On land: Put Brownfields over reclamation
Money for green measures welcome

Posted 28 February 2019
© WWF-Hong Kong
WWF-Hong Kong welcomes today’s budget measure on environmental funding, particularly the additional $1 billion funding for renewable energy installations in government buildings.But we are disappointed with the budget measures regarding land supply.  While setting aside 78 sites (93,000 units) of land for housing, we have grave concerns over the funding provided to study the 1,000 ha reclamation proposal in East Lantau waters. 
“We are let down by the approach by the Government of funding studies to justify the construction 1,000 ha reclamation at east Lantau plus reclamations at Lung Kwu Tan, Sunny Bay and Siu Ho Wan instead of exhausting existing land supply first.” said Suzanne Cheung, Lead Consultant, Conservation Policy.  “Reclamation should be regarded as a last resort for land supply, to be supported by thorough marine spatial planning.   Near-shore reclamations, especially Lung Kwu Tan, is one of the habitats of the Chinese white dolphin. Its natural coastline is also a breeding ground for various marine species, and reclamation will bring irreversible ecological damage.”
WWF-HK continues to maintain the view that brownfield sites can provide adequate space to solve Hong Kong’s immediate housing needs. These sites should be developed before considering reclamation, which causes irreversible damage to marine ecology and fishery resources. WWF urges the Legislative Council to reject the government’s funding application for any infrastructure study and calls for comprehensive terrestrial and marine baseline studies to be conducted.
On a brighter note, WWF-Hong Kong agrees with the $120 million allocated to extend EV charging network in government car parks, taking the total number to 1700 charging stations by year 2022. This program should be accelerated to encourage cleaner emission-free transport on the city’s roads and highways.
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