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April, 2015:

New UK system could squeeze more capacity out of Chek Lap Kok airport

Technology allowing jets to land closer could squeeze more capacity from Chek Lap Kok

Chek Lap Kok airport could use a new method to space out aircraft landings to cut delays and allow additional flight movements, said the UK-based consultant that carried out analysis of Hong Kong’s airspace and runway capacity in 2008.

National Air Traffic Services (NATS), which also provides air traffic control services to aircraft flying in British airspace, said the use of a system called Time Based Separation (TBS) at London’s Heathrow airport could cut arrival delays on windy days by half. It allows aircraft to be brought in closer together according to wind speeds rather than maintaining a constant distance.

This comes as controversy over the construction of a third runway at Chek Lap Kok airport grows, with critics arguing that the current two runways have not been fully utilised and amid fears an unwillingness by Shenzhen to give up its airspace would undermine the performance of the new HK$140 billion runway.

Strong headwinds cause delays and even flight cancellations because planes landing into the wind take longer to reach the runway even if they maintain a constant speed. The overall landing rate then drops.

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Andy Shand, NATS general manager in charge of customer affairs, told the South China Morning Post that TBS simply moved aircraft closer together to regain some lost landings. This can be achieved because the spirals of air generated by aircraft dissipate quicker in strong headwinds and therefore the distance between aircraft can be reduced.

“Heathrow is probably the most heavily scheduled two-runway airport in the world, so if you get any impact on the landing rate then there could be a knock-on in terms of delay and airborne holdings,” he said, adding strong headwinds were the single biggest cause of delays at Heathrow.

Like Hong Kong, Heathrow has only two runways and is approaching maximum capacity.

But to ease current congestion, Heathrow last month adopted TBS, which was developed by NATS and US aircraft maker Lockheed Martin. The airport had previously used distance-based separation.

TBS will be installed at 17 other major airports in Europe by 2024.

NATS is now analysing the results of the first few weeks of operation. Shand said they were looking positive, with significant gains in operational resilience.

While Shand noted TBS was not a replacement for a new runway, he said: “By increasing the consistency of service to a degree, you may be able to see one additional movement an hour or something that’s scheduled … You get the maximum out of your runway capacity.”

Asked if Hong Kong could use TBS, Shand said: “It’s the air traffic control authority and the airport’s decision whether they want to or are interested in implementing that sort of tool.”

At Chek Lap Kok, about 51,900 passenger flights were delayed by more than 15 minutes on arrival last year, representing 13 per cent of total movements. However, the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) said it did not have a breakdown of reasons for flight delays. It said they were mainly caused by bad weather and airlines’ operational reasons.

The department sidestepped questions about introducing TBS to Hong Kong.

“CAD will continue to monitor the air traffic growth situation and work closely with the Airport Authority Hong Kong as well as airlines to enhance the efficient use of the remaining runway capacity of the existing two-runway system,” a spokeswoman said.

But Shand said as airlines used bigger aircraft such as the Airbus A380, runway capacity effectively declined as a bigger gap was required to accommodate them. “By delivering this sort of resilience measure [TBS] and also additional capacity we effectively mitigate the impact of additional A380 movements,” he said.

“The airport capacity is going up in terms of passengers, but airport punctuality is being kept where it is.”

Source URL (modified on Apr 20th 2015, 9:12am):

Artificial Photosynthesis Holds Promise Of Cleaner, Greener Environment

A hybrid system mimics the natural photosynthesis of plants to create a ‘green’ chemical factory that could produce beneficial products, researchers say. The system could help the environment by using CO2 that would otherwise add to atmospheric warming, they say.
(Photo : Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

A system of artificial photosynthesis can collect carbon dioxide before it escapes into our atmosphere as a greenhouse gas and convert it to useful products including drugs and alternative fuels, researchers say.

The breakthrough technology is a hybrid of semiconducting nanowires and bacteria that can take in carbon dioxide and use solar energy to convert it into pharmaceutical drugs, biodegradable plastics or liquid fuels.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, developed the system.

