Subject: [Hong Kong] 一人一信Support Po Toi Country Park! Deadline 27 April 2015! [Print This Page]
Author: HKBWS Chuan Time: 20/04/2015 18:06 Subject: 一人一信Support Po Toi Country Park! Deadline 27 April 2015!
Every Submission Counts! Support the Po Toi Country Park on or before the deadline 27 April 2015!!!
For more information, please see the link below:
Secretary,Town Planning Board
15/F, North Point Government Offices
333 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong
- (1) Po Toi Islands are the southern-most outlying islands in Hong Kong. Owing to its special geographical location, the lack of disturbance and quality of habitats on the island, Po Toi is a crucial refuelling stop for migratory birds that is of international importance and of special scientific value for the study of bird migration in Hong Kong and the East Asian Flyway.
- (2) 328 species of birds have been recorded on Po Toi and its nearby waters, which is over 60% of the total number of Hong Kong and includes many rare and globally threatened species. This number of species is comparable to that in Mai Po and well in excess of that in Long Valley or Tai Po Kau.
- (3) Tai Wan, Wan Tsai (near the pier) and Ngong Chong of Po Toi are of high ecological value as they provide essential foraging and roosting habitats (e.g., large mature trees) for migratory birds and many of them are of conservation importance.
- (4) Po Toi supports a natural population of the endemic and endangered Romer’s Tree Frog, Burmese Python, Tree Gecko and a variety of butterfly species.
- (5) The waters around Po Toi are of conservation importance. Finless Porpoises frequent waters in the area. Waglan Island has a breeding colony of terns. The unspoilt natural setting contributes to the landscape and ecological value of the area.
- (6) Po Toi Island is an excellent outdoor classroom for studying and appreciating granite geomorphology as well as an interesting attraction for sightseers. The vast Po Toi Granite was formed from the last large magma intrusion in Hong Kong dated back to 140 million years ago, weathering and erosion combined to produce an amazing, unique and spectacular landforms which are of high aesthetic and educational value.There are no other areas in Hong Kong which has such high concentration of high aesthetic valued granite tors such as the famous Buddha’s Palm, Monk Rock,Sacred Tortoise etc. on just one small island.
- (7) Po Toi is a popular location for holiday visitors.Recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, bird-watching and wildlife photography are attracting large and growing numbers of visitors to the island.There are also special cultural activities on Po Toi, which include Chinese Opera and dragon-boat racing during Festival (太平清醮)and sea-weed collecting.
Given the facts above, I OBJECT to the Draft Po Toi Islands OZP (Plan No. S/I-PTI/1), and would like to urge the Town Planning Board (TPB) to carefully consider the recommendations below.
- (1) TPB should recognize the significant ecological, geological and cultural value of Po Toi Islands.
- (2) TPB should support the current “Conservation Area” (CA)zoning, which is primarily for conservation and generally against development.The CA zoning should also expand into the “Residential (Group D)” (R(D)) zoning in order to provide better protection to the important habitats within the R(D)zone.
- (3) TPB should object to the “Residential (Group D)” (R(D)) zoning,which is primarily for upgrading of existing temporary structures and for low-rise, low-density residential developments. The R(D) zone is located at the mature woodland next to the pier. Any development in the area would cause adverse impact on the woodland which is an important foraging and roosting location for migratory birds. The area should be zoned as “Conservation Area” (CA), which “redevelopment of houses” can be applied through the TPB and considered on a case-by-case basis.
- (4) TPB should ensure the mature trees at the north of the Village Type Development zone are properly protected. Any future Small House development should avoid areas of mature trees and each application should only be considered by the TPB on a case-by-case basis.
- (5) TPB should recognize the limitations of the statutory control of zonings under the Town Planning Ordinance, in which the development of recreational facilities (with overnight accommodation) may lead to irreversible ecological impacts on Po Toi Islands. Therefore, TPB should not support such recreational developments unless the islands are under active management by the Authorities (i.e., zoned as Country Park and managed by the Agriculture,Fisheries and Conservation Department).
- (6) TPB should zone Po Toi as "Site of Special Scientific Interest" (SSSI) to step-up the protection of the area; and ultimately should support the designation of the Po Toi Islands as Country Park for comprehensive management and protection under the Country Park Ordinance. The designation of Country Park would prevent any haphazard developments which may cause adverse and irreparable impact to the Po Toi Islands, and would benefit local residents as well as visitors by provision of basic infrastructure and some recreational utilities.
(Please fill-in your name)
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Author: HFCheung Time: 21/04/2015 15:31
Please write to include Lo Chau Pak Pai into the protection area.
[ Last edited by HFCheung at 21/04/2015 15:32 ]
Author: gary Time: 21/04/2015 21:53
Is there any more background about this campaign?
In a holistic view, I can't see designation of Country Park can help bird/birding activities on the island as the core area of birdwatching is village or residential zone which is difficult to rezone as Country Park.
Also, please be aware wild camping is prohibited in Country Park - designation of Country Park would make the camping site from unofficial to illegal. Of course you can ask for a proper camping site on Po Toi, but I am afraid it would trigger more infrastructure on the island.
Country Park can help preserve the habitat intact but it would also draw more visitor and therefore more tourist and safety facilities. Conservation is not always compatible with eco-tourism, making the island high profile or an official country park may trigger side effect.
