• Are you willing to participate protecting Lantau ?

    The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man

    Latest News from 30th Jan 2019

    - NEW - Improving my neighborhood on My Lantau page.

    STOP ADVOCATING EAST LANTAU ARTIFICIAL ISLAND

    in the "Lantau Tomorrow" vision.

    Appeal to Islands District Council : Click here to automatically create the email
     

  • Today's News

    Letter between Tom Yam and Robin Lee (SLO)

    Head of the Sustainable Lantau Office

    30th Jan 2019

    Dear All,
     
    I've pasted below the response from Robin Lee's Sustainable Lantau Office (SLO) to my three specific inquiries concerning the degradation of conserved land in South Lantau under the Code of Access to Information, viz:
    1. What specific tasks, deliverables/outputs are the staff of 7 in SLO engaging in on conservation, and when will their outputs be available to the public ?
    2. What legislative review activity with results is being undertaken per CE Carrie Lam's policy address to protect conserved areas ?
    3. What are the names of organisations and individuals in the planning department and development bureau who are working on legislative efforts to prevent the degradation of conserved land?
    If you can plow through the turgid verbosity below, it will give you a few laughs - an Orwellian classic of bureaucratspeak describing activity but no results with the usual empty catchwords - "Outputs are subject to circumstances" is a particular beauty. It should be framed and hung in the Hong Kong History Museum as Exhibit A to show how highly-paid HK civil servants fob off taxpayer's inquiries.
     
    Fundamental management principles such as setting of measurable objectives , clearly identifying output/deliverables with schedule and responsible individuals held accountable are not to be found in how the SLO spends taxpayers money.
     
    It's abundantly clear that the so-called Sustainable Lantau Office (SLO) is impotent to carry out its mission of conserving South Lantau. It was set up more as a PR stunt to justify the slogans propagated in lofty plans and colorful brochures about a "sustainable" Lantau. Robin Lee is a figurehead soon to retire with no authority or resources to execute the intended mission while at the mercy of other government departments to do anything or nothing. SLO is just another layer in the labyrinth of bureaucracy that convenes meetings, makes powerpoint presentations, publishes wordy reports, and serves as a front to defend government policy.
     
    We are wasting our time appealing to SLO for results. In addition, we should direct our efforts to the referenced individuals: Mr Jackie Liu, Principal Assistant Secretary (Planning and Lands) 7 of DEVB, and Mr Chan Ka Ho, Senior Town Planner/Town Planning Board 9 of Planning Department.
     
    Regards,
    Tom
     
    From: jsyso@cedd.gov.hk <jsyso@cedd.gov.hk>
    Sent: Monday, January 28, 2019 8:13 PM
    To: Tom Yam
    Cc: robinkblee@cedd.gov.hk; gkykiang@cedd.gov.hk; joycelau@cedd.gov.hk; wtchan@cedd.gov.hk; planningunit@devb.gov.hk; kkhchan@pland.gov.hk; kmli@epd.gov.hk; plyau@epd.gov.hk
    Subject: Re: (a) Pui O and Shap Long uglification continues. (b) A bridge too far. (c) Conservation of south Lantau ? Parking, permits and road use. (d) Conservation of south Lantau ? Parking, permits and road use. My questions have yet to be answered. (e) What...
     
    Dear Dr. Yam,

    We refer to your emails on 21 Dec 2018, 28 Dec 2018, 11 Jan 2019, 19 Jan 2019 and 20 Jan 2019 and our interim replies on 28 Dec 2018, 10 Jan 2019 and 18 Jan 2019 regarding your request under the Code on Access to Information for (i) specific tasks that the seven colleagues of SLO involved in relation to degradation of land; (ii) ; and (iii) names of colleagues in PlanD and DEVB responsible for the legislation review.

    The SLO puts forward our development and conservation projects under the overarching principle of “Development in the North; Conservation for the South” with the view to balancing development and conservation for a sustainable Lantau. Working towards sustainability, the SLO’s portfolio covers development and conservation projects, leisure and recreation works as well as local improvement works.

