The idea of the non-in-situ land exchange for the conservation of Sha Lo Tung was initiated by @the Hong Kong Countryside Foundation. It was first brought to the attention of the government when HKCF representatives met Carrie Lam, then Secretary for Development in May 2012, shortly before she became Chief Secretary.
HKCF sustained its lobbying effort over the years, culminating in the Exco decision in June 2017 to proceed with the negotiation with the private landowner, shortly before the term of CY Leung as CE ended. It has taken the energy of yet another CE to bring the difficult negotiation to a close as her term is about to end too.
The success in the protection of Sha Lo Tung is attributed to the effort of numerous people and many green groups since the 1980s. Without them, Sha Lo Tung could have been turned into a golf course or even a columbarium, and numerous dragonflies and other freshwater species would have become history. The land exchange marks a new era of hope. However, the conservation and protection of Sha Lo Tung do not end here. A lot remains to be done to revitalise culture and nature which used to reside in Sha Lo Tung.