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Advisory Council on the Environment

Confirmed Minutes of the 60th Meeting of the Advisory Council on the Environment held on 2 March 1999 at 2:30 p.m.

Present:

Mr. Peter H. Y. WONG, JP (Chairman)
Mr. Barrie COOK
Mr. Paul C. H. FAN
Professor Anthony HEDLEY, JP
Professor Peter HILLS
Dr. HO Kin-chung
Professor LAM Kin-che
Dr. LEONG Che-hung
Mr. LIN Chaan-ming
Dr. NG Cho-nam
Mr. PAO Ping-wing, JP
Mr. Otto L. T. POON
Ms Iris TAM
Miss Alex YAU
Mr. Plato YIP
Mr. Danny TSUI (Secretary)

Absent with Apologies:

Mr. CHAN Kwok-wai, JP
Mr. Clement CHEN
Miss Ann CHIANG
Mr. Edwin Lau
Mr. Joseph LAU Man-wai, JP
Mr. Michael J. D. RUSHWORTH
Mr. Tan Teng Huat

In Attendance:

 

Mr. Gordon SIU Secretary for Planning, Environment & Lands (SPEL)
Mr. Kim SALKELD Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment & Lands (Environment) (DS(E), PELB)
Mr. Rob LAW Director of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Mr. Bosco FUNG Director of Planning (D of Plan)
Mr. S P LAU Assistant Director (Conservation), Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) (AD, AFD)
Mr. David CHAN Principal Information Officer, Environmental Protection Department (EPD)
Mr. Eugene FUNG Assistant Secretary for Planning, Environment & Lands (Environment)
Miss Cora SO Executive Officer (Environment), Planning, Environment & Lands Bureau (PELB)

In Attendance for Agenda Item 3 :

 

Dr. Bill BARRON Associate Professor, Centre of Urban Planning & Environmental Management, the University of Hong Kong (AP, CUPEM)

In Attendance for Agenda Item 4 :

 

Mr. Steve BARCLAY Principal Assistant Secretary (Environment)2, PELB (PAS(E)2, PELB)
Mr. Patrick LEI Principal Environmental Protection Officer (Waste Policy & Services Group), EPD (PEPO(WPSG), EPD)
Dr. David HA Senior Environmental Protection Officer (Waste Policy & Services Group), EPD (SEPO(WPSG), EPD)

 

  Action

The Chairman told Members that the Economic Services Bureau had decided not to attend this meeting, after they had considered the agenda.
 

2.Members noted that there would be no presentation on the new hourly reporting mechanism on Air Pollution Index (API) at this meeting. (DEP) said that EPD was still considering when was the opportune time to launch this new reporting mechanism. Members would be informed of the arrangement before the scheme was made public. Members noted that, under the new reporting mechanism, members of the public could obtain real-time API and the level of pollutant concentration at individual monitoring stations from EPD's Homepage on the Internet.
 

Agenda Item 1 : Confirmation of Minutes of the 59th Meeting held on 26 January 1999

3.The minutes were confirmed, subject to the amendments to paragraphs 60 and 61 from two Members.

 

Agenda Item 2 : Matters Arising

Para. 2 : Proposed amendments to para. 9 of the minutes of the 58th meeting held on 14 December 1998

4.Members noted the comments from one of the consultants for the Deep Bay Water Quality Regional Control Strategy Study, on a statement in paragraph 9 of the minutes of the 58th meeting. According to the consultant, the statement that "virtually the whole Shenzhen side of Inner Deep Bay would be reclaimed" had over-stated the degree of reclamation which they had taken into account in running their models. It would be more accurate to say that "a substantial portion of the Shenzhen side of Inner Deep Bay would be reclaimed". The Chairman proposed and Members agreed that paragraph 9 of the minutes should be further revised along the consultant's proposal.

 

Para. 7 : Information on six further issues related to SSDS requested by Chairman

5.The Chairman thanked EPD for the paper and the information, which they had received from the Secretariat. Noting that some Members might not have time to go through the materials yet, he asked Members to let the Secretariat know if they came across any queries in going through the materials.

 

Para. 12 : Invitation to Transport Bureau/ Transport Department to send a representative to sit on ACE/EIA Subcommittee

6.Members noted that the Secretariat had sounded out the Transport Bureau on the proposals and was waiting for the latter's response.

