December Environmental News Highlights

1.【 Lantau Tomorrow 】The Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) has proposed three development projects for Lantau Tomorrow, without providing any detail of the artificial island. CEDD applied for Environmental Impact Assessment Study Briefs, which have been approved.

The Environmental Protection Department requested CEDD to conduct baseline studies of a duration of at least 12-months for terrestrial and marine ecosystems of the finalised reclamation site and its adjacent area of 500 meters. The cumulative impact of the projects has to be assessed. [Learn more]

2.【 Who Took Buffalo’s Habitat 】The wetlands near Pui O Beach are the habitat for the buffalo and have become a popular camping hotspot. The land which is owned by a private entity, is also Coastal Protected Area. The land use has seemingly changed without permission from a wetland site to a campsite. Although the designated campsite next to the beach has been closed due to the epidemic, the public toilet and shower nearby are still open which undoubtedly encourages illegal camping, which affects the natural habitat. [Learn more]

3.【 Conserve the Integrity of Wetland 】Green groups support the Government’s proposal for establishing wetland conservation parks. They have urged the government to set up a timetable to expedite land resumption for wetland conservation, ensuring the integrity of the wetland ecosystem of Deep Bay. [Learn more]

4.【 Unauthorized Filling of Pond and Land 】Fish ponds in Hoo Hok Wai have been divided by deposits of construction waste. The Planning Department has confirmed unauthorized filling of ponds and land and has notified the landowner to restore the land condition by February 2022. Hoo Hok Wai is situated in the Deep Bay Wetland Conservation Area – an important part of flyways and feeding grounds for many species of migratory birds. Over a hundred Cormorants have been observed in Deep Bay in previous years. [Learn more]

5.【 Hot food containers account for almost 70% of total disposed food packaging 】ADM Capital Foundation found an estimated 3.9 billion single-use food packaging ended up in landfills in 2019. The top three types of food containers were hot food (69%), hot drink (14%) and cold food (9%). We must all play our part and bring our own containers and reduce unnecessary food packaging, and recycle any disposables. Small changes to our habits could reduce disposable food packaging by a third by 2030. [Full report] 

6.【 An abuse of plastic food bags? 】There is abuse and lack of control of plastic food bags in supermarkets which are exempt from the plastic bag levy scheme launched 12 years ago. Plastic food bags from supermarkets account for one-third of the total volume of plastic bags. Accounting for approx. 768 tonnes of landfill waste every day. [Learn more]

7.【 Suspected Cruelty to Animals 】32 dead birds and 10 sick pigeons were found in Fu Heng Estate, Tai Po. Bread crumbs and minced meat were found near the animals which have been sent for lab testing. Pigeons are believed to be the target, however, a disease outbreak has not yet been ruled out. [Learn more]

8.【 Only 37 Chinese White Dolphins Left in HK 】Over the past 10 years the population has significantly declined. There are only 37 dolphins left in Hong Kong waters. Water pollution is a significant threat to Chinese White Dolphins. Experts found the chemical components of fire retardant paint in their food chain. The toxic substances accumulate in fat tissue and can cause problems with the endocrine system and infertility, or result in death. [Learn more]

9.【 Euthanizing Wild boars 】Agriculture, Fisheries and Cultural Department (AFCD) announced in November that it will start to euthanize wild boars which frequently enter urban areas. By the end of 2021, a total of 28 boars were euthanized. AFCD said this measure will continue into 2022. [Learn more]

10.【 Smuggling Red Sandalwood 】Hong Kong Customs seized 2,570 kilograms of red sandalwood in an air consignment from Dubai on 31st December 2021. [Learn more]