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Advisory Council on the Environment

Guangdong and Hong Kong Cross - boundary Cooperation in Environmental Issues

(ACE Paper 18/2001)
For information

Purpose

This paper informs Members of the progress of the Guangdong and Hong Kong cross-boundary cooperation in environmental issues.

BACKGROUND

2. Both the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Hong Kong SAR Government recognize the importance of the environment of the Pearl River Delta Region and the need for joint effort to improve it. The two Governments have all along maintained close contact and good co-operation in striving for the common goal of improving the environment of the Region.

JOINT WORKING GROUP ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

3. Following the basis of the former Hong Kong/Guangdong Environmental Protection Liaison Group, the two Governments set up in June last year the Hong Kong/Guangdong Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection (the Joint Working Group) for the purpose of enhancing cooperation in cross-boundary environmental issues between Hong Kong and Guangdong. The Director of the Environmental Protection Bureau of the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Secretary for Environment and Food of the HKSAR Government co-chair the Joint Working Group. Annex I sets out the terms of reference and membership of the Joint Working Group.

4. The Joint Working Group held its first and second meetings on 8th June 2000 and 22nd February 2001 respectively. An Expert Group has been set up under the Joint Working Group to draw up annual work plans and coordinate discussions on specific issues. The terms of reference and membership of the Expert Group are listed in Annex II. Eight Special Panels under the Expert Group have also been set up to follow up on specific tasks and research projects. The Special Panels will report progress of their work to the Expert Group on a regular basis.

5. The eight Special Panels are :
 

     (1) Pearl River Delta Region Air Quality Special Panel;
 
     (2) Hong Kong-Guangdong Motor Diesel Fuel Specification Special Panel;
 
     (3) Hong Kong-Guangdong Afforestation and Conservation Special Panel;
 
     (4) Hong Kong-Guangdong Marine Resources and Conservation Special Panel;
 
     (5) Pearl River Delta Water Quality Protection Special Panel;
 
     (6) Hong Kong-Guangdong Town Planning Special Panel;
 
     (7) Mirs Bay and Deep Bay (Shenzhen Bay) Regional Environmental Management Special Panel;
 
     (8) Dongjiang Water Quality Protection Special Panel.
 

The terms of reference and memberships of the above Panels are set out in Annexes III to X.

WORK PROGRESS

6. All the Special Panels commenced their work in the second half of 2000. The details are as follows -

Pearl River Delta Region Air Quality Special Panel

7. In late 1999, the two sides started to conduct a study on the air pollution problem in the Region caused by acid rain, nitrogen dioxide, photochemical smog and particulates with a view to identifying possible improvement measures. The aim of the study is to identify the root of the air pollution problem in the Pearl River Delta Region and explore practicable and effective improvement measures. The data collection part of the study was completed in March 2001. The consultant concerned and the two Governments are analysing the data collected. Upon completion of the analysis, the two sides will proceed to examine possible solution to abate air pollution.

Hong Kong-Guangdong Motor Diesel Fuel Specification Special Panel

8. Air pollution caused by cross-boundary vehicles is a matter of concern to both sides. The two sides have exchanged preliminary views on the specification of motor diesel in both places. Other than looking at fuel specification, the Special Panel will also explore other measures that can be implemented in the short term to reduce air pollution caused by cross-boundary vehicles. Representatives of the Guangdong side will visit Hong Kong shortly so that both sides can further study the relevant issues.

Hong Kong-Guangdong Afforestation and Conservation Special Panel

9. Both sides have deliberated on the exchange and training programmes on afforestation and issues such as hill fire, control of mikania micrantha, conservation of mangrove and Pine Wilt Nematodes. Both sides have agreed that topics of mutual concern such as selection of tree species, ways of planting, planning of rural landscaping, conservation of wild life and the construction and management of conservation areas can be included in their terms of reference in future.

Hong Kong-Guangdong Marine Resources and Conservation Special Panel

10. Both sides have exchanged views on issues such as red tide monitoring and management, fisheries resources conversation and management strategy, conservation programme of Chinese White Dolphins in Pearl River Estuary, artificial reef deployment programme and biological monitoring in marine parks. Both sides have expressed their wish to strengthen communication and cooperation particularly in the management of marine environment in Pearl River Estuary and on topics of mutual concern such as fisheries resources enhancement and protection. They also hope that different forms of exchanges can be arranged if necessary.

