Environmental groups call for Tung Chung River Nature Park zone to be expanded

Tung Chung River Nature Park

Environmental groups have spoken out this week about zoning for the Tung Chung River Nature Park, urging the government to expand the area in order to protect the natural surroundings and to prevent eco-vandalism.

Speaking to RTHK on Wednesday, Woo Ming-chuan, of the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, said that the area is still "largely natural" and support s a "rich aquatic and coastal biodiversity." Woo said that as well as freshwater fish in the river, the bay area also contains endangered aquatic species and birds, and is a breeding ground for horseshoe crabs.

While the majority of the natural landscape is still intact, concern group surveys indicate that the percentage of degraded area in the Tung Chung Valley has grown from 4.8% in 2007 to 13% in 2015. Campaigners are therefore calling for the government to change the valley's zoning to include the whole river section.

As much of the land is privately owned, the proposal would require the government to acquire the land from the landowners, however campaigners do not see this as a problem, as landowners would receive compensation from the government.

The hearing for the outline zoning of the Tung Chung Valley takes place next week.

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