of Impact on Sites of Cultural Heritage in Environmental Impact Assessment
BASIS FOR ASSESSMENT
- A "site of cultural heritage"
is defined in Schedule 1 of the Ordinance and covers a wide range of
sites, buildings, structures and other heritage features.
6.1 Historical buildings and structures
- Buildings and structures of a certain
age (currently pre-1950) which possess definite qualities, including
historical, architectural, cultural, group and other values are
identified by AMO.
- Historical buildings and structures
range from places of worship, domestic dwellings, industrial and
agricultural installations and establishments, market towns and
walled villages, civil and military buildings and structures,
6.2 Archaeological sites and structures
- While there is no one simple and
infallible definition, it may be noted for reference that the
Charter for the Protection and Management of the Archaeological
Heritage adopted in 1990 by the International Council on Monuments
and Sites (ICOMOS) defines archaeological heritage as "comprising
all vestiges of human existence and consisting of places relating
to all manifestations of human activity, abandoned structures
and remains of all kinds (including subterranean and underwater
sites), together with all the portable cultural material associated
- In Hong Kong, consideration should
be given to the local circumstances where the archaeological sites
and structures are sites mostly buried underground, but some of
them are standing above ground and contain material evidence of
all forms of human activities including sea and land exploitation,
settlements, burials, fortifications, etc., from pre-historic
to historic times.
- Known underwater sites are relatively
few in Hong Kong, but historical documents and archaeological
evidence suggest that they may exist in fair abundance .
6.3 Palaeontological sites
Palaeontological sites refer to pre-Holocene
geological beds of sedimentary rocks containing fossil remains of
fauna and flora and their impressions. Known sites are normally
located within Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Detailed
location maps of SSSI can be obtained from Agriculture and Fisheries
Department and/or Planning Department.
6.4 Other cultural features
Other cultural features are items
of antiquities in very varied forms which include old street furniture
(e.g. lamp posts, fountains, etc.), stone engravings, foundation
and boundary stones, milestones, lime kilns, graves, trackways,
salt-pans, and many others. Their historical significance varies;
however, together they are an important body of historical data
evincing and recording the different stages of development and evolution
of the city.
- Sites of cultural heritage of exceptional
qualities and significance may be statutorily protected through declaration
in the Government Gazette as Monuments, Historical Buildings, Archaeological
Sites, etc., under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance ("the
A&M Ordinance"). Relics (defined under the A&M Ordinance
as fossils and objects/artefacts created, modified, etc. by human agency
before 1800 AD) discovered after 1976 are, by law, properties of the
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. Search and excavation
for relics should comply with the A & M Ordinance. All discoveries
of antiquities or supposed antiquities must also be reported.
- Depending on the scale, the scope and
the location of individual projects, the Director may, in consultation
with the AMO, stipulate requirements in the EIA Study Brief relating
to sites of cultural heritage appropriate to the project area in question.