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Design for Conservation

Design for Conservation

Keywords: #design  #conservation  #gis  #iirsa  #deforestation  #infrastructure  #china  #myanmar  #latinAmerica 


Forum on Sustainable Infrastructure with ADB and WWF

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), together with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, hosted the Forum on Sustainable Infrastructure: Integrating Climate Resilience and Natural Capital into Transport Infrastructure Planning and Design on May 17 and 18 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

During the forum, Ashley Scott Kelly presented innovative ways that design-level considerations can drive sustainable infrastructure planning. His talk, "Infrastructure, Impact and Uncertainty: Scenario-based approaches to upstream design, wildlife connectivity and sustainable construction in transport planning for southern Myanmar", included work on the Dawei Road Link with Dorothy Tang at HKU, WWF, and Smithsonian.

The event convened planners, engineers and climate specialists alongside government ministries, multilateral banks, bilateral aid agencies, infrastructure finance investment firms, NGOs and academia. The forum was divided into five sessions, covering: 1) Designing ecologically sensitive transport infrastructure; 2) Building resilient infrastructure working with nature and bioengineering; 3) Facilitating finance for sustainable infrastructure; 4) Improving options with better planning; and 5) Strengthening the enabling environment.

The forum was attended by high-level officials, including a large delegation from Myanmar: Directors General of the Ministries of Construction and Rail Transportation, and Directors and Deputies from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, Highways, Investment, and Transport and Communications. Government ministries also joined from China, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao, and Vietnam. Experts attended from institutions and organizations from across Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Americas.

http://www.gms-eoc.org/events/forum-on-sustainable-infrastructure-

Forum on Sustainable Infrastructure: Integrating Climate Resilience and Natural Capital into Transport Infrastructure Planning and Design
Forum on Sustainable Infrastructure: Integrating Climate Resilience and Natural Capital into Transport Infrastructure Planning and Design
Forum on Sustainable Infrastructure: Integrating Climate Resilience and Natural Capital into Transport Infrastructure Planning and Design
Forum on Sustainable Infrastructure: Integrating Climate Resilience and Natural Capital into Transport Infrastructure Planning and Design
Forum on Sustainable Infrastructure: Integrating Climate Resilience and Natural Capital into Transport Infrastructure Planning and Design
Forum on Sustainable Infrastructure: Integrating Climate Resilience and Natural Capital into Transport Infrastructure Planning and Design
Design on the Road to Burma, Final Review

Final-year HKU undergraduates in landscape architecture defended their design strategies today for southern Myanmar. Many of their designs built credible scenarios of how changes in landscape management and planning and design scopes can mitigate development and conservation conflicts, especially in areas of weak governance and environmental regulation.

View course page

Final review for Design on the Road to Burma 2017.
Final review for Design on the Road to Burma 2017.
Minnie CHU Lok Yan presenting project From Ethnic to Wildlife Conflict: Ecological corridors and refugee repatriation on the upper Tanintharyi River.
Minnie CHU Lok Yan presenting project From Ethnic to Wildlife Conflict: Ecological corridors and refugee repatriation on the upper Tanintharyi River.
Critics debate the possible futures of the Dawei Special Economic Zone.
Critics debate the possible futures of the Dawei Special Economic Zone.
Daisy LAU Tik Sze presents her project on alternative economies for community forestry and the defunding of Tanintharyi Nature Reserve Project.
Daisy LAU Tik Sze presents her project on alternative economies for community forestry and the defunding of Tanintharyi Nature Reserve Project.
Natalie KHOO Ting Fung defends her project Programming the Forest: Non-zoned approaches to customary rights in Tanintharyi Nature Reserve.
Natalie KHOO Ting Fung defends her project Programming the Forest: Non-zoned approaches to customary rights in Tanintharyi Nature Reserve.
HKU Students Return to Southern Myanmar