 

Para. 38-39 : ECF Funds allocated to green groups

7.The Chairman thanked a Member for providing Members with statistics on the total amount of ECF funds which had been allocated to all organisations in the last five years for organising environmental education and community action projects, and the amount and percentage allocated to green groups. Noting that the ECF Committee (ECFC) was obliged to table an annual report to the Legislative Council for reference, the Chairman requested that he and Members be given a copy of that report from now onwards. DS(E), PELB said that the ECF Report was prepared by PELB, which was the Secretariat of the ECFC. He undertook to provide Members with a copy of the coming issue of the Report.

PELB


Para. 61 : Housing Department's position regarding the introduction of low flush toilets to their new housing developments

8.Members noted that the Water Supplies Department (WSD) was seeking clarification with the Housing Department (HD) on whether the latter was still pursuing the introduction of low flush toilets in their new housing developments. The Chairman said that he had learnt from Mr. Raymond Bates, the Chairman of the Environmental Steering Committee of the HD, that they had difficulties in identifying a smaller bowl which would work well with the low flush system and at a reasonable price. The smaller bowl offered by the existing supplier was four times more expensive than the existing larger ones. He said that he hoped to hear from Mr. Bates on new developments before long.

 

Para. 68 : Figure on water wastage due to leakage problem

9.Members noted that the WSD was working on the figure, which would be ready by the end of March 1999.

WSD


Para. 81 : Visit to the State Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental agencies in Beijing

10.The Secretary of ACE told Members that he had sounded out the State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) on the proposed visit and the latter had reacted positively to the proposal. He said that SEPA recommended that the visit be held in April or May, as the weather was the best around that period of time in Beijing. He said that to proceed with the visit, the Secretariat would need to let SEPA know the approximate size of the delegation, the duration of stay and the organisations and institutions which ACE intended to visit as soon as possible, as SEPA needed to start seeking the various approvals and preparing the ground work shortly.

 

11.The Chairman proposed that the visit be held either in the last week of April or the first or second week of May and that they would stay for two days. Nine Members indicated that they would join the visit. They all noted that they had to pay for their own expenses for the entire trip. Apart from visiting SEPA, the following organisations and institutions had been proposed:

 

    (a) Agenda 21 Office, which is under the auspices of the State Planning Bureau and the Ministry of Science and Technology;
(b) Mr. Qu Geping, the Chairman of the National People's Congress Environment and Resources Protection Committee; and
(c) the offices and departments at the Sino-Japanese Environmental Protection Centre.
 

12.The Chairman added that it would be worthwhile for the delegation to attend seminars or symposiums on environmental issues which took place during their stay in Beijing. He requested the Secretariat to take this into account in working out the itinerary with SEPA. Also, Members agreed that, as a matter of courtesy, they should pay a courtesy call on the Director of the Beijing Office of the HKSAR. The latter might also be able to provide advice to them on, and make arrangement for, the protocol.
 

13.The Chairman requested the Secretariat to formally sound out Members on the visit, providing them with three different time slots within the last week of April and the first and second week of May to consider, and liaise with SEPA to arrange the visit.

Secretariat


Agenda Item 3 : Presentation on "Heading Towards Sustainability"
(ACE Paper 9/99)

14.The Chairman welcomed AP, CUPEM to the meeting. AP, CUPEM and Head, CUPEM briefed Members on the observations, conclusions and recommendations of the Study, making particular reference to the sustainability of Hong Kong's transport policy.

 

15.A Member commented that the international media was watching Hong Kong's pollution problems closely recently, particularly on the air pollution problem. He said that as far as he was aware, there was an extensive report on Hong Kong's air pollution problem in the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun and the Singapore Strait Times. There would also be an article on this in the coming issue of the Far Eastern Economic Review. Also, expatriates from Singapore who had been working here were telling their relatives and friends in their homeland not to come to Hong Kong as the air quality here was poor. He said that these were causing huge damage to Hong Kong's reputation as an international and tourist centre and urged the government to take prompt actions to turn the tide. He added that the air pollution problem here was not just EPD's problem but also Transport Department's problem, as traffic emissions were a major cause of air pollution. Another Memebr supplemented that the New York Times had also reported on Hong Kong's air pollution problem recently.
 

16.A Member said that the local business community was very concerned about the air pollution problem here, the negative publicity it had attracted in the international scene and the damage it would bring to the economy. He told Members that the Swedish Chamber of Commerce's Environment Committee would make a representation to the Chief Secretary shortly, urging the Administration to resolve the problem promptly. Moreover, the leading local business associations and organisations, including the General Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Federation of Industries, the Private Sector Committee on the Environment and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, had formed the Business Coalition of the Environment with a view to pressing the Administration for action.
 