The hybrid system mimics natural photosynthesis, the process used by plants to take energy from sunlight and synthesize carbohydrates out of water and carbon dioxide.

In the hybrid system, however, the CO2 and water are used to synthesis acetate, a basic building block for biosynthesis, the researchers explain.

“We believe our system is a revolutionary leap forward in the field of artificial photosynthesis,” says study leader Peidong Yang, a chemist at the Berkeley Lab. “Our system has the potential to fundamentally change the chemical and oil industry in that we can produce chemicals and fuels in a totally renewable way, rather than extracting them from deep below the ground.”

In the system, an “artificial forest” of silicon and titanium oxide nanowires in light-capturing arrays are seeded with bacterial populations, creating a solar-powered environmental-friendly chemistry factory that can use sequestered CO2 as its fuel source, the researchers report in the journal Nano Letters.

The bacteria is Sporomusa ovate, chosen for its excellent catalyst capabilities, they said.

“S. ovata is a great carbon dioxide catalyst as it makes acetate, a versatile chemical intermediate that can be used to manufacture a diverse array of useful chemicals,” says chemist and biosynthesis expert Michelle Chang, who holds appointments at both the Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley.

Technologies are being developed to capture and store carbon dioxide before it adds to the growing problem of the warming atmosphere, but that storage presents its own environmental problems, the Berkeley scientists note.

Their artificial photosynthesis system would be one way to put that stored CO2 to work, using it to synthesize a number of “targeted, value-added chemical products,” says Christopher Chang, an expert in catalysts used in carbon-neutral energy conversions.

Any system for artificial photosynthesis must meet a dual challenge of light-capture efficiency levels and sufficient catalytic activity, the researchers point out.

Their nanowire array/bacteria hybrid system is capable of converting solar energy at an efficiency of around 0.38 percent under simulated sunlight, around the same level as that of a natural leaf, they say, while showing an impressive ability to generate the desired chemical molecules.

“We are currently working on our second-generation system which has a solar-to-chemical conversion efficiency of 3 percent,” Yang says. “Once we can reach a conversion efficiency of 10 percent in a cost-effective manner, the technology should be commercially viable.”

Cathay Pacific, Dragonair struggle to grow cargo volumes amid China slowdown

CTA says: Which means the bridge to nowhere connecting HKG with HKAA’s 55% investment in Zhuhai airport management, will be another white elephant

PRD too expensive now so the big guys moved out and north.

Cathay Pacific Airways and its wholly owned unit Dragonair barely achieved growth in cargo volumes last month, underscoring concerns over a slowdown in exports from China.

Volumes grew just 1.5 per cent to 157,688 tonnes from the same month a year earlier, Cathay Pacific said on Thursday.

“The cargo traffic growth of 1.5 per cent is weak. This is a cause for concern. Chinese exports fell sharply in March. The cargo traffic of Cathay Pacific and Dragonair followed the Chinese export trend,” said Ajith Kom, a Singapore-based analyst with UOB Kay Hian Research.

In March, China’s exports fell 15 per cent year on year, according to official data. Cargo services accounted for 20.5 per cent of the combined revenue of Cathay Pacific and Dragonair in the first half of 2014, while passenger services made up 74.7 per cent, according to the company’s 2014 interim report.


The March figures provided a brighter picture on the passenger front. The two carriers boosted passenger numbers by a bigger than expected 11 per cent to 2.89 million from a year earlier.

Mark Sutch, Cathay Pacific general manager of cargo sales and marketing, said: “Air freight demand was generally robust throughout March, helped by the month-end and quarter-end production rush out of the key manufacturing cities in mainland China.”

In the first quarter, passenger traffic rose 8.6 per cent, just short of an 8.7 per cent growth forecast by Citi, while cargo and mail tonnage increased 12.3 per cent.

For the first two months of the year, passenger traffic grew 7.4 per cent and cargo tonnage soared 19.6 per cent. For the whole of last year, passenger numbers increased at a slower pace of 5.5 per cent, while mail and cargo tonnage rose 12 per cent.

