Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ISA HK/China ---- TMO is a Repetative Structure?

*** Our weekly Station Mail is for the information of Station Members only, but Station Mail has given up copyright & can be freely circulated. For administrative reasons, comments from outsiders are usually not entertained & may be circulated within our system locally & overseas. Please note Station Mail is sometimes given in Blog at , although images are usually not attached due to size. ***

Dear Station Members,

The following newspaper cutting was sent in by a Station Member without any comment. ISA HK/China thought that this Station Member was looking for a response & therefore we broadcast.

Ever since the announcement of setting up of the Tree Management Office (TMO) on 29.6.09, there has been a one sided criticism from the media & politicians for reasons beyond the understanding of ISA HK/China & our Arborists. In the radio interview at CR 1 & TV broadcast of Now TV both on 29.6.09, the Station Manager was shocked to hear complaints from every participant to paint the TMO as a repetitive structure wasting public funds. Then only weeks before the TMO was announced, the media were discussing that HK did not have an authoritative organization to coordinate the Tree affairs. Are the public now contradicting themselves?

For any organization to operate efficiently, it must have a leader. This is like a person having a brain to tell the other parts of the body what to do. Among those critics who would belong to some kind of organization themselves, be it the media, political group or what, doesn't that organization of theirs have a Director or Committee to steer their events? Then what's wrong of having the TMO to lead the Tree Affairs in HK?

Some say that they would want a local Tree Law. ISA HK/China has reviewed the Parks & Trees Act of Singapore ( which would be regarded as the most relevant for HK, if HK would really consider setting up some form of Tree Regulations. However, the critics would divert themselves to places like Taiwan & China where Topping is an acceptable practice to guide our public. They also could not answer the concern of having private trees deliberately removed before the Tree Law could be set up to avoid supervision. Would this kind of attitude really help the trees in HK?

One of the functions of the TMO is to coordinate all Govt Depts dealing with trees from design, operation to maintenance to make our trees safe & functional, rather than just 'flowering & scent' alone. The TMO would need to renovate the traditional practices to pick out the incorrect & replace with proper. The tasks ahead are grave & serious, & public support is needed because the TMO will eventually run into clashes with people with traditional interest. Any change would mean their interest is harmed.

On the other hand, maybe the critics have something else on mind. Interestingly, none of the critics so far would like to confront the Arborists to talk face to face in a public situation to discuss how to plant trees on a technical sense, but rather would drag in politics & sentiment to try to please the public onto their side. Would this be really good for the Tree Development in HK?

ISA HK/China is now the most influential organization to talk with international practices on trees in HK. We do not follow comments or ideas if they do not comply with international knowledge & experience, no matter where they come from. We believe in Integrity, Professionalism, Participation, Fact-finding & Truth-telling in our professional attitude. This is what makes us grow from one person to +1,000 Station Members in just 4.5 years.

We believe that HK still has a lot of people who have clear mind to distinguish between justice & malice. ISA HK/China strongly believes in the future duties of the TMO & would support it as long as it can follow international practices & to be guided by the right persons. We believe the TMO would do HK good.

For this we shall have faith.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

"If a tree is not designed, installed, maintained & inspected properly, it is likely to become a liability rather than an asset."

"Trees are good for the community. Trees need care like human beings. Arborists are the Tree Care Professionals."