Co-operation agreement on regional air pollution control and prevention comes into effect and Macau joins the regional air quality monitoring network
The Cooperation Agreement on Regional Air Pollution Control and Prevention among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao (CA) came into effect today (September 3). The governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau jointly signed the agreement with a view to fostering tripartite co-operation on air pollution control and prevention, and continuing to improve the air quality in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region.
The CA was signed earlier by the Director General of the Environmental Protection Department of Guangdong Province (GDEPD), Mr Li Qing; the Secretary for the Environment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Wong Kam-sing; the Director of the Macau Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB), Mr Vai Hoi-ieong; and the Director of the Macau Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (Macau MGB), Mr Fong Soi-kun. The CA mainly includes establishing a joint PRD air quality monitoring platform for Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau; jointly releasing regional air quality information; taking forward air pollution control and prevention measures; co-operating in scientific environmental studies; and fostering exchanges and promotion activities on environmental technology among the three sides.
The three sides also announced new arrangements for releasing regional air quality information. In addition to the new monitoring stations in Guangdong and Hong Kong, a Taipa Grande monitoring station in Macau is joining the regional air quality monitoring network. The network has been renamed as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao PRD Regional Air Quality Monitoring Network, and the geographical coverage and spatial representation of the regional air quality monitoring network have been improved. Other enhancement work for the network will include adding new monitoring parameters, as well as improving the ways and arrangements of disseminating air quality data and reports, with a view to providing people in the three places with more comprehensive real-time air quality information and providing the governments of the three places with a robust scientific basis for mapping out strategies.
As for the geographical coverage of the network, the number of monitoring stations has been increased from 16 to 23. Five new stations located at Zhudong in Huadu of Guangzhou, Xijiao in Huizhou, Modiesha in Guangzhou, Duanfen in Taishan and Huaguoshan in Heshan have been added on top of the existing 13 stations in Guangdong; the Yuen Long Station has been added to the existing three Hong Kong stations; and the Taipa Grande Station has started operation in Macau (see attachment). Apart from continuously monitoring the levels of the four major air pollutants, i.e. sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and respirable suspended particulates, the network will also monitor the levels of carbon monoxide and fine suspended particulates.
With a view to providing the public with more comprehensive real-time air quality information, the network will release the concentration levels of various air pollutants once an hour in order to replace the Regional Air Quality Index, which has only been released once a day. Furthermore, the network will provide the respective air quality indices of the three places: the Macau and Guangdong sides will release respectively the Indice da Qualidade do Ar and the Air Quality Index once an hour and once every 24 hours, while the Hong Kong side will release the Air Quality Health Index once an hour. In addition, the network will continue to release the annual report on the monitoring results and the pollution trend in the PRD region, and report the quarterly statistical monitoring results.
Establishment of the network is one of the important environmental collaboration achievements among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau. After the enhancement work, the network comprises 23 monitoring stations covering the three places. The Guangdong Provincial Environmental Monitoring Centre, the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Macau EPB and the Macau MGB are responsible for the co-ordination, management and operation of the monitoring stations of the three sides.
Members of the public can visit the website of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Regional Air Quality Monitoring Information System (http://188.8.131.52:20047) direct, or via the websites of the GDEPD (www.gdep.gov.cn), the EPD (www.epd.gov.hk), the Macau EPB (www.dspa.gov.mo) and the Macao MGB (www.smg.gov.mo), to obtain up-to-date regional air quality information.
Figure: Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Air Quality Monitoring Network for the Pearl River Delta region