Date
20 October 2018
Democratic Party’s Roy Kwong (inset) says there had been multiple signs that some people were intentionally damaging Nam Sang Wai through activities such as arson and tree-cutting. Photo: HKEJ
Democratic Party’s Roy Kwong (inset) says there had been multiple signs that some people were intentionally damaging Nam Sang Wai through activities such as arson and tree-cutting. Photo: HKEJ

Dozens stage rally for protection of Nam Sang Wai wetlands

Around 100 people staged a rally at Nam Sang Wai on Sunday to call attention to the need for enhanced protection of the wetlands area that has witnessed a spate of fire incidents this month. 

Participants, who included environmental activists and opposition political figures, demanded that the government do a better job of protecting the Nam Sang Wai wetlands and its precious eco-system, Apple Daily reports.

Located in the north of Yuen Long and crisscrossed by the Kam Tin River in the New Territories, the Nam Sang Wai wetland is considered to be of great ecological value.

The place is often described as Hong Kong’s backyard garden, and is a big draw for wildlife enthusiasts, bird-watchers, cyclists and picnickers.

However, the area has suffered some fires this month, including a major blaze that left at least six hectares of land getting scorched, following several similar incidents in the past few years.

The fires have led to criticism of the government, with green groups accusing authorities of not doing enough to prevent damage to the area. 

Over the weekend, dozens gathered at a wetlands site holding up large-size placards that bore slogans such as “Protect Nam Sang Wai” and “Urge Government to conserve Nam Sang Wai and police to catch the culprits”.

During the rally, participants raised their hands with palms facing the sky, a gesture meant to convey hopes that steps would be taken to prevent further damage to the eco-system.

Democratic Party’s Roy Kwong Chun-yu, who joined the rally along with Yuen Long District Councilors Zachary Wong Wai-yin and To Ka-lun, said there have been multiple signs of some people intentionally damaging Nam Sang Wai in recent years, through activities such as arson and tree-cutting.

Despite the incidents and police investigations, no one has been arrested so far, Kwong noted.

During the rally, Kwong also revealed that in recent years there has been an increasing number of developers applying to the Town Planning Board for developing land plots in Nam Sang Wai.

The area would have suffered even greater damage to its ecological environment had it not been for strong objections from environmental groups and ordinary citizens to the development plans, the Democratic Party member added.

Data show although many applications had been rejected on the ground of wetland conservation, Sun Hung Kai Properties was given a green light to develop four land plots near the wetland area.

Kwong urged the government to review its current conservation work to better safeguard Nam Sang Wai.

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TL/JC/RC

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