Speech at Panel on Environmental Affairs

III. Enhancement of country parks facilities

Pak Tam Chung Green Tourism Hub

Members urged the Administration to improve the transport infrastructure and public transport services in Pak Tam Chung, Sai Kung country parks and the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark, so as to enhance site capacities and visitor experience.

The Administration responded that in March 2020, AFCD had commissioned a consultant to conduct a planning study for Pak Tam Chung Green Tourism Hub. The study scope included public transport services and ancillary facilities, management plan and mode of operation of a visitor service centre there, etc. Given that traffic in the Pak Tam Chung area was already heavy, AFCD and the Tourism Commission would conduct a detailed traffic impact assessment study to identify suitable improvement works for transport facilities. In the meantime, AFCD was working closely with the Transport Department on increasing the service frequencies of public transport routes in the Pak Tam Chung area.

Country parks’ environmental conditions

Members expressed concern that the increased number of visitors to country parks in recent years and the bad habits of some hikers had resulted in accelerated deterioration of hiking trails, soil erosion and loss of vegetation cover. They asked about the measures for restoring and protecting country parks’ environmental conditions.

The Administration responded that some areas in country parks were extremely popular especially among relatively inexperienced hikers, which had led to accelerated deterioration of the environmental conditions in those areas. AFCD carried out rehabilitation works in country parks as appropriate to control soil erosion and enhance vegetation coverage. If severe deterioration occurred, the affected areas would be fenced off and followed by replanting. AFCD had also strengthened publicity and education efforts to raise public awareness of conserving the natural environment and promote good hiking practices.