Pearl River Delta Water Quality Protection Special Panel

11. Both sides have identified the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone as the area to be covered in their joint study and have specified the Pearl River Delta Network and Estuary Region as the key area of study. The two sides have agreed to construct a water quality model initially and extend the area and scope of study progressively in the long term, as well as to examine the water quality control strategies for gradual implementation.

Hong Kong - Guangdong Town Planning Special Panel

12. Both sides have agreed to exchange information as well as to commence preliminary discussions on the following topics: the regional overall planning, the long-term planning and the way forward for the development of the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone; the development strategies of Hong Kong and Guangdong and the study of sustainable development; infrastructural facilities with mutual interface, experience in planning management, the structure of Hong Kong's industries and the impact of population migration to the Mainland, etc.

Mirs Bay and Deep Bay (Shenzhen Bay) Regional Environmental Management Special Panel

13. There have been on-going cooperation and exchanges on the regional environmental management for Mirs Bay and Deep Bay (Shenzhen Bay) between Hong Kong and Guangdong for some years. Both sides have agreed to strengthen cooperation to improve the environment of Mirs Bay and Deep Bay. Since 1998, both sides have conducted six inspections of Mirs Bay and Deep Bay (Shenzhen Bay) at regular intervals. In January 2000, the Hong Kong/Guangdong Environmental Protection Liaison Group endorsed the "Deep Bay Water Pollution Control Joint Implementation Programme". The aim of the Plan is to reduce the pollution load flowing into Deep Bay (Shenzhen Bay) with the hope that water in the area can reach assimilative capacity by 2015. Both sides will jointly review the Plan every five years. Besides, in January 2000, both sides agreed on the scope and work plan of the "Mirs Bay Water Quality Regional Control Strategy Joint Study". The main purpose of this joint study is to assess the receiving capacity of Mirs Bay by means of advanced modeling tools. The study also aims at formulating a long-term bilateral strategy of water quality control to ensure that the water quality objective of Mirs Bay can fully meet the required standard. The joint study which formally commenced on 1st June 2000 is expected to complete in mid-2002.

Dongjiang Water Quality Protection Special Panel

14. The Guangdong side will strive to complete the construction of the Dongjiang - Shenzhen closed aqueduct as scheduled in 2003. The Guangdong side has also agreed in principle to provide Hong Kong with data on the water quality of Dongjiang obtained from the primary monitoring station at Tai Yuan Pumping Station on a regular basis for public release and information. Relevant details will be discussed by the two sides.

WAY FORWARD

15. The Joint Working Group has agreed to continue to strengthen mutual cooperation and coordination in cross-boundary environmental issues and projects. Both sides have planned to host meetings in turn on a regular basis to review the implementation of various projects and explore new areas for cooperation.

Environment and Food Bureau
May 2001





 

Annex I

 

 

Hong Kong-Guangdong Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection

Terms of reference



  1. to deliberate on issues pertinent to the environmental quality, natural resources, ecological environment and sustainable development;
     
  2. to review existing and planned work programmes in respect of their possible implications on the environment and ecology of Hong Kong and Guangdong with a view to taking proactive measures to improve the environmental quality;
     
  3. to exchange information on the quantitative change of pollutants, environmental quality, waste disposal, ecological changes, protection of natural resources and environment, natural and ecological conservation;
     
  4. to review on a regular basis the implementation of various programmes of the Joint Working Group.

Membership



Hong Kong side: Guangdong side:
Secretary for the Environment and Food (Group Leader) Director of the Environmental Protection Bureau of the Guangdong Province (Group Leader)
Representative of the Environment and Food Bureau Representative of the Environmental Protection Bureau of the Guangdong Province
Representative of the Planning and Lands Bureau Representative of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Guangdong Provincial People's Government
Representative of the Works Bureau Representative of the Development Planning Commission of the Guangdong Province
Representative of the Transport Bureau Representative of the Construction Department of the Guangdong Province
Representative of the Constitutional Affairs Bureau Representative of the Economic and Trade Commission of the Guangdong Province
Representative of the Environmental Protection Department Representative of the Water Resources Department of the Guangdong Province
Representative of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Representative of Bureau of Ocean and Fisheries, Guangdong Province
Representative of the Planning Department Representative of the Forestry Bureau of the Guangdong Province
Representative of the Water Supplies Department Representative of the Shenzhen Municipal Government
  Representative of the Environmental Protection Bureau of the Shenzhen Municipality






Annex II

 

 

Expert Group under the Hong Kong - Guangdong Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection

Terms of reference



  1. to draw up an annual work plan and to put forward recommendations, proposals and projects for the Joint Working Group;
     
  2. to co-ordinate the discussions on special projects, to examine the project outcome and working reports for the submission of reports to the Joint Working Group.

