In yet another failed attempt to protect Hong Kong’s environmental assets, a truck owner has been fined just HK$6000 over the dumping of waste in Pui O.
The owner, who has not been identified, was convicted over not revealing the name of the driver.
Under the Waste Disposal Ordinance, the offence of not providing information without reasonable cause carries a penalty of up to HK$100,000 – 15 times the fine levied by the Eastern Magistrates Court on Monday. Continue reading
Here’s a reminder that Lantau’s natural beauty and ecosystem are tourism’s best friend, not its enemy as the government and supporters seem to believe.
Ngong Ping 360 is running a butterfly-themed family promotion over the summer, taking advantage of the presence of Lantau’s 100-plus butterflies species. As well as butterfly-watching, there’s a workshop on taking wildlife photos, another on “butterfly art” a dance performance, and so on.
“We would also like visitors to understand the ecology of Lantau so that they may treasure the natural environment even more,” said Ngong Ping 360 marketing head Vivien Lee. Continue reading
Hong Kong leader CY Leung is under fire from multiple directions for his beach cleanup exercise on South Lantau yesterday.
A team of around 60 government cleaning contractors was hired early Sunday morning to collect and sort the trash at Shui Hau ahead of the arrival of Leung and his 70-strong party of senior bureaucrats, according to local activist Ho Loy. Continue reading
For the second time in less than a month, senior SAR officials have converged on Lantau to collect beach trash.
This morning CY Leung himself led a team of 70 officials that collected 1.35 tonnes of rubbish from Cheung Sha and Shui Hau, RTHK reported. Leung said they had been inspired by the efforts of local residents.
An AFCD official has claimed that rubbish dumping on Pui O wetland is not “significant” because it covers a small area.
In an email exchange with local community members over yet another incident of dumping in Pui O, an official said:
While the dumping activity has affected about 120 m.sq. of abandoned agricultural field, it is considered that the potential ecological impact to Pui O area as a whole is unlikely to be significant in view of the relatively small size of the area affected.
This blog has finally got around to trawling through the submissions to the LegCo hearing on Lantau development in April. First up: environmental groups warn the government’s development programme will lead to “uncontrollable eco-vandalisms” because of the lack of zoning protections and weak enforcement.
In a joint submission, five green NGOs say they are “deeply concerned” by the development-centric model that does not provide adequate protection for important conservation sites.
However, the deficiency in enforcement capabilities due to loopholes in existing legislation has rendered Lantau vulnerable to environmental vandalism.
Highlights from submission to the Development Bureau (full submission here).
No Vision, No Data, No Conservation
The decision-making process on Lantau’s future appears to be explicitly designed to exclude community input. From day one LanDAC membership has been almost wholly drawn from the real estate, tourist and logistics industries, along with government political supporters and appointees. The public rightly doubts the genuineness of this ‘consultation.’
The government plan offers no vision for the island: what will it be like to visit, live or work in Lantau in 2026, 2036 or beyond? The report doesn’t say. At the same time it tries to micro-manage tourist development in ways that are counter-productive. Continue reading
Public consultation (or ‘consultation’) on Lantau development is in its final week. On recent evidence it is difficult to believe it will make a difference.
This blog has attended two public forums on Lantau in the past fortnight – one at Hong Kong University and the other one at Pier 8, Central. The way these work is that senior officials turn up, take notes and occasionally answer questions while people tell them what they’re doing wrong. Then they go back to their offices, tick the ‘consultation’ box and life goes on.
This simple sign contains four ideas totally absent from discussions about the future of Lantau:
- The environmentally fragile coastline should be protected
- It is a natural asset for all to enjoy
- It is important that it should be publicly accessible
- Government should be play an active role to ensure 1), 2) and 3)
What it doesn’t say: the coastline should be turned into a frontline economic development zone to support mass tourism.
Environment Secretary Wong Kam Sing seems to be unaware of the detail of the government’s Lantau development plans.
He told an RTHK interviewer last week that he believed the plans for Lantau South were “primarily” about ecotourism, with “conservation at the core.”
“The environmental impact should be very small,” he added.
Wong did not appear to know that the LanDAC report, issued on January 8, stipulates 14 tourist hot spots around Lantau, including ten in Lantau South (Mui Wo, Tai O, Sunset Peak, Pui O, Cheung Sha, Shui Hau, Tai O Valley, Sokos, Yi O, Fan Lau). Continue reading