New Nature Conservation Policy
The New Nature Conservation Policy (NNCP) was introduced in 2004 to regulate, protect and manage natural resources that are important for the conservation of biological diversity of Hong Kong in a sustainable manner, taking into account social and economic considerations, for the benefit and enjoyment of the present and future generations of the community.
The policy objectives are:
- to identify and monitor the important components of biological diversity;
- to identify, designate and manage a representative system of protected areas for conservation of biological diversity;
- to promote the protection of ecosystems and important habitats, and the maintenance of viable populations of species in natural surroundings;
- to identify, monitor and assess activities that may have adverse impacts on biological diversity and to mitigate such impacts;
- to rehabilitate degraded ecosystems and promote the recovery of threatened species where practicable;
- to promote the protection and sustainable use of natural resources that are important for the conservation of biological diversity;
- to provide opportunities for people to appreciate the natural environment;
- to promote public awareness of nature conservation;
- to collaborate with the private sector including the business community, non-governmental organisations and the academia to promote nature conservation, and to conduct research and surveys as well as to manage ecologically important sites for such purpose; and
- to cooperate with and participate in regional and international efforts in nature conservation.
The NNCP also aims to enhance the conservation of ecologically important sites, in particular those in private ownership. Twelve Priority Sites for Enhanced Conservation have been identified. Under this policy, two schemes, namely the Nature Conservation Management Agreement (MA) Scheme and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Scheme, have been introduced for better conservation of these sites.
Nature Conservation Management Agreement Scheme
Under the MA Scheme, funding support would be provided to enable competent non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to enter into management agreements with landowners of the priority sites for enhancing conservation. In 2011, the MA Scheme was further extended to cover country park enclaves as well as private land within country parks in order to further enhance their conservation. At present, there are seven MA projects located at Fung Yuen, Long Valley, Ramsar Site, Deep Bay Wetland outside Ramsar Site, Sai Wan, Lai Chi Wo and Sha Lo Tung, amongst which two are MA projects at country park enclaves, namely Sai Wan and Lai Chi Wo, to rehabilitate and conserve these areas. Please visit here for more information about the MA Scheme.
Public-Private Partnership Scheme
Under the PPP Scheme, developments of an agreed scale and plan would be allowed at the ecologically less sensitive portions of the twelve priority sites provided that the developer undertakes to conserve and manage the rest of the site that is ecologically more sensitive on a long-term basis. The PPP Scheme not only encourages the participation of private sectors and NGOs in nature conservation, but also balances development and conservation.
In assessing the PPP proposals, due consideration had been given to the net benefits of the proposals in enhancing conservation of the site, possible adverse environmental impacts arising from the proposed developments, the sustainability of the proposals and the long-term commitment of the proponent, etc.
On funding arrangement, the developer is required to give an upfront lump sum donation sufficient to generate recurrent incomes to support the pledged conservation programmes to the Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF). To implement the scheme, the developer is also required to identify a competent body (e.g. green group) as the conservation agent to manage the ecologically sensitive portion of the concerned sites. The developers should advise their conservation agents to apply for funding support from the ECF for carrying out the conservation projects, the details of which should be consistent with that in the approved Environmental Impact Assessment reports and set out in the ECF applications. Please visit here for more information on the funding and land arrangement for the PPP Scheme.