Membership



Hong Kong side: Guangdong side:
Deputy Secretary for the Environment and Food (Group Leader) Director of the Environmental Protection Bureau of the Guangdong Province (Group Leader)
Representative of the Environment and Food Bureau Representative of the Environmental Protection Bureau of the Guangdong Province
Representative of the Planning and Lands Bureau Representative of the Development Planning Commission of the Guangdong Province
Representative of the Works Bureau Representative of the Construction Department of the Guangdong Province
Representative of the Transport Bureau Representative of the Economic and Trade Commission of the Guangdong Province
Representative of the Water Supplies Department Representative of the Water Resources Department of the Guangdong Province
Representative of the Planning Department Representative of the Ocean and Fisheries Environmental Monitoring Centre of the Guangdong Province
Representative of the Environmental Protection Department Representative of the Wildlife Conservation Department of the Guangdong Province
Representative of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Representative of the Environmental Protection Bureau of the Shenzhen Municipality
Representative of the Drainage Services Department  






Annex III

 

 

Pearl River Delta Region Air Quality Special Panel

Terms of reference


 

  1. to monitor the progress of the topical study on pollution caused by acid rain, nitrogen dioxide, photochemical smog and particulate and to explore mitigation measures;
  2. to identify the causes of problems that affect air quality in the Pearl River Delta Region;
     
  3. to explore and to recommend effective mitigation measures;
     
  4. to report findings of the study and to make recommendations to the Expert Group under the Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection.

Membership
 

Hong Kong side: Guangdong side:
Environmental Protection Department (Panel Leader) Environmental Protection Bureau of the Guangdong Province (Panel Leader)
Environment and Food Bureau Environmental Monitoring Central Station of the Guangdong Province






Annex IV

 

 

Hong Kong-Guangdong Motor Diesel Fuel Specification Special Panel

Terms of reference



  1. to look into the feasibility of harmonizing motor diesel fuel specifications between the two places;
     
  2. to discuss a concrete action plan to achieve such harmonization;
  3. to explore other measures that can be implemented in the short term to reduce air pollution caused by cross-boundary traffic;
     
  4. to report findings of the study and to make recommendations to the Expert Group under the Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection.
     

Membership
 

Hong Kong side: Guangdong side:
Environment and Food Bureau (Panel Leader)

Economic Services Bureau

Environmental Protection Department

Transport Department

Customs and Excise Department
Ex-officio Member:

Economic and Trade Commission of the Guangdong Province (Panel Leader)

Ad hoc Members:

Quality and Technology Supervision Department of the Guangdong Province

Communications Department of the Guangdong ProvinceGeneral Administration of Customs, Guangdong

BranchTraffic Police Headquarters Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department

Environmental Protection Bureau of the Guangdong Province

Annex V

 

 

Hong Kong-Guangdong Afforestation and Conservation Special Panel

Terms of reference



  1. to deliberate on issues pertinent to the development of forestry and nature conservation;
     
  2. to exchange information on forestry and nature conservation between the two places and to explore co-operation plans;
     
  3. to report findings of the study and to make recommendations to the Expert Group under the Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection.

Membership
 

Hong Kong side: Guangdong side:
Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (Panel Leader) Forestry Bureau of the Guangdong

Province (Panel Leader)Forest Fire Prevention Office of the Guangdong Province

Office of the Afforestation Committee of the Guangdong Province

Wildlife Conservation Department of the Guangdong Province






Annex VI

 

 

Hong Kong-Guangdong Marine Resources and Conservation Special Panel
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Terms of reference

  1. to deliberate on issues pertinent to fisheries resources management, conservation of Chinese White Dolphins, aquaculture and red tide monitoring of the two places;
     
  2. to exchange information on the conservation of fisheries, Chinese White Dolphins and other marine resources;
     
  3. to report findings of the study and to make recommendations to the Expert Group under the Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection.