    On the front of conservation and tackling environmental vandalism in South Lantau, which is your prime concern, we have rounds of discussion with relevant bureaux and departments (B/Ds) to explore feasible statutory and administrative measures to step up control and conservation efforts. Amongst all these measures, two major relevant initiatives have been featured in the Policy Address 2018. Firstly, the Government is committed to carrying out a review of relevant legislation to better control land filling, dumping of wastes and associated development activities causing environmental damage to areas of high ecological values at Lantau. Secondly, the Government announced to set up a $1 billion Lantau Conservation Fund (LCF) for conservation and related projects as well as rural improvement works.

    These two initiatives complement each other. The legislation review targets to enhance control and enforcement whereas the LCF would engage the local community, non-government organizations and land owners to work out conservation and related proposals and revitalize the rural environment. The actual work related to legislation review now rest with the relevant B/Ds. The SLO will continue to liaise with them on this initiative and to pursue the early set up of the LCF in parallel.

    The seven colleagues of SLO under your concern are responsible for work arising from the tasks mentioned in the two preceding paragraphs. Also, as mentioned in our earlier replies on 14 and 21 Dec 2018, they are also responsible for exploring traffic restriction measures to control access to South Lantau, coordinating departmental efforts on issues related to environmental vandalism, and exploring measures to reinstate government land degraded by environmental vandalism, amongst other duties related to conservation and local improvement works. In achieving our goal to conserve South Lantau, the role of our colleagues in SLO is to explore possibilities and make the best possible effects under the statutory and administrative regime. Outputs are subject to circumstances.

    Regarding your concern on legislation review, coordinated efforts among various B/Ds are required. To enhance protection of South Lantau areas of high ecological values, PlanD is now reviewing the existing mechanism with a view to strengthening planning enforcement in the area. It is expected the review will have preliminary results within this year. In parallel, ENB/EPD is considering the way forward, taking into account the complexity of issues involved. We would like to stress that the complexity of the legislation review must not be under-estimated, as some pertinent legal and technical issues have to be resolved. The public would be updated in due course.

    Planning and Lands Branch of DEVB and Town Planning Board Section of PlanD are responsible for respective policy area and legislation review of the Town Planning Ordinance, amongst other duties. For enquiries, please contact Mr. Jackie Liu, Principal Assistant Secretary (Planning and Lands) 7 of DEVB and Mr. Chan Ka Ho, Senior Town Planner/Town Planning Board 9 of PlanD.

    This email has been copied to relevant colleagues of DEVB, PlanD and ENB/EPD.

    Regards,
    Joan SO
    for Head of the Sustainable Lantau Office
    Civil Engineering and Development Department

    Carrie Lam’s Lantau Tomorrow Vision is riven with contradictions that defeat its purpose
    • From its population estimates to financial planning, the project to create artificial islands to the east of Lantau by reclamation raises many questions

    Tue 4th Dec 2018 - SCMP by Tom Yam (Lantau)

    Seldom has so colossal a project costing so much been decided in so short a time after such shoddy analysis. The government will be requesting at least HK$500 million to undertake a feasibility study of the Lantau Tomorrow project, which involves reclaiming 1,700 hectares of land in the central water passageway off east Lantau. The government says this land will be used to build a township for up to 1.1 million people with 400,000 housing units and 340,000 jobs. The capital cost is estimated at HK$500 billion but could rise to HK$1 trillion.

     

    Ever since the initial version of this project, the East Lantau Metropolis, was announced in 2014 by former chief executive Leung Chun-ying, the core data provided by the government has been four numbers: the size of the reclaimed area, the number of residents, the number of housing units and the number of jobs created. On the basis of these four numbers, the government and supporters of the project make sweeping claims about how it will be a game-changer for Hong Kong. Yet, all their arguments run into contradiction.

     

    Claim: Lantau Tomorrow will end the long wait for public housing and get people out of partitioned flats. Contradiction: It will not be ready for habitation for at least another 15 years, and will have no effect on the current housing shortage.

