Save Mui Wo’s Buffalo

i Jul 12th No Comments by


There are only three buffalo left in Mui Wo and there is more than enough space for them to co-exist peacefully with humans — and they keep the acres of marshy scrubland here trimmed. Yet the authorities (and property developers) deem them a threat to public safety and want to move them.

梅窩只剩餘三頭水牛,我們有足夠的土地令牠們繼續生活,與人類和平共存。牠們亦為灌木叢林修剪草地。但現在有關政府(土地發展者) 認為牠們對公眾構成危險而希望強制遷移水牛。



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如你贊同,請加入簽名請願行動。要求漁農自然護理處(漁護處) 取消第二次試圖遷徙水牛行動。

If you prefer to lobby the AFCD as an individual, the contact is:

Dr Howard K.H. Wong

B.A.(Hons), M.A., Vet.MB., MPVM, MRCVS

Principle Veterinary Officer

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department

Tel: (852) 2150 7068 Fax: (852) 2152 0320




July 10: Cheung Chau Visit

i Jul 8th No Comments by

We have received advice that Cheung Chau will be holding a “Green Movement Day” on Sunday, July 10, as per the itinerary below.

This is part of Cheung Chau’s campaign against the super-incinerator on nearby Shek Kwu Chau, to which LIM is also strongly opposed.

A group of us will be taking the 10.10 am Inter Islands Ferry from Mui Wo to Cheung Chau to support the event, and of course we would welcome any and all LIM members and friends who would like to join us.

If possible, please let us know in advance ( via e-mail: ) if you intend to come along, so that we can reserve places on the boat trip to Shek Kwu Chau or if necessary organise an additional sampan, but last minute delegates also welcome!”

Cheung Chau Green Movement Day Itinerary: Sunday, July 10

Opening ceremony

9.00 am Chairman’s Declaration and Statement; Speeches by guests;

9.15 am Magic Show

9.45 am Awards grant(solid waste design contest and colouring competition among primary schools)

9.50 am Opening ceremony by heads of associations, school representatives, and officials’ representatives.

The Universal Declaration of Solid Waste Sorting activities begin.

10.00 am Opening ceremony ends

10.05 am Interviews with residents / students / businesses … etc.

11.00 am Site observation visit to the Shek Kwu Chau area (Notes: 1. Grand Canal can carry 50 people; or 2. boat trip which can carry seven per vessel; to be confirmed)

Noon Lunch

1.00 pm No glue (no plastic bags) on the streets — interview situation
2.00 pm Classification of solid waste
3.00 pm The programme is complete; participants are free for interviews

Closing ceremony

4.00 pm Convener’s Speech
4.05 pm Presentation of souvenirs to cooperating groups
4.10 pm Presentations to volunteers
4.20 pm Performances
4.30 pm Declaration of the

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programme of future activities
4.35 pm Ends





LIM Objection: Super-Incinerator

i Jun 28th No Comments by

LIM issues a letter of objection to the draft Outline Zoning Plan for the proposed Shek Kwu Chau Super-incinerator.

  • Deadline for objections: June 29, 2011. (more…)

Support The Ban on Trawling

i Jun 7th No Comments by

Please support Living Seas in the final push through Legco Finance Committee.

LIM strongly supports the proposed trawling ban as we believe this will ultimately be highly beneficial to tourism and eco-tourism in maritime Hong Kong, including the Islands District.

Coral reefs and seabeds will be allowed to regenerate and fish populations revived. There will be greater food supply for marine mammals and sea birds; dolphin watching, bird watching, diving, snorkeling and recreational fishing will all become worthwhile recreations after many years of decline.

Our enquiries find that most of the Cheung Chau fishing fleet will be unaffected as it fishes outside Hong Kong waters; others will be adequately compensated by government.

Living Seas

[box] From: Dod O’Dwyer
Subject: Trawling ban – Legco Finance Committee vote

We are close, oh so very close to success on getting the trawling ban completely accepted in Hong Kong, however we aren’t there yet and at this last stage your help is needed, again.

I spoke to the AFCD and have found out that the major issue to be finalised to ensure that the trawling ban actually happens is the vote by the Legco Finance committee on June 10.

At this meeting, the AFCD and the FEHD (Food and Environmental Hygiene Department) will request the funding required to compensate the affected fishermen and to implement the trawling ban in Hong Kong (steps such as buying back trawling boats, setting up additional artificial reefs, marine surveys etc).

Some fishermen are still actively pursuing increased compensation and crying foul. In my view this is confusing the issue.[/box]

Two requests:

1. Attend the Legco Finance committee are meeting on June 10 at 3 pm. If you are available, please reserve a seat via 2869 9399. A public gallery that is full of green groups and civic minded citizens will definitely help push this through.

