More resources needed for protecting key rural sites

Open Letter: Green groups request more resources and funding for protection of high value sites at the 2nd Anniversary of Tai Long Sai Wan

Dear CY [Leung]:

On 8 June 2010, staff of Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden reported unauthorized excavation and construction work at Tai Long Sai Wan. On 16 July 2010, the South China Morning Post reported the ongoing destruction at Tai Long Sai Wan culminating into a strong public outcry that weekend, including over 80,000 people linking up through a dedicated facebook.
In response, Government published a list of 77 enclaves of private land surrounded by Country Parks and announced that prompt action would be taken to include these enclaves into country parks, or to determine their proper uses through statutory planning. In August 2010, the first Development Permission Area plan was gazetted as a three-year interim protection measure for Tai Long Sai Wan.
In 2011, at the first anniversary of Tai Long Sai Wan, only 7 other DPA plans had been prepared for the 54 enclaves not already covered by statutory plans. Now at the second anniversary more than 50% of the enclaves (34) are still without protection.
Moreover, the Government has yet to decide which enclaves will be designated as country parks when their interim protection expires. Since May 2011, the Country and Marine Parks Board has discussed the designation of Tai Long Sai Wan. Time is running out for amending the Country Parks Ordinance by the Legislative Council in time for the expiry of this Development Permission Area plan in August 2013.
Green groups are extremely concerned with the lack of protection of the enclaves from development. The Government has failed to heed our call to ensure that all enclaves would at least be protected with interim Development Permission Area plans by the second anniversary of Tai Long Sai Wan. In the meantime, the Lands Department continues to accept and process applications for land grants for New Territories Exempted Houses in the enclaves. The longer the delay, the more difficult it becomes to agree on statutory zoning plans which balance conservation and the interest of land owners who are keen to develop their land.
Therefore, at the second anniversary of Tai Long Sai Wan we call on Government to:
1.    Confirm the schedule for the designation of TLSW as a Country Park
Will the Administration complete the process before the expiry of the interim protection measure in September 2013? When will the draft proposal be submitted to the Chief Executive in Council under Section 12 of the Country Park Ordinance?
2.    Accelerate the process of designating enclaves of high ecological, geological or landscape value as country park To prevent further damage, ‘destroy first, develop later’ abuses and uncertainty for landowners, will the Administration to accelerate the process of incorporating enclaves into country parks to protect their ecological, geological and landscape value?
3.    Expand list of high value sites to be protected beyond the enclaves
Separately and in addition to the 77 enclaves in Country Parks identified in August 2010, there are other sensitive areas of high ecological, geological or landscape value which face undue development pressure as they have not been covered by statutory Development Permission Area plans. Examples include a strip of land along Kau To Shan (including Wong Chuk Yeung Village, Fo Tan) and some outlying islands (e.g. Yeung Chau in Sai Kung). Will the Government prepare a list of all similar high value areas which require protection by preparing Development Permission Area plans prior to including them into country parks or determining their proper uses through statutory planning?
4.    Implement a ‘Green’ Rural Planning and Improvement Strategy (RuPIS) for enclaves and other high value rural areas Infrastructure and amenities in rural areas are implemented with little funding, design and oversight. The low quality standard of the works by villagers and Rural Public Works programs blight the landscape and often damage the local ecology.
Enclaves are surrounded by Country Park or ecologically sensitive areas. The former Frontier Closed Areas have a uniquely rich ecology due to the lack of human access for an extended period. Village environs lack inadequate provisions for access and parking leading to unauthorized and haphazard uses of surrounding government land designated for conservation. The design and engineering standards of all works in these areas should at least be comparable to works inside Country Parks. Ideally they should be considered designated project under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance.
Will the government agree on a new mechanism to plan, design and implement infrastructure works - such as sewerage, roads, footpaths, trails, cycling tracks, parking areas, sit out areas and others - in rural areas of high ecological and/or landscape value including country park enclaves, the former frontier closed area and village environs?
In addition to views from rural committees and the Heung Yee Kuk, will the government consult and involve green and other concern groups in the planning and design of public works in sensitive areas?
The groups below would be pleased to meet with you and your team to further deliberate on our concerns, and practical solutions going forward.
Yours sincerely

Paul Zimmerman CEO Designing Hong Kong Limited paul@designinghongkong.com Telephone: (852) 3104 2765 Fax: (852) 2187 2305

for and on behalf of
Association for Geoconservation Hong Kong
Designing Hong Kong
Green Lantau Association
Green Power Friends of Sai Kung
Friends of Tai Long Wan
Friends of the Earth (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong Bird Watching Society
Hong Kong Outdoors
Hong Kong Wildlife
The Conservancy Association
Transition South Lantau
WWF (Hong Kong)

C.C.: Chairman and Members of the Country and Marine Parks Board Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Director of Planning Director of Environmental Protection

