Background of the destruction at Tai Long Sai Wan
The conservation manager (terrestrial) of WWF-Hong Kong Dr Alan Leung Sze-lun explained that Tai Long Sai Wan was surrounded by country parks but such protection was not enough. The loopholes in policy and legislation allow the destruction of this nature area with high conservation and landscape value to take place.
Dr Leung had reported the incident to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD). AFCD replied that as the incident occurred on a piece of private land, which is located outside the country park boundary, no legislation is able to stop the destruction. AFCD and the Lands Department have been already following up on the case. Sadly, the ACFD, the Environmental Protection Department, the Planning Department and the Lands Department have all denied that it is their scope of responsibility to regulate this development work.
Unfortunately, Tai Long Sai Wan is just one of a sad long list of sites that have become degraded, diminishing the landscape and ecological value of our natural environment and the public's enjoyment of them, through inadequate planning and development controls. The incident has highlighted yet again the deficiencies of our existing policies relating to nature conservation.
On 20 July 2010 (Tuesday), 9 green groups including WWF-Hong Kong met Edward Yau, Secretary for the Environment, and a joint-green group statement was presented to him to urge for government intervention of the incident. The groups were disappointed at the minister’s response because there was no immediate planning control imposed to the site.
On 21 July 2010 (Wednesday), WWF launched a petition campaign.