For the third year, final-term undergraduate students from the University of Hong Kong, led by Ashley Scott Kelly and assisted by Maxime Decaudin, travelled overland from Thailand to Myanmar to study regional development and conservation impacts in Myanmar's Tanintharyi Region. Preceding the trip, the students spent 6 weeks producing a 120-page research report that combined detailed timelines on investment and conservation, regional case studies, and site-specific studies on landscape processes from mining extraction to wildlife movement. During their travel, the students visited large industrial estates along Thailand's Eastern Seaboard, including Map Ta Phut and Laem Chabang, Dawei's resettlement housing and community forest programmes, met with several Myanmar civil society organizations and international environmental NGOs, and participated in a village-led conservation ceremony.

The students, Maxime, and Ashley extend their thanks to the people of Michaunglaung, the people of Kamoethway, Rays of Kamoethway Indigenous People and Nature, Dawei Development Association, Spirit in Education Movement, forestry officials at the Tanintharyi Nature Reserve Project, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

View photos from the field

Dawei-Phunamron Road Link access road. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Dawei-Phunamron Road Link access road. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate on Thailand's Eastern Seaboard. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate on Thailand's Eastern Seaboard. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Interfaith celebration of 3rd anniversary of Kamoethway Fish Conservation Zone. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Interfaith celebration of 3rd anniversary of Kamoethway Fish Conservation Zone. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Students meeting with Michaunglaung village to discuss TNRP Corporate Social Responsibility program. Photo Maxime Decaudin.
Students meeting with Michaunglaung village to discuss TNRP Corporate Social Responsibility program. Photo Maxime Decaudin.
Dawei SEZ main road. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Dawei SEZ main road. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Automated Monitoring of Illegal Wildlife Trade in Hong Kong

Illegal Wildlife Trade in Hong Kong, Automated notification of potential cases in the judiciary

To help efforts limiting or banning the trade in endangered species, Design for Conservation is hosting an automated notification system that searches Hong Kong's daily court listings for potential wildlife crime related offenses.

Green Peace notes a recent increase in the market value of illegal wildlife seizures in Hong Kong totalling HK$ 117 million for the five-year period ending October 2015. Hong Kong's Customs and Exise Department further estimates only a 10% seizure success rate. Wildlife Crime: Is Hong Kong Doing Enough? Green Peace (2015).

The Hong Kong Judiciary's Daily Cause Lists "provide[s] members of the public with information on the schedule of court hearings and related matters" by 18:30 the day preceding these cases. As the listings are difficult to browse, users of this automated monitoring system will be informed via email roughly around the same time with specific cases involving species from CITES Appendix I, II and III, violations of the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, and even potentially related cases involving unmanifested cargo.

To sign up for notifications, please send a request to [email protected]

Studio Nepal: Designing nature, standards, and discontinuities in the Himalayas

On December 6th, HKU MLA students presented their final landscape planning projects for Nepal. Their 12 project proposals followed one of three approaches:

1) Creating complex scenarios in data-poor areas of the Terai plains by technically generating sites (for design) that bring out subtle differences in land cover and topography. These projects deal with the mitigation and long-term planning, for both communities and wildlife connectivity, of highway, rail and irrigation infrastructure.

2) Parameterizing landscape technologies and responses along planned road upgrades in the Mid Hills. These projects address difficulties in scope-setting between road construction, geophysical complexity, and the necessity to couple road building with broad land management programs.

3) Critiquing EIA scopes in a series of hydropower projects, including their associated roads and transmission lines. These projects focus on alternative approaches to defining (or designing) project scope.

Summaries of their final proposals will be posted soon.

