Brownfield development now, say no to reclamation
“Hong Kong’s natural habitats and animal species are vulnerable. Developing on country parks or reclaiming land from the sea will bring irreversible damage to our natural areas. We should never develop on ecologically sensitive areas or in waters of unknown ecological value. There are other options available for housing, such as brownfield sites, which would satisfy our immediate housing needs,” Andrew Chan, WWF-Hong Kong’s Senior Conservation Officer of Local Biodiversity.
Representatives and volunteers from WWF, along with local wildlife mascots delivered a submission and a petition (see appendix 1) signed by 2,317 Hongkongers. The petition urges the government to first build on brownfield sites, which already have the necessary transport facilities or infrastructure in place to address short-term housing needs. WWF, representatives of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth(HK) also submitted a joint letter on reclamation (see appendix 2) signed by 21 parties, including fishermen, Lung Kwu Tan residents, conservationists and members of the marine recreation business sector, to Mr Stanley Wong, Chairman of Task Force on Land Supply.
“Reclamation will destroy the natural coastline and habitats that are important for the survival of the Chinese white dolphin, finless porpoise and countless marine species that spawn and nurse in these areas. Hong Kong waters lack comprehensive and long-term planning for sea use, leading to conflict between conservation and development. We strongly oppose any reclamation plan at this stage,” said Samantha Lee, WWF-Hong Kong’s Assistant Director of Oceans Conservation.