A large construction site was found in Pak Lap, right next to Sai Kung East Country Park, in August this year. Pieces of precious seasonal wetland were leveled, filled with sand and covered by turf. The Conservancy Association, a local green group, found that there will be a launch event of “Peace Garden” on 21st September 2017, hosted by Hong Kong Institute of Education for Sustainable Development (HKIESD), which may be related to the construction site. However, the development plan of the construction has not yet been submitted to Hong Kong government as legally required.
As introduced in the publicity materials of “Peace Garden”, a preparation committee for the garden was set up in May this year, shortly after a visit of Tao Xi Ping, chairperson of Chinese National Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations (CNFUCA), to Hong Kong. The advisory panel of the preparation committee includes Chairpersons of HKIESD, CNFUCA, UNESCO Hong Kong Association, and Tuenbo Group Ltd., a development company and a big landlord in Pak Lap.
Tuenbo Group Ltd. has been buying in the leveled land in Pak Lap in recent years through a subsidiary company, Master Mind Development Ltd., with attempts to change the land use to “village type development”, which will allow the landowner to build villa houses. It was the public voices that stopped the change of land use. As shown on the website of Tuenbo, the company owns 460,000 square feet of land in Pak Lap and plans to build educational and vocational facilities with 80 rooms.
The “Peace Garden” and the bodies behind promoted themselves as supporters of “sustainable development”, but what they are doing “destroys nature for development”, and “destroys without permit”. These are just the opposite of the principles of “sustainable development” held by UNESCO.