Mangroves in Hong Kong have been destroyed seriously over years due to coastal development and reclamation. The two areas of greatest mangrove abundance in Hong Kong, Deep Bay and Tolo Harbour, have lost 85% and 42% respectively of original mangrove cover. Recently, due to the construction of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok on Lantau Island, associated port and highway developments, an additional 7 ha of mangroves on Lantau Island have been destroyed.
There is now a growing awareness that mangrove ecosystems are of great importance to Hong Kong. Mangroves are now considered to be a conservation priority in Hong Kong.
The size, species diversity, rarity and abundance, degree of pollution and naturalness are the main factors affecting the order of priority of conservation of mangroves. Indeed, Mai Po, Lai Chi Wo and Ting Kok are the extremely important mangrove stands that must be conserved immediately, which cover a total area of 127 ha.
In fact, HK government has done something so as to conserve the mangroves:
1. Enforcement of existing ordinances to protect mangrove stands, designated as restricted area (e.g. Mai Po), marine parks (e.g. Hoi Ha Wan), and country parks (e.g. Kei Ling Ha Hoi).
2. Good management of the stands (e.g. Sai Keng, Ting Kok) to prevent illegal development and damage.
3. Promote public awareness, e.g. develop educational programmes, encourage scientific research and study tours, etc.
4. Planting and replanting of mangroves. Replanting of mangroves takes place in Hong Kong throughout the year but in a small scale only. Examples include replanting by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Development (AFCD) and Friends of Earth (FOE) at Kei Ling Ha Lo Wai.
A. What are mangroves?
Mangrove is an inter-tidal wetland ecosystem, which marks the transition between the sea or an estuary and the land. Its relatively gentle gradient makes it affected by tides and characterized by high temperature, fluctuated salinity,...