While human beings want to have trees and other greeneries in their communities, they also tend to put their rights first when there is a conflict of rights and interests between them and other non-human entities. Trees in the urban context therefore always have to defend their value and right to survive against human aggressions. In this chapter, with special reference to the case of stonewall trees in Hong Kong, various approaches of defending the rights and interests of trees will be examined. I will start with two approaches commonly found in the Western literature, namely, the biocentric and the holistic approach. It will be argued that the biocentric one would likely reinforce an adversarial attitude which may not be desirable in capturing the relationship between trees and human agents. Whereas the holistic approach, because of the inherent problem of defining the boundary of the whole, is found to be not particularly useful in capturing the value of trees in an urban setting. Finally, I will discuss if Daoism, an essentially Eastern perspective, could offer a way out by refraining from defending one’s rights and well-being as well as stressing the importance of yielding and non-contention. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
|Title of host publication
|Rights and urban controversies in Hong Kong: From the eastern and western perspectives
|Betty YUNG, Francis K. T. MOK, Baldwin WONG
|Place of Publication
|Published - 2023