     
    Claim: Lantau Tomorrow will meet the needs of population growth. Contradiction: According to the Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong’s population will peak at 8.22 million in 2043 and decline to 7.7 million by 2066, while the project will provide excessive capacity, for a population of 9.4 million.

     

    Claim: Lantau Tomorrow will create more living space, improving quality of life for residents. Contradiction: With 1.1 million residents on 1,700 hectares, the population density of 64,000 residents per square kilometre makes Lantau Tomorrow even more congested than Hong Kong’s most congested district, Kwun Tong, which has 57,000 residents per square kilometre.

     

    Claim: Revenue from land sales will cover the cost of construction, making it a fabulous investment. Contradiction: Simple financial analysis shows that selling the land at a high enough price to make a profit will make the housing to be constructed on it unaffordable.

     

    Claim: The project will aid integration with the Greater Bay Area, benefiting Hong Kong’s economy. Contradiction: No specific economic strategy is proposed, and there is no justification for another business district to be developed there.

    Had Lantau Tomorrow Vision been presented to any bank or investor for funding, it would be laughed out of the room.

    The East Lantau Concern coalition slams the East Lantau development plan as HK's largest white elephant, too costly and too impractical

    Tuesday 08th November 2016 - SCMP

    明報 - 東大嶼都會為何而建

    2016/11/8

    更多按

    Legislator Eddie Chu Hoi Dick in Muiwo

    Saturday 24th Sept 2016

    After a visit the same day in Cheung Chau, legislator Eddie Chue was in Muiwo to discuss with local residents issues affecting Lantau as a whole. Social and environmental topics have been raised.

    Campaign with your Legco Councillors

    The government plan to develop Lantau spells the beginning of the end of Lantau as the back garden of Hong Kong and its last oasis where we enjoy quiet stroll along its beaches, explore its culture and villages, hike and camp in its country parks.

    If developed according to the government plan, it will have a population of 1 million with a population density of over 12,500 per sq km, twice of current Hong Kong population.

    The first battle to stop this plan is the refusal of Legco to fund a $227 million feasibility study to reclaim land around the islands of Heiling Chau and Kar Yee Chau, part of the East Lantau Metropolis proposed by the government. You should lobby your Legco councillors to oppose such a funding.

    Hong Kong needs a bolder action plan to protect its environmental legacy

    Saturday 27th February 2016

    http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1916193/hong-kong-needs-bolder-action-plan-protect-its-environmental

    Michael Lau and Gavin Edwards at WWF Hong Kong, say the government has let Hongkongers down with its safe and ineffective framework for public discussion on a strategy to safeguard our amazing biodiversity. In other words the system is broken. Who benefits ?

    Citizens disagree over government's plan for Lantau

    Saturday 20th February 2016

    A public consultation held in Tung Chung gave the opportunity to a citizen to voice concerns. Hear him here, in the next section.

    See also the LANTAU FORUM PUBLIC COMMENTS :

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1s2rTbPqLXgFSeBs78ODdzRecJiYNkMlwUWHmhF_uauY/edit?pref=2&pli=1

    3 Related documents in Chinese :

    新聞稿

    大嶼山發展規劃脈絡

    21Feb2016-clipbook

    Public consultation over development of Lantau is a sham

    Friday 19th February 2016

    Aware of the unpopularity of the plan to develop Lantau, Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po used the official opening of a new playground in Mui Wo, south Lantau, to launch a so-called public engagement exercise... read more

    http://www.scmp.com/comment/letters/article/1914116/public-consultation-over-development-lantau-sham

    Paul Chan Mo Po facing embarrassing questions

    Monday 15th February 2016

    A group of angry Lantau residents confronted Development Secretary Paul Chan on Monday as led a media tour to visit proposed sites for conservation and development on the island.
    They said the government's plan would destroy the natural environment on Lantau. A Mui Wo resident, Thomas Yam, said residents were not properly consulted on the matter. He said when Chan visited two weeks ago, only people who were invited were allowed to meet him.
    A government advisory committee last year submitted a report to the administration suggesting the building of more than a dozen tourist attractions on the island, including a spa resort at Cheung Sha Beach and a water park in Mui Wo. Conservationists are upset at the proposals, saying it will harm the island's natural resources.

