Save Our Country Parks 保衛郊野公園
Government should not fail the public’s expectation of environmental protection. 政府不應辜負保育界及普羅市民對政府保育自然生態的期望。
- Chief Executive 行政長官
Mr. Leung Chun-ying 梁振英先生
Stop the blind plunder of land.
Develop and utilize brownfield, golf courses, land reserved for small houses and military sites instead of reclamation and development of country parks.
Mr. Paul Chan, the Secretary for Development, wrote an article entitled "Building consensus in finding land for housing development" on September 8, 2013. The article pointed out "In the past, the development of country park land was regarded as a topic not for discussion - even taboo - but is the subject still not to be touched on or discussed today?" Our opinion is: "It is better to develop brownfield, golf courses, land reserved for building New Territories small houses and military sites, instead of reclamation and developing country parks to achieve its target of 470,000 units of housing over the next decade. There is no urgency for the government to sacrifice our precious environment, and the government should not fail the expectations of the public and green groups in protecting the environment."
發展局局長陳茂波於2013年9月8日的網誌《局長隨筆》題為「凝聚共識 覓地建屋」的文中指出：「發展郊野公園過往會被視為禁區、甚至禁忌，今天又是否完全不可碰、不可談呢？」我們的答案是：「與其發展郊野公園及盲目填海建屋，不如先開發「棕土」、「丁地」、高爾夫球場用地及軍事用地，以滿足未來十年總房屋供應建議目標的 47萬個單位需求。政府現階段毋須急於犧牲珍貴的自然資源，更不應辜負保育界及普羅市民對政府保育自然生態的期望。」
The Chief Executive Mr. Leung Chun-ying stated in his Chief Executive Election platform: ”Hong Kong is not short for land; what we lack is a holistic and long-term approach towards planning. Excluding the urban area and country parks, large areas remain underdeveloped. The government should assess the long-term demand for land to assure a flexible supply to meet developmental needs.” The platform also stated that the government should protect the country parks and bodies of land and water with ecological value, and formulate long-term plans for other areas of land available for development. Mr. Leung also pointed out that country parks in Hong Kong has leisure and recreational purposes apart from conservation on the 10th September. However, Mr. Paul Chan’s remarks run contrary to the campaign promises by the Chief Executive.
The Hong Kong Government enacted the Country Parks Ordinance and established country parks in 1976. These are designated for the purpose of protecting the catchment areas of our water reservoirs. Will Hong Kong’s water supply be polluted when country parks are used for high-density development? The reservoirs are also part of river basin systems, and a large variety of aquatic habitats will be affected by high-density development in country parks. Meanwhile, the Environment Bureau and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department are developing a "Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan" including reviews of current policies on biodiversity conservation. Government is also working on the protection of Country Park Enclaves. Does all this reflect that there is a lack of coordination among government departments? Why is the Development Bureau acting as naysayers, while the Environment Bureau is working on conservation of our country parks?
香港政府於1976年訂立《郊野公園條例》及後設立郊野公園，其中一個目的是保護水塘集水區，如果容許郊野公園作高密度發展，會否影響部分地區食用、灌溉用水供應？水塘水生生境繁多，亦是整個河盆系統構成部分，一旦填平水塘發展，生態影響可牽連到其他郊野公園內生態環境。同時，環境局及漁農自然護理署正進行《生物多樣性策略及行動計劃》，系統地檢視本港現行的生物多樣性保育政策和措施，亦正為郊野公園內「不包括土地」（Country Park Enclaves）納入規管。環境局一邊做保育工作，發展局卻與其唱反調，反映兩局互無協調？
The country park is free for everybody to enjoy nature and to seek relief from the pressures of the city. History has shown the importance of country parks. The landfill extension proposal excising part of the Clearwater Bay Country Park in 2010 and the development plan of a golf course at Sha Lo Tung in the 1990s were strongly opposed and the latter one was rejected after a judicial review.
We urge government to conduct a Strategic Environmental Assessment for the western and central waters and stop reclamation. Reclamation damages our environment, and is not a solution for population growth and housing demand. The government lacks a long-term population policy and a well developed plan of the carrying capacity of Hong Kong. The population growth is repeatedly miscalculated. According to the estimates by the Census and Statistics Department in 2010, the population of Hong Kong in 2039 would be 8.89 million, yet this has been adjusted last year to 8.47 million. Given this, the government should commence public consultation over our long-term population policy. A holistic and long-term vision is needed to use and conserve our ecological resources in a sustainable way.