Fabricating Site: Nuanced scenario modelling and infrastructural strategies for Karnali River floodplain. Project by Zikai Zhang.
Fabricating Site: Nuanced scenario modelling and infrastructural strategies for Karnali River floodplain. Project by Zikai Zhang.
Preliminary studio research panels
Preliminary studio research panels
HKU Landscape Students Travel to Nepal

Master of Landscape Architecture students from the University of Hong Kong travelled in early November from Kathmandu to Chitwan national park to study the impacts of large-scale infrastructure on the environmental conservation and development. Throughout September and October, the students researched three related areas: 1) Infrastructure investment trends and their relationship to political turmoil and environmental disaster; 2) Nepal's "failed" development and common misconceptions in development approaches, focusing on geophysical processes (e.g., erosion, landslides) and agricultural and other land management issues; and 3) Forest management, with a focus on Nepal's wide spectrum of community forestry. During the first week of November, students traveled Nepal's central north-south corridor from Kathmandu to Chitwan and met with major international NGOs, including WWF's linear infrastructure team and ICIMOD at their project demonstration grounds, local landscape academics and design offices, and community forest user groups. The students were led by Assistant Professor Ashley Scott Kelly of HKU's Division of Landscape Architecture.

The group would like to extend their greatest thanks to: Professor Bharat Sharma, Centre for Integrated Urban Development, Tribhuvan University; the Kerunga Community Forest User Group; Lok Bahadur Kuwar from Kasara Resort, Chitwan National Park; Neera Pradhan and her team at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu; Priyanka Bista, Rajeev Goyal, and their entire team at KTK-Belt Studio; the Taragon Museum; Rahul Bajracharya for his great help in organizing; and the Worldwide Fund for Nature's Nepal and India offices.

View photos from the field

Narayanghat-Mugling Highway. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Narayanghat-Mugling Highway. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Godavari Knowledge Park. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Godavari Knowledge Park. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Kerunga Community Forest User Group, Chitwan Buffer Zone. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Kerunga Community Forest User Group, Chitwan Buffer Zone. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Meeting with Worldwide Fund for Nature, WWF-Nepal. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Meeting with Worldwide Fund for Nature, WWF-Nepal. Photo Ashley Scott Kelly.
Current Statutory Plan Gaps in Hong Kong

Several media outlets recently ran stories on wetland conversion at Tuen Mun's Lung Kwu Tan. The 1.25-hectare site is outside Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) and Development Permission Area (DPA) controls and is nearly 200-meters from a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). While Lung Kwu Tan is one of the largest areas desperately in need of a DPA, several areas throughout Hong Kong lacking such controls pose similar risk to areas of high conservation value.

See SCMP Destruction decried as 1.25-hectare Hong Kong wetland site near butterfly haven is filled in at Tuen Mun's Lung Kwu Tan

The map below, while not fully accurate because of limited data availability, identifies some of the potential conflict areas throughout Hong Kong.

Potential lots outside statutory planning controls
Potential lots outside statutory planning controls
Launch: Development and Conservation Awareness Map for Hong Kong

Development and Conservation Awareness Map (DCAM) is a platform that facilitates dialogue by coordinating often contradictory knowledge of development projects, at any stage of planning and operation, impacting the territory. As new plans for projects are discovered or as existing projects change course, they can be added to the map via simple drawing tools, uploading, and commentary by a diverse array of user groups.

The first trial of DCAM was released for southern Myanmar as one among many efforts to close information gaps related to conservation and development ethics.

Launch Interactive Map

Current map layers

DevBApproximately 150 potential housing sites (points) with zoning classes2014-12-31
DevBPotential medium and long-term areas2014-12-31
DevBUnallocated government lands with zoning2012-10-16
CEDDLonglisted reclamation potential2012-01-19
TPBOutline Zoning Plan (Green Belts, Conservation Areas, etc.)2015-09
TPBDevelopment Permission Areas (DPA)2015-08-21
TPBComprehensive Development Areas (CDA)2015-05-04
TPBCountry Park Village Enclave boundaries2010-08
TPBWetland Conservation Area and Buffer Area2014-01-29
PlanDCountry Parks and Special Areas2010-08
AFCDEcologically Important Streams (AFCD precise segment)2015-07-17