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16個團體對擬議紅花嶺郊野公園的期望

This topic has been highlight by HKBWS Suet Mei at 24/05/2019 12:04.

16個團體對擬議紅花嶺郊野公園的期望

(Please scroll down for English version)

2019年5月21日

2017年,政府在施政報告承諾成立紅花嶺郊野公園[1],環境局長黃錦星亦於2018年表明紅花嶺郊野公園將會是香港第二十五個郊野公園[2]。事實上,紅花嶺早在二十六年前已因其保育重要性而獲認定作郊野公園,因此我們對成立紅花嶺郊野公園表示支持。我們認為只有將紅花嶺及毗鄰地區(下統稱紅花嶺)納入郊野公園範圍,才能為其生態環境提供最適合的保護及管理。以下是我們期望政府在制定紅花嶺郊野公園的過程中應遵守的原則及其理據。

1. 政府及團體早已確認紅花嶺的保育價值
早於1993年,政府規劃署的「全港發展策略檢討」已認為可於紅花嶺至禾徑山一帶成立郊野公園。十年後,即2003年,嘉道理農場暨植物園在當時的邊境禁區東面進行了一次生態調查,並在及後建議將蓮麻坑、新桂田及紅花嶺納入郊野公園[3]。2008年,規劃署的「邊境禁區土地規劃研究」亦建議設立紅花嶺郊野公園[4]。近期由政府開展的「香港生物多樣性策略及行動計劃」的行動項目2b,也表明要將郊野公園擴展至紅花嶺及郊野公園不包括土地。以上正顯示設立紅花嶺郊野公園實在刻不容緩。

2. 紅花嶺具高生態保育價值
由山咀經新桂田一直延伸至蓮麻坑的紅花嶺北坡,保存著一大片非常完整的次生林;此片樹林及穿插其中的天然溪澗,孕育出眾多原生動植物[3]。這一帶更有兩個具特殊科學價值地點,為本地分佈極窄的斯氏波魚及本港其中一個最重要的蝙蝠羣棲息地[5]。全球易危的大草鶯在香港的族群對其全球數量有舉足輕重的影響,而紅花嶺的高地草原正正是其重要的生境,範圍由紅花嶺南面一直延伸至香園圍及禾徑山,而蓮麻坑及萬屋邊一帶的低地草原也是其潛在渡冬點[6]。紅花嶺南麓也保存著不少由成熟樹木組成的風水林[7]。

3. 紅花嶺是內地與香港之間最重要與碩果僅存的生態走廊
紅花嶺被視為是內地與香港之間現存唯一的陸地生態走廊[3],[4]。其北面的完整次生林與深圳梧桐山國家森林公園有良好的生態連貫性,而南面的樹林及少受干擾的植被在生態上亦與八仙嶺郊野公園連結。這為內地與香港的野生動物,如陸鳥、兩棲類、爬行類以及小型哺乳類等,提供重要的遷徙廊道。故此,紅花嶺的生境必須予以充分保護,以維持兩地的生態連貫性,令野生物種種群能正常交流並健康發展。事實上,政府的現行政策–「香港生物多樣性策略及行動計劃」的行動項目4a,也尋求加強內地與香港之間的生態連貫性及建立跨境生態走廊。

4. 紅花嶺的歷史文化與景觀價值
紅花嶺是本地歷史文化遺產的一部分。位於伯公坳及礦山的二級歷史建築「麥景陶碉堡」,正正展現昔日其邊防及控制非法移民的角色[8],[9]。散落於紅花嶺四周的破舊設施、機槍堡等,相信是二十世紀興建作防衛用途[10],[11]。蓮麻坑的鉛礦遺址及相關建築,也是香港礦業史的最佳見證[12]。此外,根據規劃署2003年的「香港具景觀價值地點研究」,紅花嶺亦被評為具高景觀價值[13]。

5. 紅花嶺的休閒康樂發展潛力
自從邊境禁區開放,紅花嶺漸受遠足郊遊人士及團體歡迎,到訪礦洞、新桂田及蓮麻坑等地,或由南面麻雀嶺或西南面的禾徑山登至紅花嶺頂峯。附近居民也會以山咀的行山徑作消閒晨運的去處。這些活動正正顯示制定紅花嶺郊野公園的逼切性–使政府可以提供最適切的保護及管理,以服務郊遊人士及防止人為破壞。