“March is traditionally a shoulder season between the Chinese New Year and Easter peak periods, but this year saw passenger demand for the month rising above expectations. Demand was strong in all cabins, with high load factors to and from southwest Pacific, Europe and the UK,” said Patricia Hwang, Cathay Pacific general manager of revenue management.

JP Morgan, in a research report, cited Cathay Pacific management as saying the improvement in operations from last year has continued in the first quarter, adding that the company was positive about the Hong Kong-listed firm’s overall prospects for 2015.


Source URL (modified on Apr 16th 2015, 8:25pm):

Sky’s near the limit above Hong Kong’s airport as holding times increase

29 March 2015

Danny Lee

Less than a mile out from the north runway at Chek Lap Kok on March 5, strong and squally winds start to rattle Hong Kong Airlines flight 253 from Taipei.

With the sea only 150 metres below, the landing gear deployed and touchdown near, the aircraft’s engines power up, sending the plane skyward. The landing is aborted.

The pilot calmly tells passengers: “We do not have the extra fuel to re-route a second approach for landing into Hong Kong. And as such, I have decided, for our safety, we will be diverting to Shenzhen for refuelling.”

The flight was one of a dozen jets diverted that day due to a phenomenon known as wind shear. Scientists at the Observatory said the event was the worst to hit the airport since records began in 2011. Lantau is notorious for the phenomenon of rapid changes in windspeed and direction near the ground.

Passengers on Flight 253 reported that the pilot said the winds “were very, very strong”, and as such it “wasn’t safe” to make the landing.

While the weather situation was unusual, the events of March 5 also reflect an everyday problem – namely the congested skies above Chek Lap Kok.

And it is a problem that needs a solution after the Executive Council approved the Airport Authority’s HK$141.5 billion plan for a third runway that will expand the airport’s capacity.

Flight 253 was a case in point. Like other flights, it would have entered a holding pattern, a kind of highway in the skies where planes are kept apart, before the aircraft are manoeuvred, one by one, into the landing queue.

But Flight 253 was in a holding queue of 12 planes. By the time it attempted to land, it lacked the 40 minutes of extra fuel it required to “go around” and attempt another landing in Hong Kong without falling foul of the rules on minimum fuel levels. The Civil Aviation Department said the minimum fuel levels were set based on UN aviation safety rules.

Landing with good weather in Shenzhen, the aircraft and passengers waited on the tarmac for four hours before the plane was refuelled and returned to Hong Kong.

The other 11 planes also diverted to Shenzhen and Macau, while 17 landed safely at Chek Lap Kok at the second attempt.

The longer holding times – which can now stretch up to 15 minutes, according to pilots’ unions – reflect how busy Chek Lap Kok is getting.

For most of the day, the airport handles its maximum 65 flights per hour – a figure that increases to 67 per hour from tomorrow and 68 from October, the highest it can ever go with only two runways.

With 391,000 flights handled last year, the maximum capacity under a two-runway configuration, 420,000 arrivals and departures per year, is not far away.

The problem is made worse by a lack of cooperation over airspace in the Pearl River Delta, which leaves aircraft from Hong Kong unable to enter the mainland until they reach a minimum height of 4,785 metres.

Last week Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the central government would help to resolve airspace integration issues with Hong Kong and Macau by 2020, which could see an integration of airspace. But details of how such integration will work remain sketchy.

Airport Authority chief executive Fred Lam Tin-fuk said aviation officials and their mainland counterparts had conducted a simulation study based on a 2007 directional plan, which he said was “technically feasible”. But he shared no further details.

Pilot unions warn that unless the airspace question is resolved, more diversions are likely.

The Hong Kong Airline Pilots Association says the airport and airspace saturation problem is “further complicated” by the need to accommodate unplanned go-arounds like those on March 5.

“These additional delays can compromise planned arrival fuel [predictions] and at some point inbound aircraft will make the call whether to continue holding or to divert,” said Darryl Soligo, president of the association, which represents pilots at Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express.

