To conserve natural resources and the
bio-diversity of Hong Kong and promote efficient use of energy
in a sustainable manner, taking into account social and economic
considerations, for the benefit of the present and future generations
of the community.
- Brought conservation policy-making under the remit of the Environmental
Protection Department from 1 April 2005.
- Worked with power companies on setting up production-scale wind
turbines in Hong Kong to promote renewable energy.
- Consulted the public and the trade on a mandatory energy efficiency-labelling
- Established a clear policy for the adoption of energy efficient
and renewable energy technologies in public works projects.
- Approved three Management Agreement Pilot Projects, in which
green groups and landowners receive financial incentives to co-operate
and protect ecologically sensitive sites.
- Submitted a bill to the Legislative Council to revamp the existing
ordinance on endangered species.
policy is a new responsibility of the Environmental Protection
Department (EPD), handed over in April 2005 when the department
merged with the Environment Branch of the Environment, Transport
and Works Bureau. Yet it has similarities with our other work.
In recent years, the EPD has sought to form partnerships with
the community and non-governmental organisations, with a view
to better protecting our environment. The same approach also
applies to the Government's nature and energy conservation
initiatives. Businessmen, interested parties and the general
public have all been asked to help conserve our natural resources.
Efforts in conservation supplement the EPD's other work.
Energy conservation, for instance, can lessen air pollution,
while nature conservation enhances our understanding of the
ecological environment and is an important and integral part
of environmental impact assessment work. In 2005, progress
was made in both energy and nature conservation. Greater prominence
was given to renewable energy and energy efficiency, and approval
was given to the first three Management Agreement projects
proposed under the Government's New
Nature Conservation Policy.
in Hong Kong.
Energy was an issue of significant global concern in 2005 in light
of climate change fears and the high cost of oil. Hong Kong imports
all its fuel. The Government recognises we must endeavour to reduce
our consumption of non-renewable energy if we are to achieve greater
sustainability. That means consuming less energy and identifying
First Sustainable Development Strategy for Hong Kong" published
in May 2005, the Government set out a strategy on the development
of renewable energy. One of the key targets is to generate one to
two per cent of Hong Kong's total electricity needs from renewable
sources by 2012, subject to regular review to take account of technological
advances and emerging sustainability considerations.
|A wind turbine on Lamma
Achieving this target will require the co-operation of the two
power companies. Both CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd (CLP) and The Hong
Kong Electric Company Ltd (HEC) have taken a positive first step
in this direction, agreeing to set up production-scale wind turbines.
HEC has erected a wind turbine on Lamma Island that will start operating
in 2006. CLP is exploring two sites for the construction of their
wind turbine project, which is expected to be up and running in
about 2007-08. Renewable energy is also being discussed in negotiations
between the Government and the power companies over the post-2008
regulatory regime for Hong Kong's electricity market.
Consumers will also play an important role in helping Hong Kong
to achieve energy savings. Since 1995, the Government has been operating
a voluntary energy efficiency-labelling scheme for 17 types of household
and office appliances and vehicles, so consumers can take energy
performance into consideration when making purchases. The EPD now
proposes to impose a mandatory labelling requirement for some products,
to promote greater efficient use and conservation of energy. A scheme
was proposed in 2005 that would require local manufacturers and
importers to display energy efficiency labels on all air-conditioners,
refrigerators and compact fluorescent lamps at point of purchase.
A consultation document on the mandatory scheme received generally
positive feedback from the trade, the public and the Advisory Council
on the Environment. The EPD will next prepare a legislative proposal
on the scheme, taking into account the views received.
One of the biggest consumers of electricity in Hong Kong is the
Government and we are mindful of our responsibilities to conserve
energy. The Government has established guidelines and procedures
on the adoption of energy efficient features and renewable energy
technologies in government projects. We now require government departments
to adjust air-conditioners so that indoor temperature will be maintained
at 25.5 degrees Celsius during summer months and we have urged the
business community and the general public to adopt the same practice
|An air-conditioner displays
an energy efficiency label.
||Adjusting the air-conditioner
thermostat in the office.