17.AP, CUPEM commented that if we allowed our air quality to further deteriorate, the whole community would have to pay a very high price, as our tourism would decline, our status as an international business centre would be weakened and, above all, our younger generations would be exposed to an environment that was detrimental to their health and development. He warned that Hong Kong was already very close to the stage when those who had children and the ability to migrate would consider doing so seriously for the sake of their children. A Member warned that unless we could show the international community that the pollution problem was under control and would improve fairly shortly, Hong Kong would soon be stigmatized as another Mexican City.
 

18.The Chairman said he hoped that the Budget Speech to be delivered by the Financial Secretary the following day would offer some encouraging news regarding environmental protection. A Member informed Members that according to the Estimates for 1999-00, there would be 3.7% increase in government's expenditure on environmental protection. However, he said that figures alone did not tell much about the actual environmental protection work to be carried out by the government. AP, CUPEM remarked that the amount to be spent on environmental protection was not a good indicator of what could be achieved. The Chairman agreed but said he believed that the government was sincere to adopt a "greener" approach in formulating its policies.
 

19.DEP said that community's support was crucial for EPD to carry out environmental protection work, as EPD could not achieve much when working alone. However, the much-needed support was not always forthcoming. He said that he was shocked when the leader of a major local political party told him that he believed environmental problems were mainly of interest only to the English-language media and the expatriates, and that his party was not interested in the issue because it would not gain them any votes among the local community. He said that the statement was in conflict with the fact that, after he had given his recent year-end briefing to the press, 98% of the articles in the newspapers which reported the briefing were from local Chinese newspapers. This was also in line with regular reporting on environmental issues. He undertook to provide Members with a copy of his speech which he had delivered at the year-end press briefing after the meeting

DEP


20.A Member commented that while the government might have done a marvellous job in protecting the environment, their efforts were still disregarded by many drivers who still did not switch off their engines when they were waiting in their vehicles and people who still smoked inside shopping arcades etc. The Chairman said that this highlighted the importance of environmental education in changing the attitudes and behaviour of the public so that they would stop doing things that would aggravate the pollution problem.
 

21.Head, CUPEM said that while the government had put in much emphasis and resources on environmental education over the past few years, the results were not as apparent as one would have wished. This was demonstrated by the fact that quite a large portion of the population still did not accord high priority to environmental issues vis-a-vis other issues, such as the Daya Bay issue. He said that if education alone failed to alert the awareness of the public to protect the environment, mandatory measures should come into force. A Member agreed and said that measures such as the introduction of diesel fuel of lower sulphur content in 1995 and 1997 respectively would not have been possible if not by means of legislation.
 

22.A Member said that environmental campaigning had a long history in Hong Kong. They however failed to catch as much public attention as the Daya Bay campaign probably because, unlike the Daya Bay issue, the public did not feel that their lives were directly threatened by pollution in the past. With the setting up of roadside air monitoring stations and the release of roadside Air Pollution Index (API), they had come to realise how serious the level of pollution was on many of the main roads in the busiest districts and started to feel that their health was at stake. He said that although roadside API was not representative of the air quality of that region or district, it had an important role to play in arousing the awareness of the public on pollution. DEP said that this also explained why people was generally more concerned about air pollution than water and other pollution, as the former was visible and could be easily detected when compared with other forms of pollution.
 

23.SPEL said that, from the point of view of raising public awareness, it might not be an entirely bad thing that Hong Kong's air pollution problem was on the headlines of the international media. However, we should ride on this momentum and channel the criticism into a constructive force which would provide the necessary support for the Administration to carry out and strengthen environmental protection measures. He emphasised that community education, community pressure and government regulation were inter-related. It had been difficult for the Administration to push for environmental legislation and regulation in the past because there was a dearth of support on this in the community. With the community pressure being built up, the opportunity and support was there for the government to do more to tackle the pollution problems.
 