    The opening of the South Lantau Road to all traffic

    February 2016

    This month, 25 additional private cars will be permitted to enter on weekdays for leisure and recreational purposes. The decision, the first phase of an overall plan to allow a total of 50 extra coaches and 50 private cars, is intended to promote tourism and the local economy. Local residents know this is the thin edge of the wedge that will kick off the complete "development" of Lantau. The survey made by the Transport Dept, revealed that 80% of the residents were opposed to the opening, however the deliberations of the Department have remained a matter decided behind closed doors, because as one Transport Department staff put it : "the above information could not be acceded to (under the freedom of information regime) because the disclosure of such information would inhibit the frankness and candour of discussion within the Government, and advice given to the Government".

  • WHO WE ARE

    Local and non local residents

    The Green Lantau Association (GLA) is a registered society formed in 1989 whose mission is to protect, and educate people about the natural environment of Lantau Island.

    We monitor development plans and projects, lobby for better legal protection of the environment and publish a members newsletter several times a year. We are a growing voluntary group not exclusively made of Lantau residents, join us ! Donations are used for research, communication, and events.

    An important first move for nature conservation

    GLA was formed inspired by opposition to ExxonMobil – China Light and Power’s proposal to build a 6000 Megawatt coal-fired power plant at Fan Lau, the beautiful and historic area at the south-west tip of Lantau Island. Fan Lau is still untouched and GLA is still fighting to save as much of the rest of the island as it can. All of GLA’s work is undertaken by volunteers independently of external funding.

    A lot being done over years by Hong Kong residents

    Some of the groups accomplishments are:

    • Protection and restoration of an illegal dumpsite in the heart of the Wong Lung Hang Valley, in Tung Chung.
    • Spurring the Environmental Protection Department to prosecute parties responsible for discharges of contaminated liquids into water catchment areas on the Ngong Ping plateau, in the Tai O area.
    • Protection of ecologically valuable fish ponds in Luk Tei Tong, Mui Wo from in-filling.
    • Closure of numerous illegal dumpsites along South Lantau Road and Mui Wo Ferry Pier Road.
    • Requesting and obtaining the provision by the Home Affairs Department (HAD) of hill fire warning signs and fire beater racks at rural cemeteries on Lantau Island, Peng Chau Island and Cheung Chau Island.
    • Submission of a complaint to the Ombudsman about breaches of EIAs and regulations in many airport core projects. The Ombudsman upheld part of the complaint and instructed government departments responsible for the damage to restore affected country areas.
    • Publication of a “Lantau Conservation Strategy” in July 1998, with five other green groups.
    • Submission of a complaint to the Director of Audits and the Ombudsman about environmental problems and inappropriate use of government funds in Rural Planning and Improvement Strategy works.
    • Submission of comments on the environmental impact assessments of various major infrastructure projects including the Disney Themepark and the widening of Tung Chung Road.
    • Presentation to the Town Planning Board (TPB) on various land use plans, including Tung Chung New Town and Discovery Bay.
    • Lobbying and obtaining the reversal of a decision by the Hong Kong Government to build a super-prison on land to be reclaimed off Hei Ling Chau Island.
    • Lobbying and securing the refusal of Government to sanction the building by ExxonMobil and China Light and Power (CLP) of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal on the ecologically valuable Soko Islands.
    • Successfully objecting to the Town Planning Board (TPB) on development proposals withing Green Belt.
  • Videos and press

    The East Lantau Concern coalition slams the East Lantau development plan as HK's largest white elephant, too costly and too impractical

    Tuesday 08th November 2016 - SCMP

    Around 20 civic, environmental and professional organisations have jointly launched a new concern group to oppose the government’s East Lantau development plan, calling the project too costly and “impractical”.

    The government plans to reclaim 1,000 hectares of land around two existing islands off the coast of east Lantau, as well as develop the south of Lantau island, according to its blueprint mapping out the city’s development beyond 2030.

