A debate speech


Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.


Today’s motion is “Country parks should be turned into sites for housing in Hong Kong. “ Our team is strongly against it. A country park is defined as “an area of countryside, usually not less than 10 hectares, set aside for public recreation” As the opposition side, our team line is “Country parks are vital and irreplaceable for the society in both macroscopic and microscopic views.”


Being a place dominated by hills and mountains, there’s a lack of land for Hong Kong to develop. Facing the housing problem due to the growing population, some suggest using the fringe areas of the country parks, which occupy 2300 hectares of vacant government sites to solve the imminent housing problem. However, our team firmly opposes it. From our point of view, country parks are something more than just places for hiking, barbecues or other leisure activities at the weekend. They ‘re our most valuable conservation assets.


In the macroscopic view, country parks are places storing water which are vital to every citizen’s life. There’re 24 country parks in Hong Kong, 11 of which are home to our 17 reservoirs. These parks form a network of catchment areas for collecting rainwater, which provides a significant percentage of Hong Kong’s water supply, into the reservoirs. They also store the imported Dong-Jiang water that is surplus to immediate needs, which is also an important function. These country parks were designated with an important purpose of protecting the catchment areas from contamination. Nevertheless, any development in these parks would contaminate the catchment areas and therefore water in the reservoirs. But the point is that, there’s a must for us to increase our water self-reliance in the long run. It’s necessary for us to protect our country parks in the views of the society’s long term development. Our first speaker will further elaborate on it.


In the microscopic view, it’s believed that the space of the country parks is not empty. It’s full of meaning and its value to people is subtle but profound. Country parks have been confirmed as a world-class treasure in terms of the Hong Kong trail. It serves Hong Kongers as a safe heaven, a great escape from the virus-infected city like in 2003 when SARS virus was in every corner in Hong Kong. Nowadays, many people in Hong Kong are leading their suffocating, debilitating and hardly bearable lives. The country parks nourish the seeds of happiness in our hearts and let the spirits quickly get recharged. The country parks provide precious and invaluable services, such as energizing the tired souls and uplifting the depressed. It’s dear that country parks are the jewel in the crown of Hong Kong so we must spare no effort to safeguard them. Our second speaker will elaborate more about it.


To conclude, it’s always a matter of balance between meeting human needs and protecting the natural environment for sustainable development. We should not sacrifice the country parks, the irreplaceable jewel and treasure of Hong Kong for the never satisfied human needs. To conserve our country parks, we should do everything to prevent the first inch being given up. Therefore, today’s motion must fall. Thank you.