Guidance notes

Assessment of Impact on Sites of Cultural Heritage in Environmental Impact Assessment Studies


  1. Mitigation for a designated project, as defined in Schedule 1 of the Ordinance, "a) means the elimination, reduction or control of the adverse environmental impact of the project; b) includes restitution by replacement, restoration, compensation or other means for damage to the environment caused by the impact".

  2. Proposals for mitigation shall give priority to avoidance of impact. The assessment methods shall be capable of :
    1. identifying and evaluating mitigation measures in order to avoid, reduce or remedy the impact;

    2. assessing the effectiveness of mitigation measures; and

    3. defining the residual environmental impact, which is the net impact remaining with mitigation measures in place.

  3. Examples of mitigation measures for partial preservation may include conservation of the main deposits of archaeological sites by turning them into passive amenities areas; preserving the main and significant part or parts of a historical building and integrating them into the new development; and others.

  4. Proposals for mitigation measures should be accompanied with an implementation programme together with all detailed treatment, elevations and landscape in scaled plans and drawings. A rescue plan, when required, may involve preservation of an archaeological site "by record", i.e. through excavation to extract the maximum data; full historical, cartographical, photographic and photogrammetric records of a historical building; re-erection of a stone tablet in a suitable amenities plot; etc.

  5. The programme for conducting and undertaking the agreed mitigation measures should be able to be implemented. The programme should be clearly stated in the EIA report, as required under Annex 20 of the TM. In particular, paragraph 6.7 of Annex 20 requires the EIA report to define and list out clearly the proposed mitigation measures to be implemented; by whom, when, where, to what requirements these measures are to be implemented; and the various implementation responsibilities. A comprehensive plan and programme for the protection and conservation of a partially preserved site of cultural heritage, if any, during construction stage of the proposed project must be detailed. Failure to provide such information may result in the EIA report being rejected.

  6. Competent professionals in the relevant fields of discipline are required for both design and implementation of the mitigation measures. Professionals with appropriate expertise, experience and qualifications in cultural heritage should be engaged in designing and implementing the mitigation measures. The Director may also stipulate in the environmental permit monitoring and audit programmes as recommended in the EIA report to monitor the residual impact on the sites of cultural heritage and the effectiveness of the mitigation measures.

  7. Members of the public can have access to information on the cultural heritage at the AMO in Tsim Sha Tsui.