Author: wgeoff Time: 22/04/2015 15:09
Thanks for your comments Gary
After the attempt to construct a columbarium on Po Toi, Planning Department were asked to produce a Development Plan for Po Toi. Their proposal can be seen in the map above.
The proposed R(D) zone (Residential Group D) around the Ferry Pier in the above map is a completely new zoning. R(D) is a zone where the intention is development rather than preservation.
We strongly oppose this zoning in such an important area. We believe the correct zoning should be CA or Conservation Area. We have made this objection in person to the Planning Department but it appears they are determined to create a development zone in this area.
If this happens, we believe that a Country Park designation for the whole Island, which would then be under the control of AFCD, is the only way to ensure that any development is conservation oriented. We are not against development on Po Toi (e.g. the proposed YMCA camp) provided it preserves the current environment, and particularly the tall trees in the area of the Ferry Pier and surrounding the Village zone. The recent record of the Ijima's Warbler in these trees is a great example of why these trees are important.
I hope this explains points (1) to (6) above in our response but comments are very welcome.
[ Last edited by wgeoff at 22/04/2015 15:48 ]
Author: HKBWS Chuan Time: 22/04/2015 15:33
Thanks Geoff. Very well explained.
Po Toi is now designated with various zonings under the Town Planning Ordinance and it is currently the consultation period (deadline 27April) for the general public to make comments on it. The zonings proposed by the Planning Department is shown in the above images.
A residential zoning (which allows residential development)is proposed at one of the core area of bird habitats. This is considered to be inappropriate and unacceptable. That is why we are encouraging people to make their own comments/recommendations on the Plan, and get this message across to the Town Planning Board members who will have the power to decide to approve the Plan or not. Please see our letter above for the some of our specific recommendations on the Plan.
I understand the threats that you have mentioned, they can also happen under the current zoning (e.g., in Conservation Area). However, Country Park offers regular management and active patrolling, which the current zoning system under the Town Planning Ordinance cannot provide. Any development within a Country Park will also require to apply through the Country and Marine Parks Board. That is why, we ultimately would like Po Toi to be designated as a Country Park as it can provide better protection to the islands.
Thanks a lot for your concerns and comments, and please also submit your views to the Town Planning Board regarding the proposed zonings and the conservation of Po Toi. I think it is important to voice out our concerns/recommendations.
Author: Sze Time: 23/04/2015 01:34
Any updated information about "The locations of Hong Kong first records, rare species and threatened species" which like the Figure 2.7. on Page 26 in the Po Toi report ( http://www.hkbws.org.hk/BBS/viewthread.php?tid=17119)?
Author: wgeoff Time: 24/04/2015 06:54
We have updated this report as part of our submission to Planning Department and I think Chuan will shortly be posting the latest version to the website.
Author: HKBWS Chuan Time: 24/04/2015 11:44
To my understanding, there is no change in Figure 2.7 of the report. There will be some updates on number of species found on Po Toi, but I still need some more time to finish the write-up of our submission and update the report. I will post the updated report when it is ready.
Author: John Holmes Time: 24/04/2015 15:58 Subject: Po Toi development plan
I've submitted my comments to the Town Planning Board and I urge others to do so.... let's not let Po Toi get trashed !
Author: wgeoff Time: 25/04/2015 08:03
I hope everyone follows your example and sends the message to Town Planning Department.
[ Last edited by wgeoff at 25/04/2015 08:10 ]
Author: Sze Time: 26/04/2015 22:04
Thanks Geoff and Chuen.
One more question: Do we have any information about the number of bird species are recorded on Po Toi only but not in other place in HK?
[ Last edited by Sze at 27/04/2015 00:57 ]
Author: wgeoff Time: 27/04/2015 06:51
Yes, good question Sze.
By definition, these must be HK First Records. Looking through the HK First Record list since Avifauna (1998), the Po Toi First Records not seen elsewhere are
Orange-breasted Green Pigeon
Whistling Green Pigeon
and surely to come Ijima's Leaf Warbler.
All these have occurred since 2006 and all the land birds were in the central area of Po Toi.
All have been listed in our submission to TPD.
This count of 12 equals that of MPNR since 1998 so Po Toi is a location surely worth preserving.
PS I understand that at least seven species of flycatcher were seen on Po Toi yesterday on the HKBWS boat trip. They were Grey-headed, Narcissus, Ferruginous, Asia Brown, Grey-streaked, Red-throated and Red-breasted. Not an unusual number at this time of the year on Po Toi (I have had nine in one day) and again all in the central area.
Where else in Hong Kong can you get such a number in such a small area? - maybe Tai Po Kau only.
So please don't forget to send in your support to protect Po Toi to TPD - see the first posting above in this thread.
Today is the last day for submission.
[ Last edited by wgeoff at 27/04/2015 07:21 ]
Author: Sze Time: 27/04/2015 11:44
Geoff! Thanks for your information again!
May I ask that "the central area of Po Toi" you said, is it mean the areas will be designed to R(D) and V zone?
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[ Last edited by Sze at 27/04/2015 12:28 ]
Author: wgeoff Time: 27/04/2015 17:51
Yes Sze, the combined R(D) and V zone.
Thanks for the reference to the RTHK program, we were looking for it.
Author: HKBWS Chuan Time: 29/04/2015 11:47
Thank you very much for all your generous support! Over 7,000 people participated in our online petition! Thank you again for showing your concerns about Po Toi! Hope our voices can help protect Po Toi, and ultimately can push for Po Toi Country Park!
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