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SDEV to visit Wolong, Sichuan  
   

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, will lead a delegation comprising government officials, the Wolong Architectural Expert Group and representatives of Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong to Wolong, Sichuan, from April 12 to 13 to inspect the Sichuan reconstruction projects supported by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government in earthquake-stricken areas.

The architectural experts in the delegation are Professor Patrick Lau, Professor Edward Ng, Professor Raymond Fung and Mr John Ng. They have assisted the HKSAR Government voluntarily in the past three years with their expert advice on the architectural designs of two flagship projects in Wolong: the Giant Panda Conservation and Disease Control Centre in Dujiangyan and the China Conservation and Research Centre for Giant Panda in Gengda. Other members of the delegation include the Deputy Chief Executive of Ocean Park, Mr Matthias Li, and the Team Leader, Sichuan Reconstruction, of the Development Bureau, Mr Mak Chai-kwong.

Accompanied by representatives of the relevant departments of the Sichuan Provincial People's Government, Mrs Lam will visit Wolong Primary School, Wolong Social Welfare Centre and the Wolong Medical and Health Centre to inspect the progress of these projects. She will also visit the new campus of Gengda School in Gengda Village and the construction site of the China Conservation and Research Centre for Giant Panda. In the morning of April 13, she will proceed to Shiqiao Village at Qingcheng Mountain to inspect the construction site of the Giant Panda Conservation and Disease Control Centre.

As reconstruction of the section from Yingxiu to Wolong of Provincial Road 303 has yet to be completed, the delegation has to use a temporary access road for construction to travel from Yingxiu to Wolong.

The HKSAR Government set up the Trust Fund in Support of Reconstruction in the Sichuan Earthquake Stricken Areas in 2008 in the aftermath of the Wenchuan earthquake to support reconstruction in Sichuan. There are a total of 23 reconstruction projects in the Wolong Nature Reserve with total funding of about $1.58 billion. Among the 23 projects, three have been completed, 15 will be completed within this year, and the remaining five are scheduled for completion in mid-2013.

Wolong is a national nature reserve and giant panda base, as well as a community with about 5,000 villagers. As such, the HKSAR Government's reconstruction projects in the area comprise two categories. The first involves a total of 11 projects aiming at restoring the natural habitat of the reserve and the conservation and research facilities for giant pandas. The second involves 12 projects for improving people's livelihood, which include power supply installations, a drainage system, a refuse disposal system, geological hazard control, restoration of roads, schools, a medical and health-care centre, and a social welfare centre.

Mrs Lam will return to Hong Kong in the afternoon of April 13.

Ends/Thursday, April 5, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:38

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