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On 4 February, we invited you to give us ideas for making better use of our payphone locations.
Next, we published the 34 proposals and asked people to vote here.
Today we announce the voting results so far. The three most and the three least liked ideas, as well as the full results, are below.
We urge the Government to replace our payphones with multi-purpose communications panels, reverse vending machines where you can drop off plastic bottles, and hydra-chills where you can fill up chilled water.
Feel free to leave us your comments on our facebook/ the comment section below.
The full voting results to-date.
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
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.
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
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
|2.||CoVision 16, 建築師||關兆倫|
Formation of a Citizens Task Force on Land Resources
A “Citizens Task Force on Land Resources” has been formed with 27 members bringing together a wide range of interests from business to land justice groups.
Plans to form a Citizens Task Force followed the announcement of the membership of the government’s Task Force on Land Supply last week. A preparatory meeting was held on 7 September.
The Chief Executive in her manifesto promised to “draw on the collective wisdom of society and recognise the need for compromises” and to “establish a dedicated task force representing various sectors… ”. However, the government Task Force appears to omit many sectors. Absent, for example, are concern and research groups including younger talent.
The Citizens Task Force will meet monthly or as needed. The meetings will be public subject to available venues.
The Citizens Task Force on Land Resources seeks to broaden and facilitate the debate to some critical issues including sustainable development, the optimal uses of land, and the conservation of resources.
Three working groups will be formed for evidence based discussions on Sustainability Principles and Indicators; Current and Future Land Use; and Land Supply. They will consider all available evidence on population, immigration, economic development, employment, land use, housing and land supply.
Under the Code of Access to Information the Citizens Task Force will request Government for equal and timely access to all relevant information available to Government and its Task Force.
The Citizens Task Force seeks to generate constructive ideas and effectively engage the community in rational discussions over Hong Kong’s land use and land supply options.
Annex: Participants in the Citizen Task Force on Land Resources
|Organization / Profession||Name|
|2.||CoVision 16||Kwan Siu Lun|
|3.||Central and Western District Concern Group||Katty Law|
|4.||Designing Hong Kong||Paul Zimmerman|
|6.||Engineer||C M Lee|
|8.||HKBU (Department of Geography)||Tang Wing Shing|
|9.||HK Countryside Foundation||Lam Chiu Ying|
|10.||University professor||Dr. Brian Fong|
|12.||Institute of Future Cities, CUHK||Mee Kam Ng|
|13.||CUHK||Leung Kai Chi|
|14.||Land Watch||Lee Wing Tat|
|15.||East Lantau Metropolis Concern Group||Tom Yam|
|18.||Legislator, Land Justice League||Chu Hoi Dick|
|19.||Legislator, Housing Authority||Andrew Wan Siu Kin|
|20.||Liber Research||Chan Kim Ching|
|21.||Liber Research||Camille Lam|
|22.||Town Planner||Ian Brownlee|
|27.||Land Justice League||Leung Tak Ming|
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。
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.
> Petition Link: http://supporthk.org/en/node/4412/ <
On 17 June 2017, a 38-year-old father slipped and fell down the at Waterfall Bay. At least three people had a fatal accident here since 2006. We asked government for a pedestrian footbridge in 2010 but progress has been slow.
We need a guarantee that government will provide a safe link for residents who walk between Wah Fu Estate and Cyberport and for those who would like to enjoy the spectacular views of the Waterfall.
Sign Now to urge the government to speed up a safe footbridge at Waterfall Bay!
AM730 column on the same: Link
News report of accident (Chinese): Link
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
東涌河是香港少數保持著天然狀態的河流系統。東涌河發源自九百多米的鳯凰山和大東山〈分別是香港第二和第三高峰〉，從河源到東涌灣的河口形成連續和貫通的高山至河口海岸的整全河流生態系統，孕育不少高保育價值的物種，包括紫身枝牙鰕虎魚(Stiphodon atropurpureum) 、北江光唇魚(Acrossocheilus beijiangensis)、中國鱟〈馬蹄蟹〉(Tachypleus tridentatus)、舒氏海龍(Syngnathus schlegeli) 、黃嘴白鷺 (Egretta eulophotes), 裳鳳蝶 (Troides helena) 及白頸鴉（Corvus torquatusis）等。
【Press Statement：Green groups jointly call for extension of proposed Tung Chung River Nature Park】
Green groups jointly propose to extend the Tung Chung River Nature Park so that it covers both the eastern and western sections of the river, and the estuary.
To implement this proposal, the Government is to resume the private land along the Tung Chung River and the estuary as part of the Tung Chung New Town Extension Development Plan, and to manage the extended Tung Chung River Nature Park as a public amenity for leisure, recreation and appreciation of nature, as well as a drainage facility to control flooding.
Tung Chung River largely retained its natural state from Hong Kong’s second and third highest peaks, all the way down to the shallow estuary in Tung Chung Bay. It offers one of the few remaining natural low land habitats and is exceptionally rich in aquatic and coastal biodiversity. It includes many rare and endangered species, such as the Philippine Neon Goby (Stiphodon atropurpureum 紫身枝牙鰕虎魚), Beijiang Thick-lipped Barb (Acrossocheilus beijiangensis 北江光唇魚), Chinese Horseshoe Crab (Tachypleus tridentatus 中國鱟), Seaweed Pipefish (Syngnathus schlegeli 舒氏海龍), Swinhoe’s Egret (Egretta eulophotes 黃嘴白鷺), as well as the Common Birdwing (Troides helena 裳鳳蝶) and Collared Crow (Corvus torquatusis白頸鴉).
In the zoning plan for Tung Chung Valley gazetted on 08/01/2016, a river park is proposed to cover only the eastern section of Tung Chung Valley. It is zoned as OU (For River Parks only), and is expected to be managed by the Drainage Services Department. The western section of the river and the estuary are currently zoned for conservation uses including Coastal Protection Area (CPA) and Conservation Area (CA). The green groups now propose that the western section of the river and estuary should also be included under the zoning of OU (For River Parks only).
Over the past two decades we observed a proliferation of incompatible developments and eco-vandalism in Tung Chung River Valley. Ecologically degraded land areas increased from 4.8% in 2007 to approximately 13% in 2015.
Unless the private lands along the river banks and estuary are resumed under the New Town development plan, and managed and patrolled by relevant government departments as part of the River Park, these areas would be doomed. Government has at times itself admitted that under the current planning and environmental laws, it is unable to safeguard private land from environmental destruction.
The additional land acquisition cost is estimated at $300 million. This proposal will benefit the land owners, as well as local residents and visitors.
The green groups’ proposal to extend the River Nature Park will ensure the long term sustainability of Tung Chung River and the estuary as a natural resource for the use and enjoyment by existing and future residents of Tung Chung New Town, protect ecologically sensitive habitats, and allow the management of local flood hydraulics.
Designing Hong Kong
Eco-Education & Resources Centre
Hong Kong Bird Watching Society
Lantau Buffalo Association
The Conservancy Association
WWF – Hong Kong
The zoning plan (land use) and the lot index plan (land ownership) show the park proposed by Government (8.45Ha) and the bigger park proposed by green groups (21.5Ha).
In the zoning plan for the Tung Chung Valley gazetted on 08/01/2016, the area zoned “OU (For River Parks only)” covers only the eastern section of the Tung Chung Valley (blue striped outline).
The green groups push for the western section of the river and the estuary to be added (red dotted outline) and to resume the private lands within the extended park area.