He said saturation in the aviation system left little capacity to deal with even the occasional wrinkle. But he warned that “pouring pavement in Hong Kong by way of a third runway is not a solution in itself”.

Airspace rationalisation is an “equally important component” and if airspace negotiations are not successful, then the Airport Authority will lose the support of a key ally – pilots.

Congestion means pilots might have to divert to airports further afield even before attempting to land at Chek Lap Kok, experts say.

Brian Legge, a wind shear expert and member of the association’s technical and safety committee, said: “Without resolving the air traffic services problems first, the result will likely be more ground delays, increased aircraft holding, and a risk of overloading air traffic controllers during periods of high volume coupled with weather or operational related challenges.”

According to the union, Cathay Pacific has acknowledged in recent years that its short-haul regional flights needed extra fuel to accommodate the time spent holding.

The number of diversions has steadily risen since 2000 – when 68 flights had to abort landing attempts.

Last year 335 aircraft had to abort landings – the second highest figure ever recorded at the airport. Some 233 were caused by weather. The rest were classified as doing so for operational reasons.

Management sources at Hong Kong Airlines said overcrowding had become “challenging” to manage. But its spokesman expressed support for a third runway, saying: “We are confident that the [Airport] Authority will make the most adequate arrangement after taking different parties’ views into consideration.”

But while the third runway is touted as the only way to increase capacity, problems do remain,

Besides airspace management, the Civil Aviation Department’s consultant on third runway matters, Britain’s National Air Traffic Service, has identified problems with escape routes – the routes that planes take after aborting landings.

And concerns remain about the cost of the runway, after a series of massive public works projects bust their budgets amid long delays. Most notoriously, the high-speed railway to Guangzhou has been pushed back at least two years to 2017, with costs rising to at least HK$71.5 billion from HK$65 billion.

One key factor in the delays and cost overruns has been a shortage of construction workers, with the industry warning it will be short of 10,000 workers within four years. The shortage and the demand from elsewhere as the government looks to stimulate public and private house building have cast doubts on the target of having the runway in place by 2023.

There is also environmental concern as the runway needs reclamation on a massive scale, further impingeing on the habitat of the endangered Chinese white dolphin.

The funding plan – under which the Airport Authority will pay for the work without seeking extra cash from the government – is also controversial. Some lawmakers are fuming because they will not get to scrutinise the budget plans, despite the fact that the authority is government owned and will stop paying dividends to the public purse.

And part of the funding will have to come from airport users including passengers, who will pay a HK$180 per person departure fee.

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair have expressed strong support for the third runway, but have cried foul over the funding arrangement, under which they would pay higher landing and parking fees.

March 5

Air New Zealand
5.50am, NZ87 from Auckland, two landing attempts before diverting to Macau

Cathay Pacific
6.10am, CX829 from Toronto, aborted landing once and diverted to Shenzhen
* Cathay flights from Delhi, Taipei and Nagoya landed in Hong Kong on second attempt

China Southern Airlines
9.47am, CZ311 from Jieyang , diverted back to Jieyang

5.55am, KA932 from Manila, performed two unsuccessful landing attempts before diverting to Macau
10.07am, KA857 from Shanghai, aborted landing and diverted to Shenzhen
* Jets from Yangon, Taichung, Beijing, Zhengzhou and Shanghai aborted landings before landing in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Airlines
6am, HX774 from Bangkok, aborted landing once and diverted to Macau
6.15am, HX708 from Denpasar (Bali), aborted landing once and diverted to Macau
7.21am, HX9269 from Taipei, aborted landing once and diverted to Macau
9.53am, HX453 from Chengdu , aborted landing once and diverted to Shenzhen
2.15pm, HX253 from Taipei, aborted landing once and diverted to Shenzhen
*Three more HK Airlines jets from Macau, Taipei and Naha, Okinawa aborted landings before landing in Hong Kong

Tiger Airways
9.52am, TR2062 from Singapore, aborted landing and diverted to Shenzhen
12.03pm, TR2052 from Singapore, performed two unsuccessful landing attempts before diverting to Shenzhen

* Taiwan’s China Airlines had two go-arounds. United Airlines, Russia’s S7 Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Jetstar Asia planes aborted landings before landing in Hong Kong

Source: Flightradar24

Three-colour recycle bins are window dressing and a sham

02 April 2015

I refer to the letter by Wong Hon-meng, assistant director, Environmental Protection Department (“Promoting recycling and waste reduction are top priorities”, March 23).

