Responsibility in World Business: Managing Harmful Side-Effects of Corporate Activity

By Lene Bomann-Larsen; Oddny Wiggen | Go to book overview

8
An object lesson in balancing
business and nature in Hong
Kong: Saving the birds of
Long Valley

Robert E. Allinson


Introduction

This chapter is divided into four sections. The first section briefly outlines an ethic of “do no harm”, including nature as a potential object of harm, which may serve as a norm for individual and corporate activity whenever environmental impact is an issue. The second section discusses the threat to the ecology of the Long Valley area in Hong Kong, and to the bird life in particular, posed by the proposal by the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) to construct the Spur Line railway between Sheung Shui and Lok Ma Chau directly across Long Valley, an area of great importance for bird life. The third section provides a short history of the case, including a description of the original proposal to build the railway across Long Valley, the rejection of the proposal by the Director of the Environmental Protection Department, and a court ruling that rejected the environmental impact assessment report by the KCRC, thus denying permission to proceed with the project. This was a truly momentous occasion because it was the first time that green groups had managed to stop a corporate/government project in Hong Kong.1 This section also includes a concise description of the revised proposal, which did, in fact, receive environmental endorsement to go ahead. This revised proposal, which avoids Long Valley by the device of building a tunnel underneath it, will mitigate most, although not all, of the environmental concerns. The fourth section is a theoretical discussion of the value of this

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