Deep Bay and Mirs Bay
Hong Kong is separated from the Mainland by the Shenzhen River and shares the water bodies of Deep Bay and Mirs Bay with Shenzhen. In 2000, the Hong Kong and Guangdong Governments jointly established the Mirs Bay and Deep Bay (Shenzhen Bay) Areas Environmental Management Special Panel under the Hong Kong-Guangdong Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection to strengthen cooperation to protect the water environment of Deep Bay and Mirs Bay.
Deep Bay sustains a unique aquatic ecosystem with a rich diversity of wildlife. Because of its ecological significance, the area around Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay was designated a Ramsar site in 1995. The water body had become increasingly polluted by human sewage and livestock waste due to urbanisation and livestock rearing activities. In view of this situation, the Hong Kong and Guangdong Governments in 1990 declared Deep Bay as a priority area for joint efforts for protection and conservation.
In 2000, the two governments formulated the “Deep Bay (Shenzhen Bay) Water Pollution Control Joint Implementation Programme” (JIP) to improve Deep Bay’s water quality. The JIP sets out pollution control measures to be undertaken by both governments at various stages, essentially to reduce wastewater discharge into Deep Bay by extension and improvement of sewerage infrastructure. Both sides would review the JIP regularly so as to evaluate its effectiveness and to draw up necessary additional measures, including amendment of the JIP. Both sides are working together in accordance with the revised JIP to reduce progressively the pollution load of Deep Bay. The water quality at major rivers discharging into Deep Bay has continued to improve since mid-2000’s. As a result, the water quality of Deep Bay also shows noticeable improvement. Hong Kong and Shenzhen will work together closely to continue to improve the water quality of Deep Bay.
Besides Deep Bay, Hong Kong and Guangdong jointly examined Mirs Bay as the second priority area in 1994. Drawing reference to the past experience in protecting Deep Bay, the two sides conducted research on the environmental protection aspect and regional control strategy for Mirs Bay. In 2003, the EPD and the Shenzhen Environmental Protection Bureau (now renamed as the Human Settlements and Environment Commission) jointly completed the “Mirs Bay Water Quality Regional Control Strategy” study. The study recommended putting an upper limit on the development of Mirs Bay so as to protect the water quality of the bay.
Hong Kong and Shenzhen also regularly review the “Mirs Bay Water Quality Regional Control Strategy” to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed measures and to draw up necessary additional measures. Both sides are continuing to implement the jointly formulated water quality control strategy for protecting the Mirs Bay water environment and meeting the sustainable development objectives.