2. The fishing community is still fighting this and if you and/or your members have not yet written into support the government efforts on the trawling ban please do pass on the message. I also understand that certain political parties are sitting on the fence and may still oppose this important initiative at this late stage.

I suggest that at this stage e-mails are sent directly to the Finance Committee and to the major political parties listed below.

Legco Finance Committee:

Political Parties:

Below is a very quickly put together suggested e-mail that can be used. Copy and paste into an e-mail and adjust as appropriate.

Thanks for your support on this. Please do contact me directly if you have any questions or additional thoughts. Living Seas will be writing formally to the Finance Committee.

Model Message:

Dear XXX

I am resident of Hong Kong and currently live in _ _ _ _ _ _.

I support the government’s proposal to ban all trawling in Hong Kong’s seas. It is long overdue.
Fish stocks in Hong Kong are depleted and our seas are a valuable recreational resource that has
long being abused and ignored.

I understand that some fishermen are objecting to this ban and are seeking increased
compensation; I do understand and empathize with their concerns for their future, however
trawling as a practice is fundamentally destroying the future for the whole fishing community
and devastating a valuable recreational resource, a resource that is vital piece of what makes
Hong Kong a wonderful place to live and work.

The trawling ban is about ensuring that Hong Kong’s seas are vibrant for the long term survival
of the fisheries sector and for the whole community.

I am writing to urge you to support the trawling ban financial package to be presented on June 10
and to ensure that the far reaching plan for the ban on trawling is fully implemented as soon
as possible.

Yours sincerely










Documentation: Super-Incinerator

i Mar 27th No Comments by
LIM’s Letter of Objection to the Draft Outline
Zoning Plan
(June 2011)
LIM Executive Committee

Draft Outline Zoning Plan (Notes)
Town Planning Board
HK Govt
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
(Spring 2011). Prepared by Aecom
Environmental Protection Department
(EPD) HK Govt.

Ferry Services Study Required

i Oct 18th No Comments by

Action Required Before Ferry Tender Expires

Time is running out.

The service is up for tender in 2011 – which is far too short a period of time to attract serious new bidders.

This would indicate that we are quite likely to be stuck with the same coterie of operators – providing the same sub-standard service — until 2021.

LIM has urged the Hong Kong government to conduct a proper wide-ranging study into the needs of Lantau residents from scratch (it uses the phrase ab-initio) — in other words jettisoning the preconceptions, assumptions and methodologies dating back in some cases to the 1950s, in order to conduct a meaningful survey of what is needed by Lantau residents now, particularly given recent demographic and cultural changes.

“We find it inconceivable that the present ferry schedules, dating from 1999 and not based upon any study of the needs of the public, can be also be the most efficient.

“Our concern is that the public could be paying high fares for an inefficient service that does not even meet [its] needs.”

[box]View LIM’s position paper on the provision of appropriate and sustainable ferry services for Hong Kong’s outlying islands[/box]

The last tender in 2007 attracted zero bids, local or international, forcing the government onto the back foot – it had to plead with the ferry companies to take part.

A promised government review “with a view to enhancing the long-term financial viability for these services and maintaining fare stability,” pledged in 2008, has yet to materialize.


To add insult to injury, the fare-rise/sailings reduction model introduced in July 2008 when oil prices topped US$140 per barrel remain in force even though prices have fallen from that peak to around $70.

“Regrettably, we have been left with the perception that no thought has been given since 2008 and that we are heading for a repeat, in 10 months time, of the appalling 2007/8 debacle.”

In the morning, there’s nothing fast ferry-wise between 7 am and 8.05 am. The 7 am fast ferry gets into Central at 7.30.

The next one, at 8.05 am, doesn’t arrive until 8.40 am at the earliest – it’s often later — decanting us into Central at the peak of the rush hour.

A 7.30 and/or 7.45 am fast ferry departure would make all the difference, passengers say.

Top of the list of complaints centres on the absurdly long gap between the fast ferry departures in the evening – there are none between 7.30 and 9.30 pm and none between 9.30 and 11.30 pm.

Slow ferry sailings at 8 pm and 8.30 pm and again at 10.30 pm are extremely unpopular.

There is virtually no freight carried on those sailings; the slow sailings cater for those unwilling or unable to pay the higher fare (almost double) charged for travelling by fast ferry.

New World First Ferry Services Ltd says operating costs for fast and slow ferries were about the same.

As such, either fast ferry passengers are subsidizing the (inefficient and polluting) slow ferries or the company is ripping off fast ferry fare-payers.

“At a meeting with a representative of First Ferry, we asked why the 10.30pm ferry could not be replaced by a fast ferry because it is unlikely that there would be any freight at that time.”

