Dreams of Gordon Wu and Ark Eden Lantau

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    Here’s an email I sent to Hong Kong Outdoors members on the morning of 1 April:

    Just received this email, from Hopewell:

    “Dear Dr Martin Williams:

    Sir Gordon Wu has instructed me to write to you, regarding the information and ideas you and other environmentalists have presented regarding the future of Lantau Island.

    The material has proven of immense interest to Sir Gordon, and he now has some misgivings regarding the viability of the proposed Zhuhai – Macau – Hong Kong Bridge, and its likely negative impact on Hong Kong’s environment.

    After reviewing alternative proposals, Sir Gordon has prepared his own Green Vision for Lantau. This includes strengthening protection of the rural areas, extensive planting of native tree species, protection and improvement of marshes – and construction of a grand visitor centre, Ark~Eden Lantau.

    This centre will emulate the Eden Project in Cornwall, England. However, as Sir Gordon likes to “think big”, it will be larger and bolder, to spread an eco-friendly message across South China and beyond. It will include a platform for viewing our wonderful pink dolphins, information on the shark fin industry and how we can reduce it, and exhibits spanning south China rainforests and native species including our tiny treasure, Romer’s tree frog.

    Sir Gordon would like to invite you to join a team to plan the above projects, working with others in the construction industry.

    Chief Executive Donald Tsang has expressed great interest in the plan, saying, ‘I believe that children are the future.’

    This offer to participate in the plans expires at midday today.”

    At midday, I sent this follow up:

    Oh dear, midday on 1 April arrives.

    Alas, just as Cinderella’s coach turned to a pumpkin at midnight, it’s back to reality w Sir Gordon and his plans for the Bloody Big Bridge and to hell with the dolphins, the frogs, and any semblance of clean air over north Lantau.

    Ah well, perchance to dream; gotta still try making plans, arguing for commonsense, I think.

    All the best for April Fools’ Day!

    – yet I did receive some emails supporting the idea of Gordon Wu doing good for the environment on Lantau, even if some caution re whether the grandiose Ark~Eden would be so good for the environment; snippets from them:

    Good work Martin!
    I would be most interested to participate and I have time in my hand. …
    After reading the email below. I don’t feel delighted but to worry about Lantau’s future.
    I do think that education is crucial to conserve our nature. But the Eden Project in England is a big one. I can’t imagine how much money would be spent on these projects. Would the Grand Visitor Centre be another wetland park? The undisturbed nature itself is already grand and attractive enough. Our children can learn from it, see it, hear it, touch it and feel it.
    fantastic! let me know if you need kids or help or Eco arts stuff!!!
    Wtf? I wouldn’t trust that man as far as I could roll him, but he seems to be trying to do something boldly uncommercial. What do you think is going on?
    Well done using our one annual opportunity to dream gloriously in public.
    Shame it can be only a dream – the bridge to Macau has no benefits for HK and will cost so much of Lantau and could so much better be built from the chinese side of deep bay.
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