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Demolition of Mai Po Visitor Centre 拆除米埔遊客中心

Demolition of Mai Po Visitor Centre 拆除米埔遊客中心

Many of the regular visitors to Mai Po may be unaware of the plan by WWF to demolish the existing Peter Scott Field Studies Centre (PSFSC), the main visitor building at the entrance to Mai Po NR. As far as I am aware, the PSFSC building and the Mai Po car park are scheduled to be closed sometime within the next month or so, with demolition of the building to take place starting this spring. A new building will then be build in this place, covering a large part of the existing car park area. The site will probably be closed to visitors for at least a couple of years.

As far as I am aware, WWF have still not published anything to inform the public, and most people I have spoken to are unaware of the project. I think it is essential that users of the site are aware of the upcoming disruption, hence this message. I have been trying to contact WWF over recent weeks to get more information on the exact schedule but they have not been replying to any of my emails on this matter since November, despite the rapidly approaching time of the project.

許多前往米埔的常客可能不知道世界自然基金會計劃拆除現有的彼得斯科特野外研究中心(PSFSC),該中心是米埔天然氣入口處的主要旅客建築。據我所知, PSFSC大樓和米埔停車場計劃在下個月左右的某個時間關閉,從今年春天開始拆除大樓。然後將在這個地方建造一座新建築,覆蓋現有停車場的大部分區域。該網站可能至少在幾年內對訪問者關閉。

據我所知,世界自然基金會還沒有發布任何信息告知公眾,我所談過的大多數人都沒有意識到這個項目。 我認為網站用戶必須知道即將發生的中斷,因此這條消息。最近幾週我一直試圖聯繫世界自然基金會,以獲得更多關於確切時間表的信息,但自11月以來,儘管項目時間很快,但他們還沒有回复我關於此事的任何電子郵件。

In my opinion WWF are exploiting a loophole in the EIAO that allows them to carry out this demolition/reconstruction without the need for an EIA because of the land zoning on the car park & visitor centre. This is the only location within the Ramsar Site where an EIA is not legally required. Although this work is part of a larger project including construction within the Reserve boundary (https://www.epd.gov.hk/eia/register/profile/latest/esb301/esb301.pdf), they have excluded the PSFSC redevelopment from that project purely for the purpose of avoiding an EIA on the site (a practice that has been criticised when used by other developers elsewhere).

I have been repeatedly asking them to produce some form of impact assessment for the PSFSC project, to demonstrate best practice for other developers in the Deep Bay area. To date they have refused to do so - as a result, the plans and justification for the project, and the potential impacts to traffic, sewage, disturbance to wildlife and other environmental impacts will not be made public.

I hope that someone from WWF will be able to respond to provide more information about the planned project and the expected disruption that will be caused to site users.

在我看來,WWF正在利用EIAO中的一個漏洞,允許他們在不需要EIA的情況下進行拆除/重建,因為停車場和遊客中心的土地分區。這是拉姆薩爾濕地內唯一沒有法律要求進行環境影響評估的地點。雖然這項工作是一個較大項目的一部分,包括在保護區範圍內的建設(https://www.epd.gov.hk/eia/register/profile/latest/esb301/esb301.pdf),他們將該項目的PSFSC重新開發排除在外,純粹是為了避免在網站上進行環境影響評估(在其他地方的其他開發者使用時被批評的做法)。

我一再要求他們為PSFSC項目進行某種形式的影響評估,以展示后海灣地區其他開發商的最佳實踐。到目前為止,他們拒絕這樣做 - 因此,該項目的計劃和理由,以及對交通,污水,對野生動植物的干擾和其他環境影響的潛在影響將不會公開

我希望WWF的某個人能夠做出回應,提供有關計劃項目的更多信息以及將對網站用戶造成的預期中斷。

(I apologise for any problems that may arise from translation of the text into Chinese.  對於將文本翻譯成中文可能產生的任何問題,我深表歉意。)

[ Last edited by ajohn at 22/01/2019 00:08 ]

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Re:Demolition of Mai Po Visitor Centre

The news is that PSFSC and its carpark will not need to close in February after the Big Bird Race as we initially thought. The reason for this is slippage in the programme.  As things currently stand, this closure is not expected to happen until April or May and as such users should be able to  enjoy parking this year up until the end of the Bird Season.

WWF remain committed to giving stakeholders at least two months’ notice of the actual closure and the alternative arrangements.  

We are also happy to brief stakeholders on developments on PSFSC and the Project as a whole just after CNY.

On the subject of the EIA there are only two elements of the Upgrade Project that are directly subject to an EIA under the EIAO and those are the proposed footpath renovation, planned to run from  April –October 2020 and the proposed construction of two new Tower Hides  planned to run from  April –October 2020  and April-October 2021.   

WWF of course recognize that PSFSC Demolition and Construction should be recorded as a concurrent project in the EIA and we are committed to providing as much detail as we can of the PSFSC works including the extensive use of noise barriers and dust prevention measures.  

WWF are currently in the process of finalizing the major components of PSFSC Detailed Design such as the Foundations and Superstructure and when we are sure of this we can update the PSFSC Concurrent Project and submit the EIA.

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Thank you to WWF for responding to this post. It's a shame that you have not done so in response to my emails in December and January asking for updates on the project.

I am still very disappointed with the way that this has been handled by WWF. No information on the project has been made available to the public and the timetable remains unclear. I notice that your response still contains no justification for demolishing the existing building, no details of the proposed plan for what will replace the building, and no information about the expected duration that the car park and visitor centre will be closed.

As I have stated multiple times in meetings and emails to WWF, I believe that the EIA should cover in full the part of the project involving the PSFSC. This could be used as a gold standard to demonstrate to other developers what is expected for construction projects in the Deep Bay area. In my opinion an EIA or equivalent report should be considered normal due diligence for any environmental NGO proposing construction work, especially within an environmentally sensitive site such as this. Splitting the project into two parts to avoid the EIA, as WWF have done here, is not only poor practice, but is also arguably in contravention of the EIAO (see Section 2.4.4 of the EIAO: https://www.epd.gov.hk/eia/english/legis/pt2.html#4)

I have prepared a petition asking WWF to prepare an EIA for the works at the Peter Scott Field Study Centre, so that site users and other members of the public are aware of what is being proposed. If any site users are willing to sign this petition, it can be found at the link below. Thank you for your support.
我準備了一份請願書,要求世界自然基金會為彼得斯科特野外研究中心的工作準備環境影響評估,以便網站用戶和其他公眾了解所提議的內容。 如果任何網站用戶願意簽署此請願書,可以在以下鏈接中找到。 感謝您的支持。

Online petition: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/EIA-for-Mai-Po-visitor-centre

[ Last edited by ajohn at 22/01/2019 00:06 ]

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"WWF remain committed to giving stakeholders at least two months’ notice of the actual closure and the alternative arrangements."
  
As it appears there are to be alternative arrangements is there any reason why they can't be disclosed now? Why the secrecy? Thanks.

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WWF have been incredibly secretive about this major proposal and it is only thanks to John that we are aware of it even now, at this very late stage.

My confidence in their management of the Mai Po site has been severely damaged.

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