“The answer given was that it was necessary for people with monthly tickets. In response, we suggested that, perhaps, they could be given a special dispensation on that ferry for the benefit of the majority. End of discussion!”

New World First Ferry Services Ltd is jointly owned by Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited and NWS Holdings Limited. Chow Tai Fook is a private company owned by property tycoon Cheng Yu-tung, who is its chairman, as well as the chairman of New World Development Co. Ltd.

Chow Tai Fook is the major shareholder of New World Development Co. Ltd. (HKSE: 0017).


“… the price for a journey on the MTR for 28 minute from Tsuen Wan to
Central – comparable to the ferry journey from Mui Wo – is $11.50. The present fast ferry fare is

“Even a cursory look reveals some ‘sailings’ that
are inexplicable.

“Gaps between arrival times varies from ZERO to 80 minutes;
… the morning schedule from Mui Wo has inexplicable redundant ‘bunching’ and an excess of
slow ferries;

“The evening schedule also has no apparent rationality. The provision of two slow ferries, one at 20.00 and another 30 minutes later at 20.30 can only be described as ‘weird’.”

“Most outstanding observations are that the morning schedule has a fast ferry gap of 65 minutes at the peak demand period and

the evening has a fast ferry gap of 120 minutes during a period of high demand.”

From First Ferry:
“In respect of your request for average figures for each sailing over the month, we have
requested the ferry operator to consider the request. However, as the information is operational
information for internal use, the ferry operator considers it not appropriate to disclose.”

LIM: “Notwithstanding our doubts about perpetuating the slow ferries, we suggest that the old three deck
ferries provide a delightful way to travel. It is a puzzle why nobody has used these as a
tourist attraction perhaps for inter-island tours.
Two deck ferries on the other hand, have few redeeming features.”






Video: Mui Wo School Protest

i Aug 30th No Comments by

Residents march to demand the defunct secondary school be re-opened to local students. The government plans to allocate the empty building to a drug rehab school.

Video uploaded by Rachel Li

Super-Prison Proposal Scrapped

i Oct 12th No Comments by

Super-Prison Proposal Shelved Indefinitely
After a massive lobbying effort in which thousands of signatures

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were gathered, hundreds of letters were written, and numerous meetings with government officials, Legislative Councillors, District Councillors and Rural Committee members, LIM was pleased to note that the government announced on October 12, 2004 its plans to shelve the project indefinitely.






Background to the proposed Super-Prison

In March 2003, it was discovered that the government was seeking HK$47M funding for a detailed engineering study for the building of a super prison on 114 hectares of land reclaimed from the sea between the islands of Hei Ling Chau and Sunshine Island, plus a massive fixed crossing to South Lantau. There was no alternative site proposed.

“No open public consultation had been undertaken and the shock of this travesty brought together, in a very short time, a number of people who created the Living Islands Movement.” — LIM.

Our efforts resulted in Legco approving only HK$7M for an initial feasibility study. This gave LIM some time for further study of the prison problem and to find a better solution for all concerned, before Legco would meet again to (likely) approve the next stage of the process.

However, it became apparent that one reason for the government selecting this site was that it “had no value”. This revelation gave LIM its prime aim, which is to raise the understanding of the whole community that the islands have huge economic value if they are nurtured and sustainably developed.

Artist's rendition of the prison and road-link from Silvermine Bay (Mui Wo)

LIM’s Action

One of the recognized aspects of sustainable development is eco-tourism, which would offer visitors interesting and enjoyable experiences plus the opportunity to appreciate the natural environment of land and sea, local cultures, traditions, music and history.

In particular, the fruits of this would create a sustainable future for the indigenous population, which has been neglected for the last 100 years.

We therefore undertook two fields of study: The first (and ongoing) study is to show how this vision of the islands can be realised for the benefit of all; the second was to analyse the merits (if any) of the government’s argument for a super prison and to identify alternative sites for prison development that meet operational needs far better than does the government proposal.


Super-Prison: Cartoons

i Oct 1st No Comments by

The super-prison saga drew a number of barbed cartoons published in the Hong Kong press.

This is a selection gleaned from the pens of Gavin Coates and Larry Feign which ran in two Hong Kong English-language newspapers, the Standard and the South China Morning Post.






Gavin Coates — The Standard

Larry Feign: South China Morning Post

Larry Feign: South China Morning Post

Larry Feign: South China Morning Post

Larry Feign: South China Morning Post

Larry Feign: South China Morning Post

Gavin Coates — The Standard

Gavin Coates — The Standard

Gavin Coates — The Standard



Super-Prison: Media Reports

i Sep 30th No Comments by

Coming …..