The government has recently released concept plans
for the future development of Lantau. The northern part
is proposed to be mainly 'working' areas with facilities
such as a logistic park, while the south is developed
further into leisure and tourist attractions.
Lantau is the last piece of virgin land in Hong Kong
with ample natural resources and characteristics of
special scientific values. Conservation should be the
prime and foremost objective for any of its future development.
Hong Kong is already highly urbanized with crowded living
environments, air pollution, traffic congestion and
insufficient open spaces. Most Hong Kong people would
not like to lose this virgin land further.
As for tourism development, the principle of Sustainable
Tourism should be upheld. It means that any tourism
development should not be so shortsighted as to sacrifice
the future attraction of the place. Consuming the place
is harmful to a sustainable development of Lantau.
In line with this concept of Sustainable Tourism, any
tourist attractions should be built on a harmonious
integration with nature, without artificially adding
so-called "cyber attractions." For example,
further development of Tai O should build on the basis
of local economy and be beneficial to the improvement
of the living quality of local people, but not as a
golden chance for big corporations to cream-off. Moreover,
tourist attractions should be developed by preserving
the cultural heritages of Tai O, by facilitating local
people to be the main actors in delivering tourism services,
and to encourage tourists to appreciate the original
nature and culture of Tai O rather than to exploit the
Casinos should not be built in Lantau. The proposal
to build the Container Terminal No.10 should be halted,
as it will involve a big scale reclamation that is detrimental
to rare species nearby.
We would like to add that we have taken the needs of
our nursery children (and their parents) into consideration
when we formulated our opinions and ideas on the development
of Lantau. How Lantau will be developed inevitably affects
the future environmental quality of our younger generation
and their best interests should be considered.
should be the paramount mission in future Lantau development,
and sustainable development should be the guiding principle.
The fact that poverty exists in such an affluent society
is certainly a shame. On the other hand, the affluence
gives Hong Kong an opportunity to demonstrate to the
world on how to make good use of its resources to promote
a sustainable society.