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Green Groups Joint Action 環團聯合行動

This topic has been sticky by HKBWS Chuan at 16/06/2017 14:55.

Green Groups Joint Action 環團聯合行動



PRESS RELEASE


Green groups condemn the inappropriate tree trimming works by LCSD and

urge AFCD for immediate investigation and enforcement


(16 June 2017) 15 green groups jointly express their shock, disappointment and anger on the destruction of the nesting colony of egrets and herons by the LCSD tree team at Tai Po Market egretry on 6 June which has led to at least 16 birds dead and further 10 birds rescued and taken into care. They consider there is clear evidence that the birds and nests were wilfully disturbed and thus urge the AFCD to fully investigate the case and carry out enforcement actions if any party is guilty of having contravened the Wild Animal Protection Ordinance (Cap. 170). The groups protested at the Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices this morning and handed in the joint letter together with some public comments to a representative of AFCD.

Ms. Woo Ming Chuan, conservation officer of the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, said, “The purpose of this joint green groups action is neither to direct the focus of the public to AFCD nor to let LCSD get away from the incident, but rather to clearly indicate the seriousness of the issue. This is about violating Cap.170 or not, we therefore urge AFCD to carry out investigation and LCSD should not escape from this issue. On one hand, we green groups appreciate the prompt actions and efforts made by AFCD in the rescue of fallen birds, monitoring of the egretry and negotiation with LCSD after the incident, and we thank them for their hard work. However, on the other hand, we are disappointed that AFCD has not yet stated if there was any violation of Cap.170 or if any prosecution will be made.”

At the time of the incident, LCSD staff were informed of the adverse impacts of their actions on birds and their nests, and were asked by a member of the public to stop, but they ignored the concern and carried on. The large number of birds and nests present was very obvious to on-lookers and it is simply not believable that LCSD staff did not notice the birds. By 15 June 2017, a total of 26 birds have been sent to the Wild Animal Rescue Centre of the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden for rescue and rehabilitation. Among them, 16 died while 10 are still under intensive treatment and care. However, the number of casualties should be higher as dead birds found at the site of the incident were not sent to KFBG.

Ms. Woo continued, “Proper enforcement plays a critical role in deterrence of future incidents. As the authority responsible for enforcing this ordinance, AFCD should have the responsibility to fully investigate and follow-up, and to carry out enforcement actions and prosecution for any offence against the ordinance. We consider that it is a serious default and would lead to a great public disappointment and distrust if case was not fully investigated and brought to a fair and transparent conclusion. The groups consider that not pursuing this case also undermines the mission and vision of AFCD and the Hong Kong Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, which is to conserve and protect the city’s natural environment and biodiversity. They urge AFCD to give a prompt and clear explanation concerning the investigation and the prosecution process.”

Ms. Kami Hui, conservation manager of The Conservancy Association, said, “the poor tree trimming method in this incident not only damaged the health and structure of the trees, but also affected the stability of the remaining nests on the trees and increased the risk of more nests and the birds falling. As such, we would like to urge the Development Bureau and related department(s) to review and improve the current tree trimming procedures and system by including elements related to the protection of wildlife, and have adequate professional supervision to ensure the quality of their work in order to ensure similar incidents do not happen again.”

Besides the prosecution actions, the groups advised AFCD and and corresponding departments/ bureaux (including Development Bureau, Environment Bureau, Home Affairs Bureau and related works departments) should consider developing new internal government guideline(s) so as to avoid future destruction threats to bird species and their nests caused by tree trimming or other construction works. Reference can be made to the “Guidelines for Planning and Carrying out Construction Works at Egretries” published by The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society last year which were developed following extensive consultation with representatives of several relevant departments, ecological consultants and the private sector.