The Government announced in October 2004 that
it would adjust air-conditioners so that indoor temperatures
will be maintained at 25.5 degrees Celsius in summer months,
a policy that passed its first test in 2005. From April to
September we reduced electricity consumption in office blocks
by two per cent. The initiative was also promoted to the public
3 for details).
The decision to set temperatures at 25.5 degrees
Celsius was based on overseas research suggesting most people
would find this setting comfortable. However, some of our
buildings are not able to provide sufficient ventilation when
the temperature is raised. The EPD will continue to work closely
with the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department to
identify ways of reducing electricity consumption, while being
attentive to people's comfort.
||A poster promotes air-conditioning
temperatures at 25.5 degrees Celsius.
||Another poster promoting
the 25.5 degrees Celsius initiative provides thermometer readings.
The other new area under EPD's remit is nature conservation. We
are building on the foundations laid by the Environment, Transport
and Works Bureau, which unveiled the New
Nature Conservation Policy in November 2004. This policy seeks
to prioritise and enhance the protection of important ecological
sites, particularly those on private land. It also seeks to encourage
green groups, landowners and developers to work together to manage
About 40 per cent of Hong Kong's land is designated as country
parks and special areas, but a number of valuable ecological sites
are located outside that area, on private land. This has led to
tensions between landholders' desire to develop their land and the
need to protect these sites. The new policy proposes two pilot schemes
that aim to create a win-win situation for both the landowner and
the environment. Under the Pilot Scheme for Management Agreements
(MA), non-governmental organisations can apply for government funding
to provide landowners with financial incentives to co-operate in
conserving sensitive sites. Under the Pilot Scheme for Public-Private
Partnership (PPP), development will be allowed on a less ecologically-sensitive
area of a site, but the applicant must commit to long-term conservation
and management of the rest of that site. 12 priority sites for enhanced
conservation have been identified, using a scientific scoring system
agreed to by a respected group of experts.
|Tai Po Kau
is a designated special area.
Three MA projects were approved in 2005 and will receive a total
$4.6 million in funding from the Environment and Conservation Fund.
Two of these projects are in Long Valley. The Hong Kong Bird Watching
Society will work with farmers to increase biodiversity in bird
habitats there, while the Conservancy Association will work with
farmers to enhance diversity on abandoned agricultural lands. The
third project is in Fung Yuen where the Tai Po Environmental Association
will work with landowners and operators to observe good practices
for butterfly conservation. It is hoped these partnerships will
demonstrate the viability of sharing responsibility for protecting
the environment and help reduce the tension between conservation
and development. The Government has also received six applications
for the PPP Pilot Scheme that are currently under consideration.
Given Hong Kong's limited space, it is essential that green groups,
landowners and developers work together with the Government to identify
innovative solutions for protecting sensitive environments. The
same may be said of energy conservation. Power companies and the
public need to accept their role in promoting renewable energy and
reducing wasteful consumption. The EPD will carry the Government's
conservation policies forward with a message that is common to its
other policy areas, that protecting the environment is a collective
|Long Valley is set to increase
biodiversity in bird habitats under MA funding.
||Fung Yuen is a unique ground for butterfly conservation.
Hong Kong has implemented the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
Flora (CITES) since 1976. The Convention divides species into
three categories, or Appendices, according to the degree of
threat posed by international trade. The most endangered are
Appendix I species. Hong Kong is now in the process of revamping
our legislation to bring it in full compliance with CITES
in respect of the control of medicines made from endangered
species, and to streamline the existing licensing mechanism.
A new bill was tabled in the Legislative Council in mid-2005
and is being vetted by the Legislative Council's Bills Committee.
made from endangered species.
Announce the results of applications received under the Pilot
Scheme for Public-Private Partnership to promote nature conservation.
Prepare a legislative proposal on mandatory energy efficiency
Implement revamped legislation on the protection of endangered