waste
Others blame consumerism and our lifestyle, especially the shift to packaged food distribution, and one-off serving containers for meals and drinks.
While correctly pointing out that behaviour changes can significantly reduce the volumes of waste produced in this region with rapid urbanisation, rise in income and the feeding of millions of workers, it does not address the cause of floating marine refuse.
Waterproof all waste handling
Floating marine refuse can only be addressed by fixing the structural problem of poorly contained rubbish lying on land.
The coastal dump site at the island of Wei Ling Ding is not the only one along the coast and rivers of the mainland and Hong Kong.
Look no further than the villages and brownfields of the New Territories, or look around Hong Kong Island, and discover how much rubbish lies open and exposed to rain at the government’s refuse collection points.
Add to that the illegal dumping, including hazardous medical waste, by unscrupulous collectors of waste.
By all means, the government should model sea currents to try and pinpoint the source of the recent upsurge in floating waste, but we should not waste time.
With years of evidence of increases in marine refuse during the rainy seasons we can safely agree on the general narrative: we need to waterproof our waste handling from consumers to waste processors, both in Hong Kong and China. And with climate scientists predicting more extreme rainfall, we need to do this sooner rather than later.
(Article was first published in the South China Morning Post, 16 July 2016)
「反對東大嶼都會計劃」橫額首掛交椅洲 Banner hanged on Kau Yi Chau to object East Lantau Metropolis
(新聞稿2016年6月26日) 7名來自多個環保和關注團體的成員，今日登上計劃填海作東大嶼都會的交椅洲，掛上一幅長40米，闊3米的大型橫額，抗議政府帶頭破壞程序公義，向全國人大委員長張德江展示本應年底才公布的大嶼山發展藍圖模型，當中更包括東大嶼都會計劃及其大型策略性道路系統，惟政府在公眾諮詢期間卻未有公開該模型。多個團體同時發表聯合聲明，強調現時東大嶼都會和策略性道路系統的建設沒有得到充分的理據支持，很可能成為新一個「大白象工程」，政府應撤回現時在立法會工務小組的「中部水域人工島策略性研究」撥款申請。 發展局在5月22日的「局長隨筆」率先回覆，指「相關模型只是用以輔助說明大嶼山發展的概念，並非定案」，其後局方回覆守護大嶼聯盟的查詢時，又指「在今年1月至4月舉行的大嶼山發展公眾參與活動的公眾論壇及諮詢會上，由於參與人數眾多，展示實物模型在此情况並不適合，故我們選擇以投影片配合詳細講解」。發展局的解釋極為牽強，該模型已清楚展示東大嶼都會的整體樓宇佈局、道路網絡、填海範圍等重要資料，而模型在大嶼山發展公眾諮詢的過程從來沒有向公眾公開，是嚴重剝奪公眾的知情權。 政府最近在立法會工務小組提交最新的文件，仍無提供充分的資料證明此發展項目的需要，如香港是否需要第三個核心商業區和東大嶼都會與解決未來房屋供應的關係，加上政府亦沒有全面考慮發展棕土、短租及閒置官地等其他較佳的方式來增加土地供應，反映政府推行東大嶼都會計劃的理據薄弱。計劃涉及大規模填海和多項大型基建，將會成為香港史上最昂貴的「大白象工程」。 東大嶼都會需要進行大規模填海工程，對海洋生態和水質造成極大影響，而策略性道路系統則會入侵郊野公園和許多生態敏感地區，為南大嶼山、梅窩等帶來龐大的發展壓力，並會增加在附近水域航運的船隻流量，危害漁業資源。 在缺乏任何數據及研究支持下，東大嶼都會計劃不應草率上馬，團體促請政府應撤回正在立法會工務小組的「中部人工島策略性研究」撥款的申請，並應提供充足的資料，如全港土地資料庫和東大嶼都會與解決未來房屋供應的關係，以回應市民的質疑。這樣政府和民間才可再次合作，大嶼山才可走向可持續發展。 多個環保團體和關注團體亦發起網上聯署平台(網址：https://goo.gl/vMxQLe)，鼓勵公眾直接將網上意見書傳送至發展局。團體同時呼籲立法會議員及擬參選來屆立法會選舉的候選人簽署「反對東大嶼都會計劃」約章，爭取他們支持擱置東大嶼都會計劃及中部水域人工島策略性研究撥款。 聯署團體(依筆劃序)﹕ 本土研究社、守護大嶼聯盟、長春社、城西關注組、香港海豚保育學會、香港觀鳥會、創建香港、綠色力量、綠色和平 (Press release, 26 June 2016) After landing on Kau Yi Chau which is planned for reclamation to be established as the East Lantau Metropolis (ELM), seven activists from green groups and concerned groups hung a huge banner with a length of 40 meters and a width of 3 meters to protest against violation of procedural justice by the government. The government had showed a model of Lantau development blueprint, including ELM and large scale strategic road system which should be published at the end of 2016, to chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Zhang Dejiang. However, this model had not been shown by the government during public consultation. Green groups and concerned groups issued a joint statement to emphasise the justification to support the construction of ELM and strategic road system was not enough and it was of high potential to become another “White Elephant”. Government should withdraw the application for appropriation of Strategic studies for artificial islands in the central waters from the Legco public works subcommittee. Development Bureau replied through “My Blog” on 22nd May that the concerned model was just used to enhance the explanation of the concept of Lantau Development and was not a finalized model. Afterwards, Development Bureau replied Save Lantau Alliance’s enquiry and pointed out that, “Since it is too crowded during the public forum and consultation meeting of Lantau development public engagement from January to April 2016, we chose to explain the plan by using a slideshow, rather than a physical model.” The explanation of the Development Bureau was just a far-fetched excuse since the model had showed clearly details of ELM such as the distribution of buildings, road network and a range of reclamation which was not disclosed to the public during the public consultation of Lantau Development. It is a severe deprivation of the right to know by the public. The latest documents submitted by the government, to Legco public works subcommittee still could not provide enough justifications to support the plan of establishing the ELM. For example, does Hong Kong need the third core commercial zone? What is the relationship between ELM and solving the problem of future housing supply? Besides, the government did not consider other better ways to increase the land supply such as developing brownfield, government land for short term tenancy and idle government land. It showed the justification to establishing ELM was weak. Furthermore, as the large-scale of reclamation and many capital constructions are required, it would be the most expensive “White Elephant” project for Hong Kong. Large-scale reclamation works was required for ELM, which would severely damage the marine ecosystem and deteriorate the water quality. The strategic road system would invade country parks and many ecologically sensitive areas, bringing huge development pressure to South Lantau and Mui Wo and damaging the fishery resources by increasing the vessel traffic on the water around. Lack of data and study support means the ELM should not be established instantly. Groups urged the government to withdraw the application for appropriation of Strategic studies for artificial islands in the central waters from the Legco public works subcommittee and provide enough information such as land database for Hong Kong and the relationship between ELM and solving the problem of future housing supply, so as to reply to the citizen’s questions. In this case, the government and the public cooperate again to ensure the sustainable development of Lantau can be achieved. Green groups and concerned groups had set up an online platform (Website: https://goo.gl/bFbsNR) to encourage the public to directly send the comment to the Development Bureau. At the same time, groups call Legislative council members and candidates intended to participate in the coming Legco election to sign the charter of “Opposition to East Lantau Metropolis” in order to ask for their support to stop the ELM and the application for appropriation of strategic studies for artificial islands in the central waters. Co-signatories (in alphabetical order): Designing Hong Kong , Greenpeace Green power Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society Liber Research Community Sai Wan Concern Save Lantau Alliance The Conservancy Association The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society