24.In view of the emphasis that the Study had put on Hong Kong's transport policy and planning, SPEL considered it useful if all the relevant parties within the Administration and in the community that had a role to play in shaping, formulating and influencing the transport policy and planning would be briefed on the Study. He therefore proposed that the Transport Advisory Committee (TAC) and the LegCo Panels on Environmental Affairs and Transport Affairs be briefed on the Study in the first instance. Also, he said that he would be pleased to invite Head, CUPEM and AP, CUPEM to brief the Committee on Planning and Land Development, which was chaired by him and was made up of various government departments. He also offered to invite the Chairmen of the 18 District Boards (DB) and the leaders of the major political parties to a briefing so that Head CUPEM and AP, CUPEM could explain to them the condition of our environment and the urgency for actions. Head, CUPEM and AP, CUPEM thanked SPEL for his support and kind assistance.

Secretariat


25.A Member said that there were more and more evidence which showed that there was a relationship between air pollution and the health conditions of the people in the community. For example, youths and the elderly were found to be particularly vulnerable to disease associated with air pollutants. He added that the hospital admission rate for certain types of cardio-vascular disease patients was found to be higher when the ozone level was high.
 

26.A Member commended Head, CUPEM and AP, CUPEM for the convincing presentation which spelt out clearly the "costs" and harmfulness of pollution to the community and the economy. He said that previous discussions at the LegCo on this and related issues had so far been focused on the effect of pollution on the health of the public alone, without paying much attention to its effect on the economy, such as tourism. A similar presentation to the Panels would enable Panel Members to look at the issue from a broader perspective. He undertook to propose to the Chairmen of the EA and TA Panels a joint presentation on the Study for the two Panels. He said that understanding all the effects and costs of pollution to the community would also help the public appreciate the harmfulness of environmental pollution and motivate them to take an active role in the cause.

The Member


27.DEP said that many people still had the wrong perception that environmental protection was the responsibility of EPD alone and that EPD had all the powers required to implement environmental protection work. He said that this attitude needed to be changed. A Member said that the outcome of many surveys conducted locally had pointed out that about 95% of the interviewees believed that environmental protection was important, but about 85% of them thought that it was government's responsibility to clean up the environment. This explained why the government had encountered so much resistance from the community when implementing the "polluter pays" principle.
 

28.A Member said that since it was pointed out in the report that population growth was the major factor leading to increase in traffic demand, the long term solution to reduce air pollution from traffic should be population control and traffic demand management. Another Member said he understood that the Central Policy Unit (CPU) was already looking into the impact of population growth on the infrastructure, public services and quality of life in Hong Kong.
 

29.A Member commented that the huge number of new immigrants in Hong Kong would cause severe housing problem to the community and would make the already densely populated districts more crowded. The poor living conditions in these crowded districts would make the surroundings dirtier and facilitate the spread of disease. Another Member supplemented that the local public health service was already feeling the pressure as a result of population increase.
 

30.To facilitate wider discussion of the problem in the community, SPEL said that he would invite the CPU to conduct a public seminar on "Transport and the Environment" in June or July this year. Also, he said that it would be useful if a warning message on the urgency for the whole community to act together to tackle the pollution problem could appear in government's websites as soon as possible to get the message across. He also invited Members to let the Secretariat know any other websites which would probably welcome such a message. Head, CUPEM informed Members that the Centre of Urban Planning & Environmental Management had organised a seminar for the public after the publication of the Study Report and had attracted about 200 participants. He said that the Centre would organise another two public seminars in April and June this year. Members would be informed of the details in due course.


PELB




Members


31.The Chairman thanked Head, CUPEM and AP, CUPEM for the presentation and wished them every success in their presentation to the TAC, the two LegCo Panels, the DB Chairmen and the leaders of the political parties.
 

Agenda Item 4 : Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill 1999
(ACE Paper 10/99)

32.The Chairman welcomed PAS(E)2, PELB, PEPO(WPSG), EPD and SEPO(WPSG), EPD to the meeting. PAS(E)2, PELB briefed Members on the proposed Amendment Bill.

 

33.The Chairman asked for the definition of "waste" in the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO) and the criteria for the Director of Environmental Protection (DEP) to decide whether something being disposed of was "waste". PEPO(WPSG), EPD said that "waste" was defined in the WDO as "any substance or article which is abandoned and includes animal waste, chemical waste, household waste, livestock waste, street waste and trade waste". The WDO had also provided definitions for "animal waste", "chemical waste" and "livestock waste" and a Schedule which set out a list of "wastes" that required the approval of DEP before they could be imported into or exported from Hong Kong. PAS(E)2, PELB added that "waste" was something which was traditionally difficult to define. Because of this, the intention of an importer or exporter when importing or exporting a material would be the determinant of whether an offence had been committed under the WDO. DEP said that if sombody imported non-hazardous waste into Hong Kong with the intention of re-export or transshipment but, due to breakup of a commercial arrangement, there was a change of intention at the time of import, he as DEP would then decide whether he was satisfied that the importer did not have the mens rea to commit an offence of importing for the purpose of disposal in the first place. Having satisfied himself that the importer did not act with a malicious intention in the first place, he would then decide whether he should allow the importer to dispose of the waste in one of the landfills in Hong Kong. In respect of goods brought into Hong Kong for normal sale and use which, due to some unexpected reason had to be condemned, due to damage, for example, DEP would still allow these to be disposed of as waste in Hong Kong in the normal manner.
 