    Download the whole article here - PDF

    Ombudsman to probe Hong Kong government’s handling of illegal waste dumping cases on private land.

    Wednesday 16 Nov. 2016

    Ombudsman to probe Hong Kong government’s handling of illegal waste dumping cases on private land.

    http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/2046612/ombudsman-probe-hong-kong-governments-handling.

    Wednesday 20 Jan. 2016

    Hong Kong green activist given court go-ahead to challenge dumping of waste at Lantau wetland site

    http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/1903493/hong-kong-green-activist-given-court-go-ahead.

    明報 - 東大嶼都會為何而建

    2016/11/8

    東大嶼山都會計畫是政府 -香港2030+:跨越2030年的規劃遠景與策略 - 發展計畫(下稱香港2030+)的核心透過在大嶼山以東,香港島以西的交椅洲和喜靈洲附近填海 1000 公頃,並連接梅窩成為大都會。它可住40萬至70萬人,並包括一個核心商業區。。

    下載文章按 - PDF

    Hong Kong doesn’t need a vast new town rising from the seas off Lantau

    Tuesday 01 November 2016

    Tom Yam says the government’s vision for the East Lantau Metropolis rests on flimsy rationale, amid a lack of political will to secure targeted land elsewhere from vested interests.

    No sane investor commits to a project to be completed in 30 years with no data supporting the need for it, no estimate of the capital required, and no cost-benefit and risk analysis.

    Unless it is the Hong Kong government, using taxpayer money, to build what it calls the “East Lantau Metropolis”.

    Download the whole article here - PDF

    Keep Lantau Beautiful Video 保護大嶼山美貌

    June 2014

    A matter of trans-generational justice for the next generation.

    Campaign to preserve Lantau unique biodiversity and attractiveness as a place of recreational and educational value.

    -

    A bilingual video produced by local green groups and individuals. Why is "developing" Lantau a mistake, at the beginning of the 21st century. Hong Kongers in their view, explain why such plan is outdated.

    Besides, the whole process has been decided behind closed doors away from public scrutiny, and participation. This reminds certain trade deals negotiated secretly.

    By Hong Kong Free Press - Sha Lo Wan's Last Stand: A dying village on the frontlines of Lantau's rush for development.

    May 2016

    Amid the rush to develop Hong Kong's most pristine island, traditional villages like Sha Lo Wan have ended up on the front lines of new construction projects. HKFP looks at whether the elderly villagers welcome development and asks whether they being properly compensated.

    Save Our Country Parks Campaign, 34,000 + visitors in a day

    Sunday 13 Dec 2015

    Green Groups Create Selfies Fire Storm #SaveOurCountryParks
    Hongkongers express support for country parks
    during unprecedented event in response to development threats
    Today, the Save Our Country Parks alliance held an unprecedented, territory-wide event leading to a “Facebook Fire Storm” in support of Hong Kong country parks. With the theme #SaveOurCountryParks, this was the first Country Parks Appreciation Day to be held annually on the 2nd Sunday in December.

    From 8am to 12noon, 34,106 visitors were counted entering the country parks and get the message of Save Our Country Parks from our volunteers. Over thousands of messages were tagged with #SaveOurCountryParks across social media, including Instagram and Facebook event page.

    “This event is truly amazing,” said Prof. Lam Chiu-ying, former director of the Hong Kong Observatory and currently adjunct professor of the Geography and Resource Management Department of CUHK. “It’s great that so many groups have rallied in support of our country parks, giving Hong Kong people a chance to air their views.”

    The planned Incinerator on Shek Kwu Chau island

    The most ugly and unnecessarily expensive plan a government could choose, that will impact Lantau and Hong Kong as a whole.

    All you need to know on the Shek Kwu Chau incinerator plan.

    Visit : http://hk-realepd.org The website is bilingual

    in English : http://hk-realepd.org/waste-management

    中文 – 更多資訊 : 廢物處理

    New houses in Pui O show a total absence of planning

    January 2015

    On New Year’s Eve 2015, we went to Shap Long and Pui O, on southeast Lantau.  There were already some new houses at Shap Long, along with patches of former marsh now filled in with rubble.