6. 對保育紅花嶺的期望
我們認為,《郊野公園條例》比《城市規劃條例》更能有效保育紅花嶺。例如,在《郊野公園條例》下,相關部門能積極管理具保育價值的生境及作恆常巡查。郊野公園內一些生態及景觀重要性較低的地方,可為遊客提供遠足徑、教育及康樂設施,並由有豐富相關經驗的部門設計、管理及維修。使用率低的認可殯葬區及零散現存墓地也可納入郊野公園範圍,透過園內更有效的管制措施防止山火發生及蔓延。郊野公園對車輛的限制也可阻止不當活動及人為破壞。總而言之,我們認為只有郊野公園制度才能有效地保護及管理上述的重要地點。

7. 紅花嶺郊野公園必須按「指定郊野公園的原則及準則(2011)」劃設
根據政府2011年的「指定郊野公園的原則及準則」[14],保育價值、景觀及美觀價值與康樂發展潛力為制定郊野公園的三大重要元素及固有準則;同時,即使某地點包含私人土地,當局也不可機械式地視之為不把該地點納入郊野公園的決定性因素。因此,我們認為上述眾多具高生態及人文歷史保育價值、景觀價值及康樂發展潛力的地點或生境,絕對應該成為紅花嶺郊野公園的一部分,從而對這些地方作更有效的保護與管理。附圖為我們根據2011年的「指定郊野公園的原則及準則」所擬定的紅花嶺郊野公園界線。

總結
紅花嶺郊野公園的設立已經討論多年,理據充足,亦為各團體所支持。我們強烈要求漁農自然護理署嚴肅及充分考慮我們根據「指定郊野公園的原則及準則(2011)」所擬定的紅花嶺郊野公園界線,其面積約1,120公頃,當中超過95%為政府土地。我們認為制定紅花嶺郊野公園的界線必須有充分理據,並以保育為基礎,漁農自然護理署作為管理郊野公園的部門才能對紅花嶺的重要生境、景觀及康樂設施作最適切的管理與保護。紅花嶺郊野公園的設立,不但有利野生生物跨境遷移,亦絕對能為內地與香港兩地的生態保育以至大灣區的可持續發展作出示範。我們希望上述的意見及建議,可協助當局劃設一個能真正對香港及整體中國自然保育有貢獻的郊野公園。



六個發起團體(排名不分先後)﹕
長春社、創建香港、綠色力量、香港觀鳥會、香港鄉郊基金、嘉道理農場暨植物園

支持團體(排名不分先後)﹕
香港地貌岩石保育學會、香港大學學生會理學會生態學及生物多樣性學會、香港地球之友、海下之友有限公司、綠領行動、綠色和平、環保觸覺、Hong Kong Outdoors、島嶼活力行動、西貢護牛天使

