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LCQ14: Curbing the proliferation of Mikania micrantha

     Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, in the Legislative Council meeting today (February 1):


     In reply to my question in November 2004, as well as the questions from other Members of this Council in March 2006 and March 2011, the authorities indicated that they had adopted a number of measures to curb the proliferation of a climbing plant Mikania micrantha in rural areas.  However, I have learnt that the proliferation of Mikania micrantha has become far more serious in recent years than in 2004, and quite a number of plants withered because they were strangled by Mikania micrantha.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the locations and total areas where Mikania micrantha proliferated in each year since 2004;

(b) of the new measures adopted by the authorities since 2004 to prevent Mikania micrantha from harming trees; and

(c) whether the authorities will formulate more effective measures to curb the proliferation of Mikania micrantha; if they will, of the details of the measures; if not, the reasons for that?



     On the different parts of the question raised by Hon Chan, our reply is as follows:

(a) and (b) Mikania micrantha mainly grows on derelict fields, roadsides, hillsides and woodland fringes where there is ample sunlight.  Currently, government departments have regularly inspected and conducted vegetation maintenance works at sites under their management.  Once Mikania micrantha is found, immediate weeding will be carried out to prevent its proliferation.

     Last year (2011), government departments, including the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Highways Department, Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Water Supplies Department, Drainage Services Department and Lands Department cleared 8.5 hectares of land being affected by Mikania micrantha.  

(c) Government departments carry out inspections and maintenance works for the plants within their facilities and on slopes under their management, including monitoring the growth of Mikania micrantha.  For instance, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department regularly inspects country parks, special areas and sites of special scientific interest.  Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Highways Department and Water Supplies Department will inspect parks, highways and waterworks facilities respectively.  The departments concerned will remove Mikania micrantha promptly once it is found.  In fact, the most effective measure to control proliferation of Mikania micrantha is to conduct regular inspections and to remove the weed immediately once it is found.

Ends/Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Issued at HKT 14:53


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