He claims that by 2022, Hong Kong will reduce its per capita waste generated by 40 per cent.

How has the department come up with this percentage? Most likely it has simply copied statistics from Taipei and Seoul where a 40 per cent reduction was achieved after waste charging took effect. But those cities developed comprehensive measures to sort and separate waste before they implemented waste charging, as pointed out in my letter (“Waste charge futile without separation of rubbish at source”, February 24).

The three-colour recycling bins are window dressing and a sham: only 700 tonnes of recyclables are collected every year, less than 0.02 per cent of the waste produced in Hong Kong. Operated by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, a clear accounting is yet to be published on how the collected waste is being disposed.

The department still does not have correct data as to how much waste is being recycled, having admitted previous figures were wrong, double counting recycled waste shipped to the mainland with that in transit through Hong Kong from overseas.

The HK$1 billion Recycling Fund Wong mentions is more window dressing. It is 3.5 per cent of the HK$29 billion budget for the incinerator and landfills expansion.

The proposed community education and recycling centres to be built in the 18 districts are handouts to pro-government environmental groups and subsidies to companies that collect recycled waste and ship it to the mainland, where 90 per cent of Hong Kong’s recycled waste ends up.

Despite talking about “policy” and “campaign”, the department has no intention of truly pursuing a recycling policy as many countries have.

There is no policy to develop a sustainable indigenous recycling industry, no statutory requirement nor public education on how to separate waste at source. Despite the many so-called inspection trips overseas by senior officials, paid for by taxpayers’ money, no insight and plan were presented on how other countries promote and implement effective recycling.

Given the above, it is ironic that Hong Kong will be hosting an international conference on solid waste management in May. Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing will be the keynote speaker. What is he going to say?

Tom Yam, Lantau

Dutch government taken to court on climate change

Urgenda Foundation director Marjan Minnesma (centre) joined campaigners at the hearing

Campaigners in the Netherlands are taking the government to court for allegedly failing to protect its citizens from climate change.

The class action lawsuit, involving almost 900 citizens, aims to force the government to cut emissions faster.

The first hearing opened in the Hague on Tuesday.

It is said to be the first time in Europe that citizens have tried to hold a state responsible for alleged inaction on climate change.

It is also believed to be the first case in the world in which human rights are used – alongside domestic law – as a legal basis to protect citizens against climate change.

The campaigners, led by the Urgenda Foundation, want the judges to compel the Dutch government to reduce its carbon emissions to 40% below 1990s levels by 2020.

Prominent Dutch DJ Gregor Salto is among those taking part in the lawsuit

The activists also want the court to declare that global warming of more than 2C will lead to a violation of fundamental human rights worldwide.

Among the plaintiffs is Joos Ockels, wife of the late astronaut Wubbo Ockels, along with DJ Gregor Salto and Nasa climate scientist Prof James Hansen.

“Everybody is waiting for the government to take action but the government has done so little. If the case succeeds, they will be forced to take action,” Salto told the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

The EU has pledged to cut emissions by 40% by 2030, while the US promised last month to reduce its carbon emissions 26-28% by 2025.

However, analysts say the pledges being made ahead of a global deal in Paris in December are not strong enough to stop temperatures rising above the internationally agreed maximum of 2C.

The 2C target was acknowledged at the UN climate convention (UNFCCC) in 2009 as the threshold of dangerous climate change, which scientists say is largely caused by the use of fossil fuels.

