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Saturday, December 17, 2016, 00:02

Environmental groups urge CE hopeful to preserve country parks

By Carrie Qiu

HONG KONG - The next Chief Executive should not eat into Hong Kong's country parks for housing development, the city's five major environmental groups said on Friday in a meeting with CE contender, retired judge Woo Kwok-hing.

The groups supported development of brownfield sites – land for industrial use in the New Territories – and believe these are already sufficient for Hong Kong's housing needs.

The environmental groups are Greenpeace, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Hong Kong, the Conservancy Association, the Green Earth and Clean Air Network.

They also called for the launch of an official mobile app to show real-time traffic and provide transportation guidance, as more efficient travel will help reduce air pollution.

They also believe that in the long term Hong Kong should choose desalination as the major source of its water supply as the cost will decrease with technological advancements.

Due to the inadequacy of local freshwater resources, Hong Kong began to import water from the Dongjiang River in neighboring Guangdong province in 1960, which now caters about 70 percent of the water demand.

The representatives said they will submit proposals to all CE candidates and invite them to similar meetings.

Woo said after the meeting that he was happy that both parties thought alike. He said he will take their suggestions into consideration.

Hong Kong will elect its new CE in March, 2017. Currently, three contenders have emerged including Woo, legislator and New People's Party (NPP) Chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, and real-estate businessman Wu Sai-chuen.
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