Hopes that documentary will help protect islands

Communication students were given the chance to prove their journalistic skills and contribute to the protection of some of the territory's few remaining unspoilt natural sites.

Seven students from City University and Chinese University were given $75,000 by the Environmental Campaign Committee to produce a documentary on five undeveloped Hong Kong islands and island groups.

The areas were Soko, Tung Lung, Crooked Island, Po Toi and Ping Chau.

The third-year project was inspired by Associate Professor Barry Lowe of CityU's Department of English, who had visited the islands on cruises.

'We hope the documentary will attract public support for preserving the wildlife and natural beauty of these islands, especially when it's shown on television,' he said. RTHK has shown interest in broadcasting the documentary.

The islands vary in size and in the history of their human settlements. Some hosted small fishing villages which have almost disappeared with migration to the city.

Tung Lung is a popular site for school trips, while Ping Chau and Crooked Island have a few inhabitants.

An elderly couple are said to be the last inhabitants of Soko island.

'We have learned that some land developers have their eyes on these islands. That makes the project more urgent,' Professor Lowe said.

CityU journalism student Rochelle Regodon said: 'The islands are home to many species, including the rare Romer's tree frog.'