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FAQ

  1. Can Nature Conservation Management Agreement (MA) projects under the Countryside Conservation Funding Scheme (CCFS) be conducted in any countryside area in Hong Kong?
  2. Who may apply for funding support under the CCFS?
  3. What are the funding limits for MA projects?
  4. What is the duration of a MA project? Could a MA project be renewed afterwards?
  5. How long does the vetting and approval progress take?
  6. When to submit application?
  7. What are the vetting criteria of the MA projects?
  8. Can other conservation targets be included in MA projects?
  9. Is there any requirement for the revitalised built heritage item for public access?
  10. Can the applicant organisation apply for funding support from the CCFS and at the same time apply for other sources of public funding support simultaneously for the same project?
  11. Are there any previous or existing MA projects which I can refer to as examples?
  12. Will CCFS accept applications other than MA projects?
  13. Is it acceptable if the MA project does not have any additional element for revitalisation of architectural and cultural aspects? Will the additional elements for revitalisation of architectural and cultural aspects affect the assessment results of the application?
  14. Can the MA project solely enhance the architectural and/or cultural aspects but not ecological/nature conservation aspect?
  15. Is it a must to include education activities in MA projects?

  1. Can Nature Conservation Management Agreement (MA) projects under the Countryside Conservation Funding Scheme (CCFS) be conducted in any countryside area in Hong Kong?

Only MA projects conducted in eligible sites are covered by the CCFS. Eligible sites include the priority sites for enhanced conservation, and private land in country park enclaves or country parks as listed in Appendix 1 of the Guide to Application, except for those located on Lantau Island.

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  1. Who may apply for funding support under the CCFS?

Local non-profit making organisations (NPOs) (e.g. universities, community bodies and green groups), groups formed under a local NPO, or organisations which are exempted from tax under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112) are eligible to apply.

The applicant organisation should provide a copy of the organisation’s registration document, a copy of the letter issued by the Inland Revenue Department on tax-exemption under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112), a copy of the articles of association or constitution, and a list of the principal persons-in-charge and their positions, as evidence of proof.

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  1. What are the funding limits for MA projects?

The CCFS will sponsor both the nature conservation aspect, architectural heritage and cultural assets of MA projects. The nature conservation part of all MA projects should observe a funding cap of HK$13 million for each project. If there are additional elements proposed in the MA project that can enhance revitalisation of architectural and cultural aspects of the project, and supplement the execution of the nature conservation aspects of the project, an extra funding of up to HK$2 million can be applied for those enhancement elements.

To allow projects with more flexibility, the applicant organisation may apply for a variation of funding components with a maximum of HK$12 million for the nature conservation part and HK$3 million for its architectural and cultural revitalisation efforts under the same MA project, while the total funding limit for each project should not exceed HK$15 million. Funds may be granted for full or partial support of projects.

The revitalisation of architectural and cultural aspects of graded historical buildings assessed by the Antiquities Advisory Board are not eligible under the CCFS. Moreover, priority of funding support for intangible cultural items will be given to those not included in the Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory of Hong Kong published by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

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  1. What is the duration of a MA project? Could a MA project be renewed afterwards?

Each MA project should last for at least 12 months and not more than three years. Projects under the CCFS will be considered for renewal subject to the merits of the respective renewal proposals.

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  1. How long does the vetting and approval progress take?

It normally takes within six months to process a new application and three months for applications of renewal of MA projects previously supported by Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF) or CCFS.

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  1. When to submit application?

We will normally invite applications twice a year. Invitation for applications and deadline for receiving applications will be announced in the CCFS website.

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  1. What are the vetting criteria of the MA projects?

The vetting criteria of the MA projects are specified in Section 2.7 of the Guide to Application, including the enhancement of the site concerned; sustainability of the project; capability of the applicant organisation; practicability of the implementation plan; reasonable and cost-effective budget; achieve to contribute 5% of the total budget; and proposed appropriate education activities. For applications of renewal of MA projects previously supported by ECF or the CCFS, track-record of the previous project will also be taken into consideration.

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  1. Can other conservation targets be included in MA projects?

For application with additional target(s) on built heritage and/or cultural assets conservation, the applicant organisation should provide details and demonstrate how such site specific items could add values to the MA project. The applicant organisation should clearly explain how the tangible and intangible benefits could be brought, and public awareness on nature conservation could be raised by implementing such measures.

It should be noted that the revitalisation of architectural and cultural aspects of graded historical buildings assessed by the Antiquities Advisory Board are not eligible under the CCFS. Moreover, priority of funding support for intangible cultural items will be given to those not included in the Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory of Hong Kong published by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

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  1. Is there any requirement for the revitalised built heritage item for public access?

For application with built heritage conservation, the proposed provision of public access to the building(s) and publicity programme should comprise at least 50% of the project period.  For example, for a 3-year project, the maintenance works of the built heritage should be completed in 18 months or less. The remaining period should be arranged for public access to the building(s).  If there is any slippage or delay on the proposed maintenance works such that the requirement on providing public access to the building(s) for at least 50% of original project period cannot be fulfilled, the CCFS Secretariat may request the recipient organisation to implement measures such as extending the period for public access to fulfil the requirement without additional funding support.

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  1. Can the applicant organisation apply for funding support from the CCFS and at the same time apply for other sources of public funding support simultaneously for the same project?

Applicant organisations can seek sponsorships from other sources to fund part of the projects financially supported by the CCFS.

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  1. Are there any previous or existing MA projects which I can refer to as examples?

MA projects are previously funded by the Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF). Details of the approved MA projects by ECF could be found in the ECF website.

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  1. Will CCFS accept applications other than MA projects?

The first stage of the CCFS currently launched will accept applications for MA projects only.

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  1. Is it acceptable if the MA project does not have any additional element for revitalisation of architectural and cultural aspects? Will the additional elements for revitalisation of architectural and cultural aspects affect the assessment results of the application?

As the main focus of the MA project is on ecological/nature conservation, the newly proposed enhancement on revitalisation of architectural and cultural aspects, if any, will be considered as non-essential additional elements which will only affect the magnitude of the approved funding but not the assessment for the passing mark of the application. The funding limit for each MA project application would be HK$13 million without additional revitalisation element.

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  1. Can the MA project solely enhance the architectural and/or cultural aspects but not ecological/nature conservation aspect?

MA projects must contribute to enhancing the ecological/nature conservation of the sites concerned through management agreements between NPOs and landowners or tenants.  As such, MA projects must include enhancement of ecological or nature conservation aspect.

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  1. Is it a must to include education activities in MA projects?

Yes, the MA projects must include appropriate education activities to effectively promote nature conservation and raise awareness of the local community in nature conservation as part and parcel of the projects.

 

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