There’s money in eco-tourism: Ngong Ping 360 shows how

(Above) Butterfly wall, Ngong Ping

Here’s a reminder that Lantau’s natural beauty and ecosystem are tourism’s best friend, not its enemy as the government and supporters seem to believe.

Ngong Ping 360 is running a butterfly-themed family promotion over the summer, taking advantage of the presence of Lantau’s 100-plus butterflies species. As well as butterfly-watching, there’s a workshop on taking wildlife photos, another on “butterfly art” a dance performance, and so on.

“We would also like visitors to understand the ecology of Lantau so that they may treasure the natural environment even more,” said Ngong Ping 360 marketing head Vivien Lee.

The announcement quotes Yau Wing Kwong, chairman of the Environmental Association, explaining that climate change is already impacting heavily on plants and animals, with the late winter making it difficult for insects and butterflies to find food and shelter.

1 Tamil Grass Dart

The Tamil Grass Dart, one of Ngong Ping’s ‘three treasures’

But Yau did not mention the elephant in the room – the government’s draconian development plans, providing for ecologically destructive mass tourism sites all along the southern Lantau coast.

A week ago local environmental group Green Power revealed that two species new to Lantau have established themselves on North Lantau.

But it warned that because these were not in country parks they had no statutory statutory protection. The group called on the government to declare DPAs (development permission areas) at Lantau butterfly hotspots Sha Lo Wan, San Shek Wan, Sham Wat, Tong Fuk and Shui Hau.

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