The University endeavours to care for and protect trees and preserve a green environment on the CUHK campus, and to take reasonable and practicable measures to avoid and minimise felling and damage of trees in the course of campus development.
The University recognises the necessity and importance of having a habitat map with information on the distribution of trees of conservation value on campus for campus planning. Noting the absence of such a map and related information, the University will request relevant Departments/Units
Care of Trees of Conservation Value
- to collate and compile data/information from previous tree survey/felling reports to form the basis of the habitat map to be prepared;
- to undertake a campus-wide vegetation survey for preparing the habitat map; and
- to undertake, as quickly as reasonably practicable, a campuswide survey of trees of conservation value which includes protected tree species as stipulated by the government, any tree with a diameter of 500 mm or above at breast height (DBH), and any tree of historical value including those planted by a donor or on a special occasion.
The University will update the inventory of trees of conservation value and other related information once every three years with particular reference to their occurrence, species composition and health status. Such information will be used to prepare the habitat map and inform decisions on campus planning and development.
In the course of campus development, the University will take reasonable and practicable measures to avoid felling, damaging or risking the survival of any tree of conservation value on campus. Transplanting should be considered if such trees cannot be preserved in situ. If felling is absolutely unavoidable, the works department should seek, prior to the commencement of work, the approval of the Campus Landscaping Enhancement Committee (CLEC) which must be satisfied that the extent of destruction is already kept to a minimum and the proposed compensatory scheme adequate.
The relevant works department will keep the Committee on Campus Environment (CCE) informed of any approval(s) obtained from the CLEC regarding the felling and compensation of trees of conservation value. Such information should include where, when, how many and what species of trees will be felled and what compensatory measures will be provided.
Statutory Consent of Tree Felling as Required by the Government
If the proposed project does not impinge on trees of conservation value, the responsible works department nevertheless must submit, prior to the commencement of work, a plan on how trees at the work site will be affected for vetting of the CLEC which must be satisfied that tree felling has been kept to a minimum. The works department can then apply directly to the relevant authorities for the consent/permit for the felling of trees. It is the responsibility of the works department to observe all statutory requirements stipulated by the Hong Kong SAR Government and undertake any tree surveys or studies and propose compensatory planting schemes as required.
The relevant works department will keep CCE informed of any consent or permit obtained from the statutory authorities. Such information should include where, when, how many and what species of trees will be felled and what compensatory measures will be provided.
The following principles should apply in compensatory planting:
Care and Maintenance of Trees At Risk from Construction Activities
- While exotic species should not be excluded for special reasons or purposes, native tree species should be preferred as a matter of principle.
- The number of trees planted should be more than adequate to compensate for the trees lost in terms of the aggregate DBH.
- Any works department which takes over from the contractor must be satisfied that the number and status of trees planted are compliant with the requirements of any previously approved compensatory scheme/plan.
Where construction activities take place in the vicinity of trees of conservation value, the following measures should be adopted:
- Such trees should be tagged, numbered, photographed and fenced.
- Contractors should be alerted of the obligation to protect such trees and fore-warned of the penalty if such trees are intentionally or inadvertently damaged or destroyed.
- Appropriate penalty clauses should be built into the works contract.
If construction activities are likely to impinge upon trees other than those of conservation value, the following precautionary principles should apply:
Periodic Reports to CCE
- The pruning of segmental roots and branches and the repair/rectification of trees should be undertaken by qualified tree specialists.
- Such works should be monitored by the works department concerned.
The works department should report to CCE at least once every 12 months on the following:
- projects/plans of tree felling and/or replanting that have taken place during the report period;
- summary data of where, when and what (number, age, species) of trees felled;
- the number, age, whereabouts and species of trees planted; and
- summary findings of post-planting monitoring exercises.
The University administration will
- promulgate the Policy to relevant Departments/Units and to the wider University community, and
- take measures to enhance communication with members of the University on salient tree preservation matters.