Nicaraguan canal 'an environmental disaster'

Daniel Ortega and Wang Jing with the agreement. Photo: AP

A proposed Nicaraguan waterway rivalling the Panama Canal would cause an environmental disaster threatening drinking water supplies and fragile ecosystems, conservationists say.

Sunday, 16 June, 2013, 8:53am

Harlequin ladybird shows dangers of alien species as biological control

The harlequin has hit other ladybird species. Photo: SCMP

The harlequin ladybird was once a stalwart ally of greenhouse owners around the world. Native to Japan, Korea and other parts of eastern Asia, the bright red beetles were prized for their aphid-eating abilities - until they caused serious declines in other ladybird populations.

27 May 2013 - 5:59am

Laos may need incentive to stop building Mekong dam

Construction work on the Xayaburi dam. Photo: EPA

Laos is building the Xayaburi hydroelectric dam to block the Mekong, despite promising its neighbours that share the river it would not. The dam will irreversibly change the nature of the river already under stress from several dams upstream in Yunnan. Cambodia and Vietnam, which lie downstream, pleaded for delay, to no avail, at a recent meeting of the Mekong River Commission, a think tank in all but name.

28 Jan 2013 - 3:04am

Letters to the Editor, December 31, 2012

More to be done to tackle Hong Kong's housing problem. Photo: Bloomberg

Flats initiative a short-term measure

I was delighted by the government's announcement on Monday, December 24, that it planned to boost land supply [in the coming quarter] for the construction of 3,000 new apartments.

7 May 2015 - 3:07pm 3 comments

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

China faces largest ecological deficit ever, WWF report finds

China faces largest ecological deficit ever, WWF report finds

China is experiencing its largest ecological deficit ever - caused by decades of high economic growth and rapid urbanisation - as total emissions of carbon and other pollutants far exceed the capacity of its ecosystems, a new study says.

13 Dec 2012 - 7:21am 2 comments

World's biggest and oldest trees dying at alarming rate, research finds

World's biggest and oldest trees dying at alarming rate, research finds

Scientists yesterday warned of an alarming increase in the death rates of the largest living organisms on the planet, the giant, old trees that harbour and sustain countless birds and other wildlife.

8 Dec 2012 - 4:32am

The campaign to save Lung Mei goes far beyond its unglamorous shores

A "protect Lung Mei" rally in Central. Photo: Sam Tsang

If you have visited or even driven past Lung Mei on the north shore of Tolo Harbour, you might wonder why all the fuss about government plans to cover a stretch of coast with sand to make a swimming beach. There's a jumble of rocks amidst a mix of mud and sand, lapped by shallow waters that are sometimes brown with silt.

11 Nov 2012 - 2:53am

Artificial forests 'root of eco-crisis'

Massive tree-planting campaigns on the mainland are doing more harm than good to the nation's already fragile ecosystem, says a leading environmental NGO.

In its 2006 Environment Green Book released on Monday, Friends of Nature said artificial woodlands, pushed by political and economic interests, were squeezing out natural forests at an unprecedented rate.

14 Mar 2007 - 12:00am

Ask Mr Brain... all will be explained

Why do Indian women wear a decorative dot on their foreheads?

The appearance of the decorative dot which goes by many names - the bindhi, pottu, tilakam and kumkum - dates back to the second century AD. The decorative mark appears on statues of Buddha and it can be seen in numerous ancient texts.

18 Jun 2001 - 12:00am

Returning to the forest

AN urban landscape of alienation sets the tone for Tropical Rainforest on the Escalator, written and directed by award-winning Cheung Tat-ming and presented by one of Hong Kong's leading avant-garde theatre companies, Sand & Bricks.

The play attempts to reassess our relationship with nature.

26 Feb 1996 - 12:00am

Film captures forest beauty

IN the tropical rainforest, there are all sorts of beautiful things to see, hear and feel.

The new Omnimax film, Tropical Rainforest , which is being screened at the Hong Kong Space Museum, takes the audience on a journey through time, evolution and the biological diversity of the world's tropical rainforests.

5 Nov 1993 - 12:00am