Share this
Martin Williams's picture

香港 二零一二年八月三日
梁振英先生 行政長官 行政長官辦公室 香港添馬
傳真: (852) 2509 0580 電郵: ceo@ceo.gov.hk
公開信: 大浪西灣事件兩週年── 環保團體要求更多資源及資金以保護高生態價值地點
梁特首:
在 2010 年 6 月 8 日,嘉道理農場暨植物園職員報導有關大浪西灣在未經授權的 情況下被開發及建設;2010 年 7 月 16 日,南華早報報導大浪西灣被持續破壞, 在週末引來社會極大迴響及反對,包括社交網站專頁超過 80,000 次的點擊次數。
為回應事件,政府發表了一個載有 77 幅被郊野公園包圍的私人「不包括土地」 名單,並宣布將採取迅速行動把「不包括土地」納入郊野公園範圍,或通過法定 規劃程序確立合適用途。在 2010 年 8 月,憲報刊登了首個大浪西灣的發展審批 地區圖作為對大浪西灣的過渡性保護,有效期三年。
在 2011 年 -- 大浪西灣事件一週年,54 幅「不包括土地」中,只有 7 個地方被 納入發展審批地區圖則;現在,大浪西灣事件兩週年,仍有超過一半以上的「不 包括土地」(34 幅)並未得到任何保護。
此外,在過渡保護措施期限來臨前,政府仍未決定把哪些「不包括土地」納入指 定郊野公園範圍。自2011年5月起,郊野公園及海岸公園委員會已就指定位於大 浪西灣的郊野公園“不包括的土地”為西貢東郊野公園一部分的建議進行商討; 同時,要在2013年8月該發展審批地區圖到期之前,完成立法會對「郊野公園條 例」進行修訂的時間也越來越緊迫。
環保團體極度關注「不包括土地」的保育進程。政府並沒有順應我們要求──最 低限度,在大浪西灣事件兩週年前,把所有「不包括土地」納入發展審批地區圖 的保護。與此同時,地政總署卻繼續接受並處理「不包括土地」的新界豁免管制 屋宇批地申請。制定法定圖則,需平衡保育及土地持有人不停進行開發的意願。 但時間愈長,制定法定圖則的難度就愈高。
因此,在大浪西灣事件兩週年之時,我們促請政府:
1. 確立把大浪西灣納入為指定郊野公園的時間表 政府會否在過渡保護措施到期前(2013 年 8 月)完成相關程序?於何時提交 「郊野公園條例」第 12 條的建議草案予行政長官?
2. 加快把具高生態、地質或景觀價值的「不包括土地」納入為指定郊野公園的 進程
為防止「先破壞;後發展」的情況在「不包括土地」日趨嚴重,以及釋除土 地持有人的顧慮,政府會否加快把「不包括土地」納入為指定郊野公園的進 程,以保護他們的生態、地質及景觀價值?
3. 在「不包括土地」以外,擴展受保護高價值地點的清單 除了由政府於 2010 年 8 月公佈的 77 幅被郊野公園包圍的「不包括土地」外, 香港仍然有不少高生態、地質或景觀價值的敏感地區正面臨不同程度的發展 壓力,例如沿九肚山一帶的土地(包括火炭黃竹洋村等地)及一些離岸島嶼(如 西貢羊洲)。政府會否為類似的高生態價值地區擬定發展審批地區圖?把它們 納入郊野公園範圍或通過法定規劃程序來確定其應有用途?
4. 為「不包括土地」及其他高價值鄉郊地區實施 “綠色鄉郊規劃及改善策略” (Green RuPIS) 投放於鄉郊地區基建及設施建設的資金並不多,其設計及監督也不足夠。村 民及鄉郊小工程計劃下的工程質量標準,對當地景觀及生態環境構成了極大 破壞。
「不包括土地」是指被郊野公園或生態敏感地區所包圍的地方。前邊境禁區 由於長時間缺乏人跡到訪,因而構成獨特的生態環境。而村界欠缺通道及車 輛停泊設施,容易導致更多未經授權及偶然佔用保育地區及其附近官地的情 況。以上基建設施的設計及工程實行,應最少達到郊野公園內的水準。理想 地,我們希望以上工程能被列為環境影響評估條例下的指定項目。
政府會否同意在具高生態及(或)景觀價值的鄉郊地區,包括郊野公園「不 包括土地」、邊境禁區及村界位置制定一個新機制,以策劃、設計及實施基建 工程?例如污水處理、道路、行人路、小徑、單車徑、停車區及路邊座位等。
在敏感地區的公共工程規劃及設計,除了需要跟鄉事委員會及鄉議局商討外, 政府會否對環保及其他關注團體進行諮詢?
以下團體 期待與你及你的團隊進行會面,以仔細商討我們的關注及商討一些 切實可行的解決方案。
此致 司馬文
行政總裁 創建香港 paul@designihnghongkong.com 電話: (852) 3104 2765 傳真: (852) 2187 2305
謹代表
大浪灣之友 世界自然基金會香港分會 西貢之友 長春社 香港地球之友 香港地貌岩石保育協會 香港自然生態論壇 香港觀鳥會 創建香港 綠色力量 綠色大嶼山協會 Hong Kong Outdoors Transition South Lantau
副本抄送: 郊野公園及海岸公園委員會主席及會員 漁農自然護理署署長 規劃署署長 環境保護署署長