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Judicial review to preserve Lantau’s wetlands

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The Judicial Review that aims to halt the landfilling that is destroying South Lantau’s wetlands is taking place on September 27 at the High Court in Queensway, Admiralty.

According to Martin Lerigo of Living Islands Movement (LIM), the Judicial Review will challenge the government on four points of law. First, that the wetlands are zoned as a Coastal Protection Area and that the appendix to the zoning clearly states landfilling is not allowed. Second, that the Waste Disposal Ordinance gives the director of environmental protection the necessary discretion to prevent landfilling on the grounds that it would damage an area of high ecological and biodiversity value. Third, that on one particular lot the director of environmental protection has allowed and condoned landfilling on top of an area which has previously been fly-tipped upon, in breach of the Waste Disposal Ordinance. Fourth, that the director has allowed landfilling that could only have been achieved by construction of illegal vehicle access ramps, themselves violations of the Waste Disposal Ordinance.

“The potential outcome of the applicant (a Mui Wo resident) winning the Judicial Review would be that the government would likely not allow landfilling in this area in future,” Martin says. “The consequences of losing are that over 40 additional lots of land would be filled within the next 12 months and that the wetlands and everything within them would likely disappear within 10 years.”

Residents looking to voice their concerns can email the undersecretary for the environment, Christine Loh at [email protected] You can visit www.livingislands.org.hk to contact LIM, and show your support at the courthouse at 10am on September 27.

Image: Jason Pagliari

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