Ask the doctors

The act of swallowing is entirely voluntary, but the subsequent phases are involuntary reflexes. Photo: Corbis

I'm 30 years old, but I still can't seem to swallow pills. How can I teach myself to do so, or what alternatives do I have?

Monday, 25 March, 2013, 10:24am

Ivory haul proves a tough sell to schools

Ivory haul proves a tough sell to schools

Conservation officials are having difficulty persuading schools to accept seized ivory offered them for education purposes because they are worried about security. This emerged yesterday after the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said it had dropped plans to incinerate 16 tonnes of confiscated tusks, in part because of the emissions the haul would create.

15 Mar 2013 - 4:11am 1 comment

It's hammer time: video of hammerhead sharks, manta rays and other species protected under CITES

A great hammerhead shark. Photo by WWF Hong Kong

One small step for mankind, and a great big one for the world's oceans this week in Bangkok. The Daily Matter brings you a look at some of the creatures now under protection, and a quick primer on CITES so you can navigate the tricky world of the international wildlife trade.

15 Mar 2013 - 10:59am

Hand of organised crime in ivory trade

A customs officer displays some of the 3.9 tonnes of seized tusks.

Hong Kong is on the frontline in the fight against illegal ivory trafficking, and has a growing role as a transit point of the illicit trade, according to reports by the UN and a wildlife agency.

Large-scale seizures in the city in recent years point to the involvement of organised crime, one of the reports says.

14 Mar 2013 - 7:38am

Sea Shepherd takes its battle to top US court

Oregon-based conservation group Sea Shepherd boasted that it has prevented Japan from killing whales this season. Photo: AFP

Since 2002, Sea Shepherd has disrupted Japan's contested hunt in the Southern Ocean annually, but a US court issued an injunction on December 17 for the activists to stay at least 460 metres away from the whaling vessels.

13 Feb 2013 - 2:53am

APP's pledge on Indonesia's forests brings hope

Teguh Ganda Wijaya, Indonesian chairman of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). APP has committed itself not to establish further plantations or develop peatland on forested land. Photo: AFP

Last week, one of the biggest paper companies in the world announced a new forest conservation policy that, if implemented, will end the company's long and controversial history of deforestation. Asia Pulp & Paper has pulp and paper mills both in Indonesia and in China, and is one of several companies that together dominate the China and Hong Kong paper market.

12 Feb 2013 - 2:45am

Runners take their case for shark fin ban to Hong Kong's big marathon

From left, runners Janet Ng, Kenneth Chan and Anthony Leung King-yan in their outfits for the race on February 24. Photo: Nora Tam

This will be the seventh consecutive year a group of elite local runners will run the entire 42-kilometre marathon in full-body shark costumes. "It's not so much the heavy shark head that's the challenge, but how hot and stuffy it gets in here," said Janet Ng Shiaw-hwa, as she wiggled into her suit at a demonstration in Tamar Park in Admiralty.

4 Feb 2013 - 4:40am 1 comment

Australia affirms support for conservation of Great Barrier Reef

Green activists showing support for the coral reef. Photo: AFP

Australia insisted yesterday that protecting the Great Barrier Reef was a top priority, but conservationists WWF said not enough had been done to prevent Unesco deeming it a world heritage site "in danger".

2 Feb 2013 - 4:02am

Shark fin opponents dogmatic

Recent letters concerning shark fin have shown unquestioning acceptance of a dogma.

There is a refusal on the part of correspondents to consider opposing viewpoints when dealing with those they consider to be the unenlightened.

21 Jan 2013 - 3:35am 10 comments

Environmental impact assessment system may be enhanced: Minister

Wong Kam-sing

The environmental impact assessment system - which the authorities rely heavily on to address conflicts between development and conservation - may soon be enhanced, top environment officials said yesterday.

Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said that while the operation of the system was largely "OK", it could still be improved.

19 Jan 2013 - 3:11am

Green coalition calls for formal ban on shark fin in Hong Kong

The photo that sparked a global outcry. Photo: Sam Tsang

A coalition of marine conservation groups and high-profile environmentalists has written to the government calling for a formal ban on serving shark fin at all official functions.

13 Jan 2013 - 4:19am 2 comments

Poachers kill 11 elephants in 'worst massacre in Kenya for decades'

Elephants at the Amboseli game reserve, approximately 250 kilometres south of Kenyan capital Nairobi. Photo: AFP

Kenyan wildlife rangers yesterday were tracking a team of poachers who massacred a family of 11 elephants in what they said was the worst single such killing in the country in the past three decades. "We have not lost as many elephants in a single incident since the early 1980s," said Patrick Omondi, head of the elephant programme at the Kenya Wildlife Service.

9 Jan 2013 - 4:19am

Warning over commercialising heritage sites

A bird's eye view of remains of the palace at Xanadu, which was the summer capital for Yuan dynasty ruler Kublai Khan. Photo: Unesco

China is the only country to have had at least one site inscribed into Unesco's World Heritage List each year over the past decade, but analysts warn that an official obsession with such listings for economic gain could compromise the nation's heritage conservation efforts.

1 Jan 2013 - 5:01am

Breeding of endangered species is futile without habitat protection

The threatened spoon-billed sandpiper. Photo: John Harrison

This past summer, a team of biologists scoured Siberian tundra in search of nests and eggs of one of the world's most threatened species, the spoon-billed sandpiper - a small shorebird known to Hong Kong birdwatchers as a scarce annual migrant at Mai Po Marshes.

23 Dec 2012 - 3:45am

Investigation after construction waste left in Yuen Long conservation area

Trees have been removed near Wong Chuk Yuen village and dirt piled almost two metres high. Some has spilled into adjacent government land. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Planning officials are investigating waste dumping on a 22,000 square metre conservation area in Yuen Long, amid suspicions it could have come from a construction site for the MTR's high-speed cross-border railway.

Trees have been removed from land near Wong Chuk Yuen village off Kam Tin Road and dirt piled almost two metres high.

18 Dec 2012 - 3:27am