[1] 香港特別行政區政府(2017年1月18日)。二零一七年施政報告第113段。取自https://www.policyaddress.gov.hk/jan2017/chi/p112.html
[2] 環境局(2018年12月13日)。全新郊野公園?又點止咁簡單!取自https://www.enb.gov.hk/tc/sens-blog/blog20181213.html
[3] Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden. 2004. A Pilot Biodiversity Study of the eastern Frontier Closed Area and North East New Territories, Hong Kong, June-December 2003. Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden Publication Series No.1. Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Hong Kong Special Adminstrative Region. Retrieved from https://www.kfbg.org/upload/Docu ... CA-report-final.pdf
[4] Planning Department. (2010). Final Report of the Land Use Planning for the Closed Area. Retrieved from https://www.pland.gov.hk/pland_e ... eng/frontier_e1.htm
[5] Ades G.W.J. (1999). The species composition, distribution and population size of Hong Kong bats. Memoirs of the Hong Kong Natural History Society. No.22. PP 183-209
[6] Ho, W. G. [何維俊]. (2015). Status survey and conservation action plan for Chinese grassbird Graminicola striatus in Hong Kong, China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10722/221835
[7] AFCD. (2006). Fung Shui Woods in Hong Kong (Advisory Council on the Environment Nature Conservation Subcommittee Paper NCSC 9/06). Retrieved from https://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/sites ... csc-paper-06-09.pdf
[8] Antiquities Advisory Board. (2009). Historic Building Appraisal – MacIntosh Forts (Kong Shan). Retrieved from http://www.aab.gov.hk/historicbuilding/en/298_Appraisal_En.pdf
[9] Antiquities Advisory Board. (2009). Historic Building Appraisal – MacIntosh Forts (Pak Fu Shan). Retrieved from http://www.aab.gov.hk/historicbuilding/en/301_Appraisal_En.pdf
[10] 阮志(2016)。《越界﹕香港跨境村莊及文化遺產》。香港﹕三聯書店(香港)有限公司,187-188頁
[11] 劉蜀永、蘇萬興(2015)。《蓮麻坑村志》。香港﹕中華書局(香港)有限公司,175-177頁
[12] Trefor Williams. (1991). The Story of Lin Ma Hang Lead Mine, 1915-1962. Geotechnical Engineering Office, HKSAR (Ed.), Geological Society of Hong Kong Newsletter Vol 9 No.4, p.3-27. Retrieved from http://www.geolsoc.org.hk/_newsl ... %20Vol.9%20No.4.pdf
[13] Planning Department - Landscape Value Map of Hong Kong https://www.pland.gov.hk/pland_e ... mmary_hp/fig_31.htm
[14] 漁農自然護理署(2011)。覆檢指定郊野公園的準則及為保護郊野公園不包括的土地建議採取的措施(郊野公園及海岸公園委員會工作文件:WP/CMPB/6/2011)。取自https://www.afcd.gov.hk/tc_chi/a ... /WP_CMPB_6_2011.pdf

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16 Groups’ Joint Statement on the Designation of the Robin’s Nest Country Park
21 May 2019

The Government promised in the 2017 Policy Address that Robin’s Nest will be designated as a Country Park[1]. The Secretary of Environment Mr. Wong Kam Sing also confirmed in December 2018 that the designation of the Robin’s Nest Country Park (RNCP) is on its way and will be the 25th Country Park in Hong Kong[2]. We support this new Country Park as the conservation importance of Robin’s Nest has been repeatedly recognized since its identification as a potential Country Park some 26 years ago. We consider that the Country Park system is suitable for the protection, conservation and management of important ecological resources in the Robin’s Nest and associated areas (“Robin’s Nest area”). Below are the key justifications and principles that we expect the Government to follow in the upcoming RNCP designation process.

1. Robin’s Nest conservation value has for a long time been well-recognized by both the Government and groups
Back in 1993, the Territorial Development Strategy Review Study by the Planning Department already identified an area extending from Robin’s Nest to Wo Keng Shan as a potential Country Park. 10 years later, in 2003, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG) conducted a biodiversity study in the eastern Frontier Closed Area and recommended Lin Ma Hang, San Kwai Tin and Robin’s Nest to be included in a new Country Park[3]. The feasibility study of the Land Use Planning for the Frontier Closed Area (FCA Study) commissioned by the Planning Department in 2008 also recommended the designation of the RNCP[4]. Currently, “Designate new Country Park at Robin’s Nest, and extend Country Park to cover country park enclaves at appropriate locations” is Action2(b) under the Hong Kong Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP) (2016-2021) initiated by the Government. It is clear that the conservation of Robin’s Nest is well-recognized and the Government should therefore not further delay the designation.

2. The Robin’s Nest area is of high conservation significance
The northern slope of Robin’s Nest, extending from Shan Tsui to San Kwai Tin and Lin Ma Hang, is well covered with continuous secondary woodland intermingled with natural streams of conservation concern, it thus supports a high diversity of flora and fauna[3]. Two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) were even designated in this area for the conservation of the highly restricted, rare freshwater fish Chinese Rasbora and one of the most important bat colonies in Hong Kong[5]. Robin’s Nest is also important for the globally vulnerable Chinese Grassbird, for which Hong Kong is considered a stronghold. The Chinese Grassbird’s preferred upland grassland habitat stretches from the southern slope of Robin’s Nest to Wo Keng Shan and Heung Yuen Wai, while the lowland grasslands at Lin Ma Hang and Man Uk Pin are potential wintering sites of this species[6]. Many large fung shui woodlands with mature trees are found along the foot of the southern slope of Robin’s Nest[7].