For housing purpose, the government should consider all other options first before developing country parks or reclaiming our seas.
" Brownfield "
According to the “Study on Brownfields in New Territories and Strategies for Land Development" published by The Professional Commons, the cross-boundary freight throughput has dropped by one quarter since 2004, and it has been replaced by river transport. The government should review the use of brownfields, such as open storage and container yards. Brownfields are distributed throughout Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, Tai Po and North District, including Hung Shui Kiu, Ping Che, San Tin, Lok Ma Chau, Tong Yan San Tsuen, Hung Lung Hang, Pat Heung, Kwu Tung North and So Kwun Wat. The total area of brownfields in New Territories is 803.2 hectares, nearly half of the South Kowloon Peninsula (1,700 hectares).
根據「公共專業聯盟」早前發表《新界棕土研究及土地發展方略》有關土地供應及策略的研究報告，現時跨境貨運量在2004年開始下跌了4分之1，已被河運方式取代。在需要式微的情況下，政府應該重新檢討露天貨櫃、臨時倉庫等已破壞土地－棕土的用途。在 2011 年，棕土主要分布在新界4個區域內，分別是元朗區、北區、屯門區及大埔區，其中最多棕土的地方為洪水橋、其次為坪輋、新田／落馬州、唐人新村、恐龍坑、八鄉、古洞北及掃管笏。新界棕土總面積共 803.2公頃，面積接近半個界限街以南的九龍半島（1,700 公頃）。
" Land reserved for New Territories Exempted Houses(Small / Ting House)"
The Government announced around 1,200 hectares of land is reserved for building New Territories small houses last year. 932 hectares of land can be used for development, excluding unusable topography.
The Fanling golf course covers 170 hectares, as large as Tsuen Wan District, belongs to a private club. The membership fee ranges from one hundred thousand to five hundred thousand dollars, and the club is limited to 2,500 members. The government only received 1,000 dollars as land premium. Mr. Kwan Cheuk-chiu, member of the Long Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee, suggested that the 6 golf courses can generate about 700 hectares of land to be included in the land reserve of Hong Kong.
There are 2,750.7 hectares of land for military which are under-utilized. The Kowloon Tong Barracks and the Shek Kong Military Camp should be considered for development. The Kowloon Tong Barracks account for 10 hectares located in urban area and lies unused. The Shek Kong Military Camp accounts for 159 hectares but is only open for the Hong Kong Aviation Club on weekends.
According to Mr. Lau Ping-cheung, member of the Long Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee, 2,200 hectares of land can be provided in developing 5% of country parks. However, brownfields, golf courses, military sites and land reserved for building New Territories Exempted Houses (Small Houses) can provide a total of 2,600 hectares of land.
We hope the Chief Executive Mr. Leung Chun-ying can fulfill his promises made during the election campaign, that the government should protect the country parks and bodies of land and water with ecological value, and formulate long-term plans for other areas of land available for development. Most importantly is to issue a public consultation on long-term population policy and to develop a long-term vision with the community. There is no urgency for the government to sacrifice our precious environment, and the government should not fail the expectations of the public and green groups on environmental conservation.
Joint Groups: Ark Eden, Association for Geoconservation, Hong Kong, Designing Hong Kong, Friends of Hoi Ha, Friends of Sai Kung, Friends of Tai Long Wan, Friends of the Earth (Hong Kong), Greeners Action, Green Communities, Greenpeace, Green Power, Green Sense, Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, Hong Kong Outdoors, HKWildlife.net, Lantau Buffalo Association, Living Seas Hong Kong, Sai Kung Tai Long Wan Concern Group, Society of Hong Kong Nature Explorers, The Conservancy Association, WWF Hong Kong
Ark Eden、香港地貌岩石保育協會、創建香港、海下之友、西貢之友、大浪灣之友、香港地球之友、綠領行動、綠色社區、綠色和平、綠色力量、環保觸覺、香港觀鳥會、香港海豚保育學會、香港野遊、香港自然生態論壇、大嶼山愛護水牛協會、 勃勃海洋、西貢大浪灣關注組、香港自然探索學會、長春社、世界自然基金會香港分會。
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