A new report by Civic Exchange calls for a comprehensive strategy to conserve and manage Hong Kong's unique natural assets. The report has been submitted today to the Chief Executive, the HKSAR Government Directors of Planning, Lands and Environmental Protection, the Executive and Legislative Councils, the Town Planning Board, the Advisory Committee on the Environment and to relevant District Councillors.
The report entitled "Our Place – Our Time" is focused on Hong Kong's unique asset, its rural land. The report is produced by Civic Exchange in co-operation with Living Islands Movement (LIM) and a number of other environmental concern groups in Hong Kong.
The report describes how Hong Kong is beyond being merely a ‘world class’ city: it is well placed to claim to be 'China's greenest city' because it is equatorial, by the open sea and has a diversity of trees, flowers, birds, insects and marine life that is unique in China and the world. It is defined as a unique asset that has been aptly described as a national treasure.
Eric Spain, spokesperson of LIM said: "Our untouched countryside provides a constant backdrop to the urban areas and is readily accessible: the people of most large cities have to travel for hours to reach the rural pleasures that we can reach in minutes. Development of 'eco-tourism' would greatly help the micro-economies of rural villages.”
"What was once 'Crown Land' now belongs to the people – Our Place – and it is now time – Our Time – to sustain it for future generations." Christine Loh, Chief Executive of Civic Exchange explained, "The value of this countryside to the people and the economy needs to be better understood. If the development trajectory of the past continues and our land is devoured through piecemeal development, a priceless asset will be destroyed forever. Future generations may come to ask what kind of people we were to have allowed this to happen.”
"This paper "Our Place – Our Time" provides a starting point to discussing and envisaging the future and provides a list of issues that need to be studied and addressed such as the administrative and legal systems together with the processes that will encourage public participation, identification, appreciation and ownership of our unique and invaluable asset."