    More of this, at Pui O, too.

    Housing being put up, with no real thought given to views from windows. As if the builders surely don’t plan to live in the houses; is it just about making money, in exploiting the small house policy ?

  • My Lantau 2019

    Improving your natural neighborhood, one step at a time. Share issues with GLA.

    Tree saving

    Action brought

    2 tree saving actions in Luk Tei Tong and Wang Tong. Oct. 2016

    Illegal dumping

    Action brought

    -

    - Illegal dumping of building/construction waste. As it has been happening on numerous occasions on Pui O wetlands, and for which a Judicial Review has been successfully instigated towards the EPD. Jan 2016. Judgement pending.

    Other damaged natural habitat

    Action brought

    - Risk of damage to natural habitat along Keung Shan river. Opposition to settlement written by GLA (along other Lantau green groups) to Town Planning Board (TPB) for the installation of construction material in an ecological sensitive area in Keung Shan, along the road to Tai O. Letter sent to the TPB on 05 Sept 2016.

    Lack of sewerage system and proper environmental infrastructure

    Action brought

    Several places in Muiwo lack proper sewerage systems like in Wang Tong, Luk Tei Tong and others. This reflects the general lack of proper infrastructure such as : Refuse collection points, recycling facilities ... etc while applications for new construction permits are being made for more village houses.

    On 28 Nov 2016, GLA along other groups and individuals sent a letter to the Lands Dpt to oppose new construction permits as long as these sanitary and environmental measures are not implemented. Download here an article from the SCMP highlighting that very fact.

    Beach cleanup

    Action brought

    TBA

    Others

    Action brought

    TBA

  • File Download

    What Green Lantau Association has been producing over years

    The GLA flyer

    Ask to post it in your favorite shop, bar, restaurant.

    Download the PDF version here

    Recent Reports and articles on Development plans

    - Download the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden submission, for a Biodervisity strategy here.

    - Download an article published in Time Out Hong Kong dated March 2016 on Lantau Development, here.

    Submission to the Panel on Development

    Re : Funding Request for a Lantau Development Office to be set up within CEDD

    Submission by a Lantau resident over the lack of transparency of the proposed development process of the Lantau country parks, and the lack of alternative vision for the future.

    Lantau Biodiversity Study

    Lantau has been a significant focus for development in the years following the opening of the airport, and is increasingly so today.

    For some, Lantau is simply seen as a convenient land-bank, and as an economic opportunity to make money. The Lantau Concept Plan discussions of 2004 elicited no less than 170 suggestions for development which included constructing a mini ‘Great Wall of China’ and Formula One racing track.

    Largely ignored in this rush to exploit was and is the undeniable fact that Lantau is one of the last repositories for nature in Hong Kong. It is a unique and majestic island, and one which has been engraved in the consciousness of Hong Kong people as an oasis of recreation and peace.

    Largely compiled by Philip Yip, a HK trained ecologist, from all available sources, the study sets out in one work, the currently known position of the biodiversity resources of Lantau.

    The co-authors believe this comprehensive study will be a convenient reference, benefiting:

    • civil servants with responsibility for the environment and conservation
    • professionals engaged by government (or others)  intending development studies
    • experts and students alike studying the ecological resources of Lantau
    • environmental campaigners and concerned residents of Hong Kong; and
    • all who treasure and love our natural environment.

    Latest GLA Newsletters

    A sum up of what GLA does with you all year long.

    Subscribe here to the new GLA newsletter.

    GLA Summer Newsletter 2015 - Download here.

    GLA Spring Newsletter 2015 - Download here.

    GLA Autumn Newsletter 2014 - Download here.

    GLA Summer Newsletter 2014 - Download here.

    GLA Autumn and winter Newsletter 2013 - Download here.

  • Lantau Heritage

    Page in construction

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    TBA

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  • Send your own vision for Lantau in 2030

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    Donations are used for research, communication, and events.