Sceptics say the threat from climate change is exaggerated.

Commentators say it remains to be seen whether the Dutch court is able and willing to rule on an issue that is still the subject of scientific debate.

However, Jaap Spier, Advocate-General to the Dutch Supreme Court, was quoted by the newspaper Trouw earlier in April saying that courts could force countries to adopt “effective climate policies”.

Beijing backs third runway

Beijing fully supports the construction of a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport, the mainland’s civil aviation chief Li Jiaxing said yesterday.

Beijing fully supports the construction of a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport, the mainland’s civil aviation chief Li Jiaxing said yesterday.

Li gave the project the stamp of approval when visiting transport secretary Anthony Cheung Bing-leung called on him yesterday.

Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office deputy director Zhou Bo also told Cheung he supported the controversial third runway.

This implies Beijing will back Hong Kong for the rights to use Shenzhen airspace – one of the issues lawmakers and concerned parties used to block funding for the runway.

Cheung visited Li and other Civil Aviation Administration of China officials in Beijing yesterday before paying a visit to the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office.

“Li said he fully supported Hong Kong to continue to consolidate and enhance its status as an international aviation hub and also expressed full support for the network plan for the third runway,” Cheung said.

“In the process, we both agreed to address the needs for the common development of each airport in the region.”

He said the next step was for the tripartite working group made up of CAAC, Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department and Civil Aviation Authority of Macau to cooperate and enact measures set out under the 2007 Pearl River Delta airspace management plan.

Cheung said it is hoped the airports in the region can push for airspace cooperation in the delta in a pragmatic manner.

“In the Pearl River region there are several airports, including Hong Kong International Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, Shenzhen Bao’an Airport, Macau International Airport and Zhuhai Jinwan Airport,” Cheung said.

“There is a need for further development by these airports because air traffic in the PRD region is growing rapidly and all airports are facing a strong demand and need for further development.

“To better utilize the airspace in the PRD, the key is improving management and coordination, and that definitely needs the full cooperation of several airports and relevant government departments.”

Under the Airport Authority’s plan, a three-runway system would handle up to 100 million passengers and about nine million tonnes of cargo per year by 2030.

The authority’s three-runway system was given the green light by the Executive Council on March 17. It could be completed by 2023 if construction begins next year.

Departing passengers will be charged HK$180 from next year and airlines a further 15 percent more to help fund the runway.

Watchdog probe as car owners fume over tests

The Ombudsman will investigate whether the Environmental Protection and Transport departments conducted adequate planning and coordination before the implementation of a new initiative to control vehicle exhaust emissions.

The Ombudsman will investigate whether the Environmental Protection and Transport departments conducted adequate planning and coordination before the implementation of a new initiative to control vehicle exhaust emissions.

Ombudsman Connie Lau Yin-hing said yesterday complaints received by her office suggest the two departments have been using different emissions standards, calling into question whether their efforts were properly planned and coordinated.

She said the measure to control emissions was introduced in September last year with good intentions, but if it was not properly implemented, then its effectiveness would be compromised, causing much inconvenience and frustration to vehicle owners.

Under the new initiative, the EPD deployed remote sensing equipment at various locations throughout the territory to monitor the levels of nitrogen oxides and other vehicle exhaust emitted.

Motorists found to have excessive exhaust emissions receive notices to arrange within 12 working days for their vehicles to undergo an emissions test with a chassis dynamometer (commonly called a “treadmill”) at Designated Vehicle Emission Testing Centres.

Failure to pass the test may lead to cancellation of the vehicle licenses.

However, the Office of the Ombudsman received complaints from vehicle owners alleging that shortly after their vehicles had passed the annual examination required by the Transport Department, they were notified by the EPD that their vehicles had to undergo a treadmill test.

A preliminary inquiry by the Ombudsman has revealed the emissions standards adopted in the idling emissions test of the annual vehicle examination does not include nitrogen oxide emissions.

Moreover, the 22 Designated Car Testing Centres carrying out the annual examination required by the Transport Department are not equipped with “treadmills” for checking nitrogen oxide emissions.

