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News from DEB (pdf)

The big news is, of course, not from DEB but from Government. It has just been announced that the Country Parks and Marine Conservation Divisions of the Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department are to be merged with the Environmental Protection Department. The remains of AFCD will be reorganised into a new Department of Agriculture and Environmental Hygiene. The plan has yet to be put before LegCo but it is intended that this will happen before the end of 2005. The reorganization puts the arms of government responsible for environmental protection and nature conservation under one roof and, on the face of it, seems a rational move. I certainly hope that it proves to be a successful one. The merger would also result in the formation of two new divisions within EPD: the Country and Marine Parks Division, and the Ecology and Biodiversity Division. Now, where have I heard that name before?

On a different note, Id like to draw attention somewhat belatedly - to the formation of a new student society at the University of Hong Kong: the Environmental Life Science Society. The ELSS was formed late last year, and is now about to celebrate its first anniversary. The members and especially the Executive Committee are an active and dedicated bunch who are keen to spread the word about the need for awareness and conservation of nature in Hong Kong. You can find out more about them at http://web.hku.hk/~elsshku/ or via the link on http://www.hku.hk/ecology/. The ELSS homepage also provides access to their newsletter Succession, which describes recent activities and events.

Before signing off, I should report that my term as Head of DEB comes to an end on December 31. So, this is a good time for me to thank everyone who has supported the department during the last few years, and most especially those who have contributed articles and other efforts to making Porcupine! the success it is.

David Dudgeon

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Porcupine!
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