Forum held to discuss sustainable development of rural areas in Hong Kong
17 Apr 2014
The General Education Office (GEO) organised an open forum on the sustainable development of rural areas in Hong Kong last Thursday (10 April). Three professionals and scholars were invited to share their insightful views on conservation work in Hong Kong and the historical and current development of Tai Long Sai Wan. They were Ms Tanya Chan, Vice-chairman (External Affairs) of the Civic Party, Dr Wong Fook-yee, former Assistant Director (Country and Marine Parks) of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, and Professor Kenneth Wong of the Department of Geography at HKBU.
The Legislative Council’s decision to incorporate the country park “enclave” of Tai Long Sai Wan into Sai Kung East Country Park had triggered public concern over the protection and future of undeveloped rural areas. At the forum, the three speakers discussed this hot social issue from multiple perspectives so as to provide students with an opportunity to understand more about the issue and to encourage self-reflection on it.
Professor Kenneth Wong introduced the geographical characteristics and historical development of Tai Long Sai Wan; Dr Wong Fook-yee highlighted the challenges and progress of conservation work in Hong Kong; and Ms Tanya Chan shared what the authority could do to preserve valuable natural resources. In the discussion session, the speakers provided further suggestions on how to strike a balance between economic development and conservation of rural areas. They also emphasised that sustainable development is for the benefit of future generations, and therefore Hong Kong people should start preserving the country parks today without further delay.
To enhance general education, GEO organises a wide variety of activities aiming to enable students to make connections among different disciplines and to gain insights into current social issues. The forum was held under the series entitled “Discussing the sustainable development of rural areas in Hong Kong through the Tai Long Sai Wan case”, which also included a field trip to Tai Long Sai Wan and a photo competition on the theme of the beauty and development of rural areas in Hong Kong.