Background of the destruction at Tai Long Sai Wan

Posted 21 July 2010  |  en  |  zh
A great number of people have expressed concern and outrage since the media started covering the story on 16 July 2010 (Friday). According to the media reports, diggers have demolished and stripped bare a large land area right behind the white-sand beach of Tai Long Wan. It was estimated that a hectare of vegetated area had been bulldozed, and an artificial pond was made. Without the plants and its roots holding the loose soil in its place, heavy rain might wash the soil and mud to the nearby stream of the country park.

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.
Tai Long Wan
© WWF-Hong Kong Enlarge