Green lobbyists raise doubts about company's commitment to environment

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 November, 1999, 12:00am

Disney's statements on its commitment to green issues will not stop the company riding roughshod over the environment here, lobbyists warned yesterday.

The Conservancy Association, whose members were rebuffed by Disney chiefs when they sought a meeting yesterday, accused the US giant of hypocrisy and treating Hong Kong 'like a second-class country'.

Association general-secretary Lister Cheung Lai-ping said Disney's environmental policy was fine, but she was not convinced it would be implemented here.

She said that when Disney built its Florida theme park, it bought 3,450 hectares of wildlife habitat nearby and donated it to the public as compensation for damage done in building the resort.

Disney has announced no plans for a similar move here, although Penny's Bay has been the site of valuable archeological finds and is near the habitat of the Chinese White Dolphin.

'Is Hong Kong's environment not as worthy as that in the United States?' Ms Cheung said.

'Is the Walt Disney company treating Hong Kong like a second-class country?' In its own publicity material, Disney describes the Florida land donation as 'an innovative way to compensate for the company's development'.

The association said Disney could consider buying land for donation to the public in Sha Lo Tung, Long Valley, Tai Ho, Deep Bay wetlands, Tai Po Kau or Tsung Tsai Yuen.

Ms Cheung said the Government's obvious desperation to win the Disney project might give the company the impression the SAR could be regarded 'as the Third World'.