34.The Chairman was concerned that the proposed amendment would leave too much discretion for the DEP to decide whether an offence had been committed under the WDO, by exercising his judgement on the intention of the importer. PAS(E)2, PELB said that since the Law Draftsman was still working on the exact wordings of the Amendment Bill, it was not possible for him to comment concretely on this point at this stage. He however noted the Chairman's concern.
 

35.A Member asked what enforcement actions EPD would be taken to ensure that there would be no illegal import or export of waste. PAS(E)2, PELB said that the government could not inspect every container which entered and left Hong Kong, due to the sheer number of containers handled by Hong Kong every day and the fact that Hong Kong was a free port. However, the Customs & Excise Department would carry out random inspections in the port and at the boundary. Moreover, EPD officers at the landfills would serve as the vanguard in spotting problematic containers when the latter were brought to the landfills for disposal.
 

36.The Chairman asked whether it was consistent with the Basic Law for Hong Kong to give legislative effect to the "Basel Ban". PAS(E)2, PELB said that the "Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal" was extended to Hong Kong through the JLG mechanism before the return of sovereignty. It was agreed between the two sides at the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group in 1996 that DEP would be the authority in HKSAR to implement the "Basel Convention".
 

37.A Member declared his interest as a member of the Hong Kong Medical Association (HKMA). He said he was pleased that the medical profession and other relevant sectors, such as the laboratories and the health care profession, were widely consulted on the proposed clinical waste control scheme. He said that, generally speaking, the scheme was worth supporting but further thoughts would be needed to resolve the implementation difficulties, particularly the practical difficulties and inconvenience that the control scheme would create for small clinical waste producers (e.g. clinics) and individual patients who carried out injections themselves at home. As regards the proposed Code of Practice, he said that the HKMA had forwarded their comments and proposals to the Administration but it seemed that the latter had decided not to take them on board. He said that it was crucial that the proposed control scheme would have the support of the profession in order to ensure that it would be passed by the legislature and would be properly implemented.
 

38.PAS(E)2, PELB explained that the purpose of today's discussion was to seek Members' views on the amendments to the WDO, which were about broad directions. Implementation details would be dealt with in the subsidiary legislation which would be introduced at a later stage, after the introduction of the Amendment Bill. He said that the Administration had an open mind on how to deal with small clinical waste producers and individual patients, and could be more flexible to them as long as effective arrangements could be worked out within the profession in ensuring the proper disposal of their clinical waste. These arrangements could include self-regulation within the profession and self-discipline of individual patients. For example, patients could arrange with their doctors to return the used syringes for disposal. He added that the whole clinical waste control scheme was indeed based on the principle of self-regulation, as manifested by the fact that the scheme only sought to regulate the collection and transportation of the waste.
 

39.The Chairman asked and PAS(E)2, PELB said that the Administration intended to introduce the Amendment Bill to LegCo for First and Second Reading in June 1999. A Member said that as there were more than 100 Bills which LegCo had to consider between now and the end of the current LegCo session, this Amendment Bill might not be accorded a high priority within the current LegCo session.Also, he said that it was possible that LegCo would revisit the issue regarding the overall waste disposal strategy for Hong Kong when examining the Bill.
 

40.In response to the Chairman's query, PAS(E)2, PELB said that, depending on the nature of the waste, clinical waste was at present disposed of through three channels, namely hospitals' in-house incinerators, USD's crematoriums and landfills. The Chairman said that a chief executive working in the Hospital Authority had told him that she was concerned about the present segregated arrangement whereby different types of clinical waste would be disposed of through different means. This increased the chance of improper disposal of human parts, which should be cremated, into landfills. The Chairman said that he was concerned that there would be a time gap between the decommissioning of USD's crematoriums, which was said to take place some time next year, and the commissioning of EPD's proposed incineration facilities in 2007. PAS(E)2, PELB said that the Administration would ensure that interim measures were in place to incinerate clinical waste at the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre in the interim.
 