Membership



Hong Kong side: Guangdong side:
Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (Panel Leader)

Environmental Protection Department
Ocean and Fisheries Environmental Monitoring Centre of the Guangdong Province (Panel Leader)






Annex VII

 

Pearl River Delta Water Quality Protection Special Panel

Terms of reference

  1. to formulate a management plan for the water quality of the Pearl River Delta;
     
  2. to discuss proposals and concrete action plans for enhancing co-operation in protecting the water quality of the Pearl River Delta;
     
  3. to report findings of the study and to make recommendations to the Expert Group under the Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection.

Membership



Hong Kong side: Guangdong side:
Environmental Protection Department (Panel Leader)

Environment and Food Bureau

Drainage Services Department
Environmental Protection Bureau of the Guangdong Province (Panel Leader)

Water Resources Department of the Guangdong Province

Municipal governments, environmental protection bureaux and relevant authorities in the Pearl River Delta






Annex VIII

 

 

Hong Kong-Guangdong Town Planning Special Panel

Terms of reference



  1. to exchange information on the planning of Hong Kong and the Guangdong Province, especially Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and other cities in the Pearl River Delta region;
     
  2. to enhance co-operation and discuss jointly on the use of land and the co-ordination in infrastructural developments in Guangdong and Hong Kong;
     
  3. to study and to make recommendations on ways to co-ordinate the social and economic developments between Guangdong and Hong Kong and to mitigate environmental impacts arising from such developments with a view to achieving long-term sustainable development;
     
  4. to exchange information on the academic studies and surveys on town planning;
     
  5. to report progress and to make recommendations to the Expert Group under the Hong Kong/Guangdong Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection.

Membership



Hong Kong side: Guangdong side:
Ex-officio Members:

Planning and Lands Bureau (Panel Leader)

Planning Department

Ad hoc Members:

Transport Bureau

Commerce and Industry Bureau

Economic Services Bureau

Transport Department

Highways Department

Environmental Protection Department

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department

Other policy bureaux and departments
Ex-officio Member:

Construction Department of the Guangdong Province (Panel Leader)

Other Members:

Guangdong Provincial Development Planning Commission

Department of Communication of the Guangdong Province

Land and Natural Resources Department of the Guangdong Province

Environmental Protection Bureau of the Guangdong Province

Guangzhou Urban Planning Bureau

Shenzhen, Zhuhai Planning and Lands Bureau






Annex IX

 

 

Mirs Bay and Deep Bay (Shenzhen Bay) Regional Environmental Management Special Panel

Terms of reference



  1. to audit the progress of the action plans for the protection of Mirs Bay and Deep Bay (Shenzhen Bay);
     
  2. to study and to make recommendations on how to enhance co-operation in improving the quality of the environment in Mirs Bay and Deep Bay;
     
  3. to exchange information and environmental impact assessment reports on projects in Hong Kong and Guangdong which may affect Mirs Bay and Deep Bay (Shenzhen Bay);
     
  4. to submit for information regular reports to the Expert Group under the Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection.
     

Membership



Hong Kong side: Guangdong side:
Environmental Protection Department (Panel Leader)

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department

Planning Department
Shenzhen Environmental Protection Bureau (Panel Leader)

Shenzhen Urban Planning and Land Bureau

Shenzhen Agricultural Department






Annex X

 

 

Dongjiang Water Quality Protection Special Panel

Terms of reference



  1. to monitor the water quality of Dongjiang and the Dongshen Water Supply System;
     
  2. to discuss the strategy and plans for further protecting and improving the water quality of Dongjiang with a view to improving the quality of water supplied to Hong Kong;
     
  3. to monitor the effectiveness of the plans for protecting and improving the water quality of Dongjiang;
     
  4. to report findings of the study and to make recommendations to the Expert Group under the Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection.

Membership



Hong Kong side: Guangdong side:
Works Bureau (Panel Leader)

Water Supplies Department

Environmental Protection Department
Environmental Protection Bureau of the Guangdong Province (Panel Leader)

Water Resources Department of the Guangdong Province

Municipal governments, environmental protection bureaux and relevant authorities along Dongjiang

 

 

 

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