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Hong Kong Environmental Petition Website Pushes for Change

Media & Resources | Date: January 28, 2014

Are you frustrated by our city’s many environmental challenges? By government inaction on issues that matter? Do you despair that there isn’t anything you can ever do to help push along change?

Rest assured, you are not alone.

Those of us who call Hong Kong home love the city for many reasons but these don’t include the off-the-charts air pollution, filthy ocean waters, unbridled development – even in our country parks – and urgent waste disposal problems.

We sit around and complain amongst ourselves about the growing environmental mess, speculate about the reasons why, and wonder how it is that there is so little government or private sector action to resolve the problems.

Or, worse, we have given up all together and just accept that things won’t change, that we must live with the foul air and water, with garbage spilling into our country parks; we accept that one day we will arrive at our favorite distant country location and there will be bulldozers clearing vegetation for housing.

We feel powerless to make change.

But that is set to change – thanks to brand new, homegrown petition site, www.supporthk.org, which grew out of the frustration we all feel around inaction to protect our environment and allows us all a voice.

In Cantonese and English, the petition site allows anyone upset about an urban or rural environmental issue to connect with others who feel similarly, to educate about their cause and to petition relevant authorities to make change.

With the tagline, “Creating Change Together,” SupportHK aims to give people a voice.

“SuportHk’s online petition platform helps unite people around issues they care about,” said Kelly Chan, manager of the website. “We’re all sick of feeling powerless to act. Signing or creating a petition is a small step toward making a difference.”

Set to officially launch on December 15th, Support HK currently features 12 initial petitions, including one urging the Hong Kong government to burn its stocks of confiscated elephant tusks and ban the trade in ivory through the city.

Alex Hofford, a long-time Hong Kong resident, conservation photographer and environmental activist, launched the petition against ivory with two young friends, Lucy Lan Skrine, aged 11 and Christina Seigrist, aged 8.

“Lucy and Christina chose SupportHK to reach a local audience in Hong Kong,” Hofford said. “People here may not be aware of the poaching crisis in Africa and how it relates to the ivory trade here.”
Another petition objects to plans to develop Hoi Ha, which is one of several enclaves in the Sai Kung Country Park currently slated for building projects.

A third posted by Clean Air Network urges the Hong Kong government to follow its original timeline in the phasing out of pre-Euro IV vehicles.

“We wanted to give voice to Hong Kong issues and encourage people here to connect to fight for a better community that responds to our needs and not just those of private interest,” Chan said.
The platform includes a quick and easy mechanism to start or sign a petition and incorporates social media such as Facebook and Weibo. This helps petition sponsors connect on issues and gather support from friends, family colleagues and concerned individuals more widely.

www.SupportHK.org’s focus on the local environment covers issues within the following categories:  Pollution, waste, energy, animal welfare, nature conservation, urban environment, sustainability and food security.

Start or sign a petition on the SupportHK.org, and let’s make change together!