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URA's Stanley Wong on the controversy of De Novo, Paris Climate Change Summit & HK govt's tree policy (05 Dec 2015)

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The Urban Renewal Authority is embroiled in another controversy. At the centre of this new controversy is Its housing project in Kai Tak, called De Novo. The development was originally focused on providing subsidised apartments for sales to those who’d lost their homes to previous URA development projects. With us in the studio is a non-executive director of the Urban Renewal Authority, Stanley Wong. We also invited the Authority’s officials to come along but they declined to do so. Every time a tree in Hong Kong falls and injures someone, the phrase “killer tree” resurfaces.This seems to suggest that the only good tree is a dead one. The visible scars from the apparently needless assault, in August, on four century-old stonewall Banyan trees on Bonham Road, remain, even though three of them are fighting back with new growth. The chopping back of these trees was a major bone of contention during and after the recent district council elections. A version of an informal “democracy wall” was established to question why anyone would vote for a district councillor who’d supported this ecological vandalism. But it was just one example of how Hong Kong doesn’t seem to have a clue about looking after trees. World leaders and delegates from 190 nations are meeting in Paris for a crucial two-week Climate Change Summit. The stakes are high. The Copenhagen Summit in 2009 was widely seen as a failure, increasing divisions between developed and emerging economies.But more and more people are getting the message, as in the words of Pope Francis: the world is “on the brink of suicide” by climate change, and it’s “either now or never”.

Program: 
The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Station: 
RTHK
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