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KE Spotlight

  • HKU-led study shows 60% of shark species threatened by shark fin trade   

    HKU-led study shows 60% of shark species threatened by shark fin trade   

    An HKU-led study found that global shark catches now exceed one million tonnes per year, more than doubled what they were six decades ago, threatening 60% of shark species.

    HKU School of Biological Sciences Professor Yvonne Sadovy, lead author of the study said Hong Kong is the port of entry for about half of all officially traded dried shark fins globally, which is around 6,000 tonnes, but estimated that only 12% of shark fisheries are considered sustainable, while 25,000 tonnes of dried fins each year originate from unsustainable and often illegal fisheries. A 2017 study showed that 33% of shark fins found on sale in Hong Kong’s dried seafood stores were from species listed as Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN). The study researchers urge consumers to reject shark fin products altogether, and for restaurant chains to refrain from selling and serving shark fin immediately.

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  • HKU biologist suggests delay in ivory ban in Hong Kong may spur poaching

    HKU biologist suggests delay in ivory ban in Hong Kong may spur poaching

    A new study has examined how recent ivory bans – and gaps thereof – could help or harm the preservation of elephants. Ivory trade has fueled the rampant and ongoing poaching of these important animals across Africa, leading to unprecedented population declines throughout much of the continent.  The study’s lead author, Dr Luke Gibson, Associate Professor of the Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China and Honorary Assistant Professor at the HKU School of Biological Sciences, suggested that the closure of mainland China's domestic ivory market at the end of 2017 may shift more of the trade to Hong Kong as the full ban in Hong Kong won’t be implemented until the end of 2021.  The researchers believe that mismatch in timing of the two bans may be inadvertently widening the window for illegal trading and smuggling, fueling the poaching of elephants in Africa.

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  • Faculty Knowledge Exchange Awards 2018

    Faculty Knowledge Exchange Awards 2018

    The annual Faculty Knowledge Exchange (KE) Awards recognise each Faculty’s outstanding KE accomplishment that has made demonstrable economic, social or cultural impacts to benefit the community, business/industry, or partner organisations. Results of the 2018 Faculty KE Awards are now available.

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  • HKU students publish field guide on poisonous plants in Hong Kong

    HKU students publish field guide on poisonous plants in Hong Kong

    Students from the HKUSU Ecology & Biodiversity Society recently published a guide book named “Poisonous Plant Field Trip: Field Guide”, originally intended for their Poisonous Plant Field Trip held in June to teach participants on identifying poisonous plants in Hong Kong.  The printed version of this field guide were only given to the participants of the field trip and the eVersion is now also available online to the public.

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  • HKU research team calls for environmental conservation of Hong Kong quarries

    HKU research team calls for environmental conservation of Hong Kong quarries

    An HKU research team led by Dr Poon Sun-wah, Adjunct Professor of the Department of Real Estate and Construction, spoke of the history and heritage of quarrying in Hong Kong. An exhibition entitled "The Legend of Rocks: Destiny of Quarries" is now showing at the City Gallery in Central until September 10. Currently, the only quarry remaining in Hong Kong is the Lam Tei Quarry, meeting less than 10% of local demand. While the Government is interested in developing new quarries to supply local needs, the research team believes that environmental conservation should be fully considered in the planning stage and be included in the developmental blueprint with reference to foreign conservation experience.

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  • HKU invents world’s first Smart Address Plate System

    HKU invents world’s first Smart Address Plate System

    HKU developed the world’s first Smart Address Plate System (SAP), which is more accurate in navigating than the widely used GPS.  Professor Anthony Yeh, Chair Professor of the Department of Urban Planning and Design in HKU, explained that while GPS has an average error of 10 to 30 meters and does not work well indoors, SAP can pinpoint the exact location of the user, allowing the user to find his way to both outdoor and indoor destinations easily via a single mobile app. It also reduces the error to a range of 1 to 3 meters. The system consists of three components: the smart address plate with a Bluetooth proximity sensing device, smart address coding system and a smart address plate management system.

    Compared to other navigation systems available on the market, SAP is the most economic option.  Installing SAP in a 30,000 square-foot, five-storey mall with 300 shops would cost around HK$700,000 and on average HK$2,800 for each shop. The team is filing a patent related to this new invention, and is discussing with the government, major shopping malls and office buildings regarding its application so that Hong Kong can become the first city in the world to use this set of innovative system.

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  • HKU Faculty of Law launches DIY Residential Tenancy Agreement E-Package

    HKU Faculty of Law launches DIY Residential Tenancy Agreement E-Package

    A team of students from HKU Faculty of Law led by Principal Lecturer Ms Dora Chan and  Adjunct Associate Professor Mr Edmund Cham has prepared an “E-package of DIY Residential Tenancy Agreement” to provide the public with free and easy access to a residential tenancy agreement template and a set of guidance notes on the stamping, registration and filing of Form CR 109 for a residential tenancy agreement. The template allows tenants to enter into a tenancy agreement for their residential homes independently, without the costs and trouble of engaging a lawyer or an estate agent. The tenancy agreement template also contains typical terms governing the rights and liabilities of both the landlord and the tenant.

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