3. The Robin’s Nest area is an important and unique ecological corridor
Robin’s Nest is well-recognized as the only obvious terrestrial ecological corridor between Hong Kong and mainland China[3],[4], with continuous secondary woodland at the northern slope ecologically connected to the Wutongshan National Forest Park in Shenzhen while strips of woodlands and other undisturbed vegetated areas at the southern slope are linked to those at the Pat Sin Leng Country Park. This corridor is the only well-vegetated pathway with little built-up area where wild animals (e.g. land birds, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals) can still move between Hong Kong and Shenzhen/Guangdong, thus their population in these two places can be healthily sustained. Therefore, all the habitats along this corridor should be well-protected to maintain such ecological connectivity both across and within the Hong Kong border. “Enhance habitat connectivity and establish ecological corridors across the boundary” is, in fact, required under Action 4(a) of the Hong Kong BSAP (2016-2021) which is a Government policy.

4. The Robin’s Nest area is of high cultural/historical and landscape significance
Various heritage resources within the Robin’s Nest area have different local historical interest or significance. For example, the Grade-2-listed Macintosh Forts at Pak Kung Au and Kong Shan served the role in bringing law and order to the frontier and in the control of illegal immigration[8],[9]. Some ruins, pillboxes and other structures are believed to have been built for defensive purpose during the 20th century[10],[11]. Lin Ma Hang Lead Mine and its adjacent ruins form good evidence in reflecting Hong Kong’s mining history[12]. The hilly terrain of Robin’s Nest is also identified as being of high landscape value in the Landscape Value Mapping of Hong Kong by the Planning Department in 2003[13].

5. Recreational potential of the Robin’s Nest Area
Since the opening-up of the Frontier Closed Area, Robin’s Nest is becoming more popular with hikers and groups, who wish to explore places like the Lead Mine, San Kwai Tin and Lin Ma Hang. Local people also regularly use the nature trails at Shan Tsui for passive recreational activities, while hikers utilise hiking trails from the southern side of Robin’s Nest (e.g. Ma Tseuk Leng) and Wo Keng Shan to access the summit. All these activities indicate the importance and urgency to designate the Robin’s Nest area to be a Country Park, in order to provide better protection (e.g. from undesirable human disturbance) and management (e.g. for the enjoyment of the public).

6. Expectations of better protection and management in Country Parks
The Country Park system, under the Country Park Ordinance (Cap. 208), offers a higher level of protection than the land use control under the Town Planning Ordinance (Cap. 131). Habitats of conservation concern can be actively managed and protected with regular patrols. Facilities for visitors and hiking routes can be designed, provided and maintained in the ecologically and scenically less-sensitive areas of the Country Park, for public education and enjoyment. Existing graves and burial grounds can be respected and managed within the Country Park for better regulation and fire prevention. Restriction of vehicle access to/in the Country Park is in place to prevent destruction of habitats and blockage of hiking trails caused by undesirable human activities or development. Given the high conservation, landscape and recreation value of the Robin’s Nest area, as explained in this and previous sections, we consider the aforementioned areas should be included into the proposed RNCP for better protection and management under the country park system.

7. RNCP boundary should follow the “Principles and Criteria for Designating Country Parks (2011)”
According to the 2011 Principles and Criteria[14], an AFCD policy document, conservation value, recreation potential as well as landscape and aesthetic value are the key themes of the intrinsic criteria for identifying suitable areas for designating Country Parks, while private land is not automatically taken as a determining factor for exclusion from the Country Park boundary. Therefore, the aforementioned areas of high ecological, historical, cultural and landscape value (please refer to sections 2, 3 and 4) should be included within the boundary of RNCP for nature and heritage conservation and management. Our proposed RNCP boundary, following the 2011 Principles and Criteria and respecting all the above RNCP justifications, is illustrated in the map attached.

