Reply To: Developers versus rural areas inc Tai Long Wan


Email I've just sent some HK green groups, in response to message about concerted action for Ma Shi Chau:

After seeing Shui Mong Tin emails this morning, I visit Facebook and see:

"Deadline Oct 30 for your SUPPORT of DPAs for Hoi Ha , So Lo Pun, and Pak Lap."


" Say Yes to the Protection of Pak Nai"

This follows soon after Sai Wan, and with columbarium threat on Lantau. Etc etc.

Too many, scattered threats.

I remember Lisa Hopkinson rallying green groups and others when there was potential threat at Ham Tin, Tai Long Wan. Development there was greatly restricted.

To me, seemed this could lead to more such action; yet there hasn't been a lot that I've noticed, until the past few weeks.

Meanwhile, developers and others have been moving.

As we all appreciate, protection should not be largely on case-by-case basis, especially not responding as and when emergencies happen (Sai Wan, say).

Over years since Ham Tin case, in my view, much talk, not enough action, about protecting a variety of rural sites.

I believe DPAs should be standard in many more places. Should have followed Ham Tin, if not earlier. Not hanging around till now.

Perhaps this is time to rally more support for those in government who would like to do more; I mentioned similar to Edward Yau, and he said they need support from all walks of life. [Haven't met Donald Tsang; you'd think having a birdwatcher in charge should be helpful… ….]

One small way might be for petitions etc for individual places to consistently mention for DPAs at other (unspecified) important rural sites.

From public relations point of view, also good if can have some consistent message about rural sites.

Something that counters the idea that if you buy land, and maybe trash it, you can do as you want with it.

Something that can be repeated, in similar form, by various groups, so that it becomes widely accepted. Simpler than the "technical" details re OZP/DPA, but not too vague.

Facebook group on Sai Wan helps show the time may be right.

Important, as Paul Zimmerman and others have noted, to build on Sai Wan and other cases, to increase support for protecting green areas in Hong Kong.

It has been a long time since country parks were established, in what was surely a bold and visionary move. More progress now needed.

So no clear plan here in my email, I'm afraid. But a belief that broad action is needed, and possible.

As you may know, I run a website, Hong Kong Outdoors

Includes a forum. My idea in establishing this was partly to set up a site that could include a range of info/views – not "just" from WWF or FOE, say; help spread conservation message.

You would be welcome to post there, even if copying existing info. English or Chinese, or better still both, are ok.

– site has less immediate impact than Facebook, but  can be useful longer term, including for search engines. For instance, top in google for "hong kong disneyland shark fin"

Well, maybe all the above seems old to you.

Or maybe it could be useful to discuss ideas, see if it's possible to come up with concerted messages and aims for safeguarding areas that deserve protection.