In other words, vehicles that pass the annual examination do not necessarily meet the exhaust emission standards of the treadmill test. Furthermore, there are currently only four emission testing centers authorized to conduct the treadmill test. Whether they can cope with the demand is highly questionable.

Besides, it is noted operators of designated car test centers have indicated they will face various problems such as manpower, facilities, space, and noise nuisance if they have to install treadmills.

Hong Kong pollution fight can be model for world, says environmentalist

Efforts in Hong Kong to reduce air and water pollution can serve as a model for the rest of the world, a leading environmentalist believes.

“Hong Kong is an extraordinarily important city for the world, for financial and intellectual reasons. If we can come up with solutions here, then that model can be exported to the other parts of the world,” said Peter Seligmann, founder and chief executive of Conservation International (CI). The charity, set up in 1987, opened an office in the city this week.

Seligmann, who is in Hong Kong for CI’s local launch, said the state of the environment in China was a concern for the world because of the number of people it affected – nearly a fifth of the world’s population – and China’s impact on global air and water quality.

Conservation International plans to conduct a case study in Hong Kong for its new Freshwater Health Index.

“It will work much like a Dow Jones index, tracking and recording the health of freshwater sources,” says Seligmann. “It will provide concrete metrics to governments so they can make smarter decisions.… It will show any depreciation in water quality so we can find the causes and take action to solve the problems.”

If you’re a government and the air quality is so bad that people can’t breathe or the water is tainted and undrinkable, it really is a concern for the stability of communities

Peter Seligmann

The format follows the group’s Ocean Health Index, an assessment tool that scientifically measures key elements of oceanic health around the world. Set up in 2012, the index has been embraced by governments including those of China, the United States, Brazil and Colombia.

Seligmann says environmental deterioration has become a matter of “life and death” for companies, governments and communities and is a reason why governments and organisations are much more receptive today.

“A food business that is selling poisoned food will go out of business. If a fisheries business can’t find fish, it goes under. If you’re a government and the air quality is so bad that people can’t breathe or the water is tainted and undrinkable, it really is a concern for the stability of communities.”

Jude Wu, Conservation International’s managing director for Hong Kong, said the charity sought to balance the demands of nature and development and ensure wise decisions are made today to secure a better future for the world.

“That future is attained by securing the parts of nature that Hong Kong depends on within and outside its borders,” Wu said. “Hong Kong is one of the mega urban centres of the world … but people often don’t think that Hong Kong is extremely dependent on nature. The city imports 80 per cent of its water and 90 per cent of its food.

“Our vision is to work with partners, businesses and governments to ensure the city’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have clean and abundant fresh water, clean and abundant food.”

Wu said education is key, with CI looking to boost green thinking among the city’s next generation of leaders. “We aim to work with schools and students in Hong Kong and show them how they can become change agents.”

It has teamed up with the Chinese International School to set up an Environmental Heroes Leadership Programme for the next generation of conservationists and has established a partnership with CSR Asia to advance Hong Kong’s leadership in corporate environmental sustainability.

“When living in a mega city it’s easy to forget that we are part of nature and not apart from nature.”

Conservation International is working in 30 countries around the world, including the Asia Pacific region.

In 2007 it established a fund in Sichuan province offering incentives to provide sustainable livelihoods and fresh water to villagers along the upper reaches of the Yangtze river. In 2014, it helped the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia pass legislation to create the Natural Park of the Coral Sea, the world’s largest protected area, covering 1.3 million square kilometres of ocean and remote islands. The park’s waters generate 2,500 to 3,000 tonnes of fish each year, providing food to 250,000 people, and help make the territory’s economy sustainable.

In Indonesia, manta rays, a major tourist draw, have been declining in number due to fishing. Manta rays are often killed for their gill plates, which are in high demand in China, where they are used in a health tonic in traditional Chinese medicine.

