Don’t Destroy Wildlife Habitat to Build Apartments

Swinhoes Egret by Aiden Mak

Target: K. K. Ling, JP, Director of the Planning Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Government

Goal: Save native plant and animal species from an invasive development project.

An ecologically rich plot of land is in danger from a development proposal to construct thousands of resident housing flats. The area is within a prominent river valley but locals have been dumping trash in the region because the local government has yet to designate use for the area until now. We must speak up during this crucial time of public comment and demand that this area be protected and utilized as a natural park instead of housing.

Located in Tung Chung on the island of Lantau, the largest island in Hong Kong, China, this area sits along the impressive Tung Chung River. The river valley is home to a variety of wildlife and the sea that the river flows into is crucial white dolphin habitat. A housing project is of much concern for environmentalists and some local residents because the project will negatively impact wildlife currently living within the plot and in the sea nearby.

The government wants to increase the population of Tung Chung and this development will do just that with projections estimating a drastic increase of 50,000 to nearly 180,000 more residents. Known as the Tung Chung Valley Development Permission Area (DPA) Plan, the scheme hopes to development a couple hundred hectares of land to create nearly 38,000 flat units in a span of a decade.

An influx of people and development will destroy this natural area that boasts unique flora and fauna such as the mangrove horseshoe crab, seaweed pipefish, Swinhoe’s egret, and the Eurasian eagle owl. If the project passes, the white dolphin could also be at risk because this development could cause an increase of dirty runoff and trash into the dolphin’s ocean habitat.

By signing this petition, you are urging the Director of Hong Kong’s Planning Department to forgo development at this special plot and create a natural river park instead.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Ling,

Tung Chung is a unique place that boasts unique flora and fauna due to the influence of the Tung Chung River. Mangrove horseshoe crab, seaweed pipefish, the Swinhoe’s egret, and the Eurasian eagle owl all thrive in this ecologically rich yet sensitive region.

The proposed DPA Plan threatens the habitat of these species. If the plan is approved, biodiversity in this area will be destroyed forever. I know you want the city to grow in population but this multi-million dollar project will destroy the rural ambience of this natural and coveted landscape.

I urge you to please protect Hong Kong’s wild creatures and protect this plot from an invasive development project. A natural park constructed on this space will provide a safe haven for wildlife and become a unique aspect of the city that residents will cherish and enjoy.

It is time to protect China’s wildlife before it is too late. Do not approve the DPA Plan that will ultimately destroy a crucial area of the Tung Chung River Valley.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Aiden Mak

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