41.In response to the Chairman's query, PAS(E)2, PELB said that the long term plan was to incinerate animal carcasses. However, before the incineration facilities were available, animal carcasses would continue to be disposed of in landfills.
 

42.In response to the Chairman's query, DS(E), PELB explained that the legal sample of waste for evidence purposes would in future be kept by the Government Chemist alone.
 

43.The Chairman proposed and Members agreed to endorse the proposed amendments to the WDO. The Chairman said that ACE looked forward to offer their comments on the Amendment Bill.

PELB


Agenda Item 5 : Any Other Business

Monitoring of major planning studies

44.A Member proposed that this Council be consulted on major planning studies at an early stage, particularly in the process of preparing Study Briefs, and be briefed on the progress of these studies on a regular basis. D of Plan responded that the Planning Department would be pleased to submit outlines of Study Briefs and provide half-yearly progress reports to ACE for consideration.

Plan D


Tentative Schedule of Work for ACE in 1999

45.Members noted the tentative schedule which was tabled. Noting that the Airport Authority (AA) would report progress to ACE on the site search for permanent Aviation Fuel Receiving Facilities for the New Airport in April, a Member requested that the report should include operational phase dolphin monitoring data.

Secretariat


Visit to Shatin Water Treatment Plant

46.Members noted that the Secretariat was arranging a visit to the Shatin Water Treatment Plant in April and would provide them with details in due course.

Secretariat


Marine Park Fishing Permits

47.The Chairman said he was concerned that about 548 fishing permits had been issued by AFD under the Marine Parks and Marine Reserves Regulation for fishing at the Hoi Ha Wan and Yan Chau Tong Marine Parks. Of these 548 permits, about 80 permit holders were active fishermen who would fish two to three times per month inside the two Marine Parks. The Chairman said that allowing and encouraging fishing in Marine Parks was contradictory to the objectives for setting up Marine Parks to protect fisheries resources.

 

48.AD, AFD informed Members that most of the permits were issued to traditional fishermen who had the indigenous right to fish there. Most of them were however not active fishermen and their activities were regulated so that they would not be harmful to the marine organisms and environment in the Marine Parks. Also, AFD's Artificial Reef Division had obtained the agreement of the fishermen that they would not fish around artificial reefs.
 

49.A Member said that he did not object to the permit system but considered that AFD should start setting up a monitoring programme to collect baseline data on the diversity of the fish species and the fish stock inside Marine Parks and monitor the changes over time. With the data, AFD could then scientifically adjust the number of permits to be issued from time to time. Another Member said she understood that AFD already had such a monitoring programme. She supplemented that the introduction of the permit system had effectively controlled destructive fishing practices, such as trawling, inside Marine Parks. The Chairman said that since AFD's Marine Parks wardens were not on duty round the clock, there was still the possibility of illegal fishing or the use of destructive fishing practices inside Marine Parks. AD, AFD said that he would convey the Chairman's concern to his colleagues responsible for managing the Marine Parks for their consideration.

AFD


50.A Member informed the meeting that the Waste Reduction Committee (WRC), which he was the Chairman, had already met once and would meet again in the coming week to prioritize its work. He said that the landfill charging scheme and the disposal of construction and demolition waste would likely be two priority issues to be discussed by the WRC. He undertook to report progress of the work of the WRC in due course.

The Member


Environmental Forums on 10th and 11th of March 1999

51.DS(E), PELB informed Members that the Environmental Forums would be held on 10 and 11 March. The Forums aimed to involve the participation of different sectors in the community in drawing up environmental objectives and policy options collectively for incorporation into the Green Paper on Environment which would be published later this year. He said that keen responses had been received from members of the District Boards and the two the Municipal Councils, legislators, business sector, environmental groups and academics. He also thanked Members for their support.

 

Corporate environmental reports

52.Noting that different government departments were due to publish their environmental reports shortly, the Chairman proposed that the green groups should consider organising an award for the best environmental report for government departments. A Memebr said that FoE had been organising an annual Earth Award for the private sectors in Hong Kong and the Mainland and was considering organising a similar one with Hong Kong government departments as the target. He said that details of the award scheme would be available later this year.

 

Agenda Item 6 : Date of Next Meeting

53.The next meeting was scheduled for 30 March 1999 (Tuesday).

 


Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau
March 1999


 

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