Conservation International and partners provided research showing that a single manta ray is worth about US$1 million in tourism revenue over the course of its lifetime, benefiting the community more than if caught and killed. This data helped persuade the Indonesian government to ban the fishing of manta rays in its waters – nearly six million square kilometres – which contain one of the world’s largest populations of the giant fish.

Source URL (modified on Apr 14th 2015, 7:07pm):

Increased tourism benefits tygoons most and brings with it increased pollution levels

Clear the Air says:

increased tourism benefits tygoons most and brings with it increased pollution levels, residents’ increased  discomfort, stupid uncontrolled rentals and increased cost of living, shortage of daily necessities + profiteering + increased energy requirements adding to our already high pollution load.

Currently Hong Kong revealed it is asking PRC Govt to stem the flow of daily visitors from Shenzhen

This is expected to have little immediate effect and a decrease of 4.6m Shenzhen visitors after one year.

CTA says the Mainland Govt is at fault for failing to ensure the availability of genuine products in its shops and corrupt Customs officers allowing the products to enter PRC daily without duty or VAT payments –  They need a separate ‘Goods to Declare Red channel’ with appropriate search and duty payment delays to stem the flow of parallel trading mule ‘ants’.

The Individual Visit Scheme started at HKG’s request during the SARS epidemic in 2003, which caused a major tourism slump Leader Tung Kin Wah did not ask the Mainland that it should end after SARS disappeared

In 2002 HKG had 6.8m Mainland visitors

In 2003 HKG tourist total was 15.54m of which 8.5m were Mainlanders

In 2014 HKG had 60.84m tourists of which 47.25m were Mainlanders

By Comparison tourist arrivals here in 2014 : Ex Taiwan 2.03m, Ex USA 1.13m

Our current tiny infrastructure was not built to handle this continuing increase in visitor load whilst already being surrounded on 3 sides by highly polluting shipping and no Emissions Control Area in place, overbuilt high rises shoulder to shoulder creating urban canyons to trap airborne and roadside pollutants without any dispersing windflow, coal being used to generate power for CLP to sell 23% of its annual total generation basket back into PRD and old buses ending up shoulder to shoulder in congested areas instead of having electric hybrid shuttles on Nathan Rd, Causeway Bay, Central which should be designated ‘Clean Air Zones’!  Whatever happened to Ministerial Accountability ? well, the Buck is on the denial roundabout.

DoDo Govt Minister for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So predicted HKG visitors would eventually reach 100m within the decade

By comparison in the massive land mass area of the USA, they received 74.7m visitors in 2014

UK tourist in 2013 – 35 million

In summary:

Hong Kong landmass      426 square miles /1,104 km2                          2014 visitors        60.8m = 55,072 visitors per km2

USA  landmass                3.8 million square miles / 9,857,306 km²         2014 visitors        74.7m = 7.58 visitors per km2

UK landmass                   94,060 sq miles /243,610 km2                        2013 visitors        35m    = 144 visitors per km2

From 2003 SARS to 2014 Locust Xenophobia:


2002- 6.8m ex PRC visit HKG

2003- June SARS hits HKG- Tourism slump  leads to IVS implementation at HKG request-  Total visitors 15.54m / 8.5m  mainlanders

Individual visit scheme (IVS) starts for Beijing, Shanghai, Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Shenzhen, Zhongshan

IVS extended in 21 Guangdong cities, &  9  cities in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, & Fujian July 2004

667,000 IVS arrivals

2007-  IVS extended to 49 mainland cities

Tourism Board CEO ex PMI nicotine pusher Anthony Lau Chun-hon starts work

2009- Shenzhen introduces multiple-entry permit scheme for permanent residents

IVS 11m mainlanders of whom > 1.4m  use multiple-entry permits (MEPs)

2014- Of 60.84m visitors, 47,25m are ex PRC

30m mainlanders IVS, 14.9m use MEPs- Each averages 9.1 visits per year

Partnernet: Total  in 2014

Comparison tourist arrivals here

Ex Taiwan 2.03m

Ex USA 1.13m