Conclusion
It is clear that the justification for the designation of the RNCP is well-established and various groups support the designation of this new Country Park. We strongly urge the AFCD to consider our proposal and define the boundary of the RNCP according to the “Principles and Criteria for Designating Country Parks (2011)”. Our proposed RNCP is about 1,120 hectares in size and over 95% of the area is Government land. We consider that a well-justified boundary, set on the basis of conservation is important, as it empowers AFCD as the Country Park management authority for implementation, management and improvement of the proposed RNCP. We also note that establishing RNCP as an ecological corridor for terrestrial fauna will serve to connect Hong Kong’s Country Park network to protected areas in Guangdong, providing a good example of how Hong Kong’s experience in protected area management and conservation could contribute to the sustainable development of the Greater Bay Area. We sincerely hope all the above comments and recommendations can assist the Government to designate a Country Park that can truly contribute to the nature conservation in Hong Kong and China in general.

Six co-organized groups (in alphabetical order):
The Conservancy Association, Designing Hong Kong, Green Power, The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, The Hong Kong Countryside Foundation, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden

Supporting organizations (in alphabetical order):
Association for Geoconservation, Hong Kong, Ecology & Biodiversity Society, SS, HKUSU, Friends of the Earth (HK), Friends of Hoi Ha, Greeners Action, Greenpeace, Greensense, Hong Kong Outdoors, Living Islands Movement, Sai Kung Cattle’s Angel



[1] HKSAR Government. (2017, January 18). Paragraph 113 of 2017 Policy Address. Retrieved from https://www.policyaddress.gov.hk/jan2017/eng/p112.html
[2] Environment Bureau. (2018, December 13). 全新郊野公園?又點止咁簡單![A new country park? Not that simple!] Retrieved from https://www.enb.gov.hk/tc/sens-blog/blog20181213.html
[3] Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden. 2004. A Pilot Biodiversity Study of the eastern Frontier Closed Area and North East New Territories, Hong Kong, June-December 2003. Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden Publication Series No.1. Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Hong Kong Special Adminstrative Region. Retrieved from https://www.kfbg.org/upload/Docu ... CA-report-final.pdf
[4] Planning Department. (2010). Final Report of the Land Use Planning for the Closed Area. Retrieved from https://www.pland.gov.hk/pland_e ... eng/frontier_e1.htm
[5] Ades G.W.J. (1999). The species composition, distribution and population size of Hong Kong bats. Memoirs of the Hong Kong Natural History Society. No.22. PP 183-209
[6] Ho, W. G. [何維俊]. (2015). Status survey and conservation action plan for Chinese grassbird Graminicola striatus in Hong Kong, China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10722/221835
[7] AFCD. (2006). Fung Shui Woods in Hong Kong (Advisory Council on the Environment Nature Conservation Subcommittee Paper NCSC 9/06). Retrieved from https://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/sites ... csc-paper-06-09.pdf
[8] Antiquities Advisory Board. (2009). Historic Building Appraisal – MacIntosh Forts (Kong Shan). Retrieved from http://www.aab.gov.hk/historicbuilding/en/298_Appraisal_En.pdf
[9] Antiquities Advisory Board. (2009). Historic Building Appraisal – MacIntosh Forts (Pak Fu Shan). Retrieved from http://www.aab.gov.hk/historicbuilding/en/301_Appraisal_En.pdf
[10] 阮志(2016)。《越界﹕香港跨境村莊及文化遺產》。香港﹕三聯書店(香港)有限公司,187-188頁
[11] 劉蜀永、蘇萬興(2015)。《蓮麻坑村志》。香港﹕中華書局(香港)有限公司,175-177頁
[12] Trefor Williams. (1991). The Story of Lin Ma Hang Lead Mine, 1915-1962. Geotechnical Engineering Office, HKSAR (Ed.), Geological Society of Hong Kong Newsletter Vol 9 No.4, p.3-27. Retrieved from http://www.geolsoc.org.hk/_newsl ... %20Vol.9%20No.4.pdf
[13] Planning Department - Landscape Value Map of Hong Kong https://www.pland.gov.hk/pland_e ... mmary_hp/fig_31.htm
[14] AFCD. (2011). Review of the Criteria for Designating Country Parks and Proposed Measures for Protecting Country Park Enclaves (Country and Marine Parks Board Working Paper: WP/CMPB/6/2011). Retrieved from https://www.afcd.gov.hk/english/ ... _CMPB_6_2011eng.pdf

[ Last edited by HKBWS Suet Mei at 24/05/2019 12:03 ]

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