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High court hearing for buffalo

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As reported in previous editions of Life On Lantau, there has been considerable landfilling taking place on the Pui O wetlands since last November.

Four plots of private land have been filled with building rubble, right in the middle of pristine wetland environment, home to rare and semi-rare species of bird, frog, butterfly and plant life.

This near unique habitat, home to the last herd of wild water buffalo in Hong Kong, is at serious risk.

Readers may recall that concerned Lantau residents raised the alarm with the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), thinking that the landfilling must be illegal. Amazingly they were told that the EPD could do nothing, even though, by any application of common sense, it just didn’t seem right. Further study of the law revealed that the EPD was sticking by an outdated, unjustified interpretation of the law, likely driven by vested interests rather than the public interest.

A judicial review was submitted and a preliminary hearing will be heard in the High Court during November. To get involved, contact the Living Islands Movement, www.livingislands.org.hk, or Lantau Buffalo Association, lantaubovine@gmail.com.

Image: wikimedia.org

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