【新聞稿】

環團譴責康文署不當修樹危害雀鳥 促請漁護署嚴正調查及執法



15個環保團體(包括香港地貌岩石保育協會、長春社、創建香港、環保協進會、香港大學學生會理學會環境生命科學學會、綠惜地球、綠色力量、環保觸覺、綠領行動、綠色和平東亞分部香港辦公室、香港自然生態論壇、香港觀鳥會、香港海豚保育學會、香港自然探索學會、世界自然基金會香港分會)聯署,就上星期二康文署於大埔墟鷺鳥林進行修樹工程造成至少16隻雀鳥死亡另外10隻獲救,感到震驚、失望及憤怒。由於署方職員明顯嚴重干擾雀鳥及鳥巢,因此團體促請漁護署應立即展開調查及跟進,對違反香港法例第170章《野生動物保護條例》的行為必須提出檢控。團體於長沙灣政府合署請願,並向漁護署代表提交聯署信及展示市民的心聲。

香港觀鳥會保育主任胡明川表示:「今次環團聯合行動的目的,不是要將市民的焦點轉移到漁護署身上,更不是『放生』康文署,而是要顯示康文署修樹殺雀事件的嚴重性。這是關乎有否違反香港法例第170章《野生動物保護條例》,因此我們促請漁護署嚴正調查及執法,並要求康文署不要回避問題所在。我們一方面感謝漁護署於事發後迅速到現場協助拯救雀鳥及派員監察鷺鳥林,並與康文署磋商,我們誠意感謝他們的努力。但另一方面,漁護署至今仍未清楚解釋事件有否觸犯香港法例第170章,亦未說明會否進行檢控行動,我們感到失望。」

事發當日已即時有市民提醒工作人員修樹工程已干擾雀鳥及鳥巢,並要求立刻停止,但有關職員並沒有理會,導致這件悲劇發生。而該鷺鳥林的鳥巢及雀鳥的數量非常多,應是顯然易見的,團體實在很難相信康文署職員未能留意牠們的存在。截至2017年6月15日為止,一共有26隻雀鳥送往嘉道理農場暨植物園的野生動物拯救中心進行拯救和復康,當中有16隻不幸身亡,另外10隻正接受治療及照顧。但事件導致的死亡數字應更高,因為現場的雀鳥屍體並不會送往嘉道理農場。

胡明川指出:「我們認為要阻止同類事件發生,嚴正調查及執法是非常重要。漁護署作為香港法例第170章下的獲授權人員,有責任立即展開調查及跟進,全力對違法行為提出檢控。假若漁護署最後決定不作出全面調查及檢控,我們認為絕對有失職之嫌,更有負市民所託及期望,亦有負漁護署及「香港生物多樣性策略及行動計劃」有關保護自然環境及生物多樣性的願景及抱負。我們促請漁護署盡快清楚交代現時調查及檢控程序的最新情況。」

長春社保育經理許淑君亦說:「是次事件的樹木修剪方法差劣,除了影響樹木的健康及結構,更令樹上的鳥巢變得不穩定,出現墜落的風險。因此,我們促請發展局及相關部門檢討及完善現有修剪樹木的程序及機制,加入保護野生動物的元素,並有充足的專業監管以確保工作質素,以免同類事件再次發生。」
除此之外,漁護署、有關部門及政策局(包括發展局、環境局、民政事務局及有關的工務部門)應制訂新的政府內部指引,避免修樹或其他工程影響繁殖雀鳥及鳥巢。當局可參考香港觀鳥會去年發佈的《在鷺鳥林規劃及實施工程指引》。該指引是與不同政府部門、生態顧問公司及私營機構的代表進行廣泛諮詢而制訂的。

二零一七年六月十六日

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Joint letter of 15 green groups to AFCD to urge for investigation and prosecution


15個環保團體聯署去信漁護署 促請嚴正調查及執法







20170616_Joint letter to DAFC to urge for investigation and prosecution_final.pdf (515.56 KB)
香港觀鳥會 HKBWS

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Reply from AFCD on 22 June 2017
漁護署於2017年6月22日的回覆

Within one week’s time from the submission of our joint letter, HKBWS together with 14 other green groups received AFCD’s reply last night. AFCD said they are now conducting an investigation and follow-up actions would be determined based on the information gathered. We hope AFCD can give the public a prompt and clear explanation on the findings of the investigation. The Society will also continue to follow-up the case with AFCD.
環保團體聯署信提交後不到一星期,本會連同其他團體昨晚已經收到漁護署的回覆,指署方現正進行調查,並會根據調查結果決定有關跟進行動。我們希望漁護署盡快向公眾交代調查結果,本會也會繼續與漁護署跟進事件。




香港觀鳥會 HKBWS

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