Environmental Protection Department Environmental Performance Report 2004 Environmental Performance Report 2004
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5
Our Contribution to the Environment
  5.1 Our Contribution to Strategic Decision-Making
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The EPD provides input on the environment and sustainable development through several channels, working with both stakeholders and other government departments.

Input on Major Policies and Strategies

The department contributes environmental information to the Sustainability Development Unit, which was set up in 2001 to broadly assess the impacts of strategic developments and policies and guide Hong Kong’s future development. In 2003 a CD-ROM was produced based on the results of an earlier conference on environmental assessment tools for sustainability.

The EPD also manages strategic environmental assessments (SEAs), which are more detailed reports on environmental implications for individual policies and strategies. In 2002 the department started putting SEAs on its website. This is not a legal requirement, but meant to demonstrate that SEAs can be produced and can be useful tools in strategic planning. Hong Kong is a leader in the field and in 2003, the department presented the first draft of its SEA Manual to the International Association of Impact Assessment for comment. Consultations have also been held with colleagues in Hong Kong.

In addition, the EPD reviews the environmental implications paragraphs that are contained in all policies submitted to the Policy Committee of the Executive Council and all submissions made to the Public Works Sub-Committee of the Legislative Council, which approves funding for public works projects. In 2003 the department reviewed 174 submissions.

Regional Collaboration

The EPD was given approval to liaise directly with the State Environmental Protection Administration on environmental impact assessment (EIA) matters in 2003. The Mainland introduced a new law on EIAs and SEAs in September 2003. Hong Kong also continued to carry out visits and preparation work with the State Oceanic Administration for participation in the National Marine Environmental Monitoring Network.

The Hong Kong-Guangdong Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection continued to address cross-boundary issues. In 2003 the two sides drew up an action plan to protect the clean waters of Mirs Bay and prepared an air quality management plan for the Pearl River Delta Region. The EPD also participated in a symposium on sustainable development in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.

Photo of Cross-boundary Projects
Environmental assessments of the growing number of cross-boundary projects continued in 2003.

Improving Environmental Performance

Photo of Benchmarking Tool Guidebooks.
A Benchmarking Tool for
Environmental Performance Reports.

All government departments and bureaux have been required to publish their annual environmental performance reports (EPRs) since 2000. The EPD has provided assistance through training programmes and a helpdesk. In January 2003, A Benchmarking Tool for Environmental Performance Reports was disseminated to 120 officials from about 80 bureaux and departments at a seminar. The benchmarking tool provides clear guidelines and explanations on producing reports that can be used to help improve environmental performance. The government EPRs are also intended to serve as a good example to the private sector, in our efforts to encourage more reporting there.


120 officials from about 80 bureaux and departments attend a seminar on environmental reporting.
120 officials from about 80 bureaux and departments attend a seminar on environmental reporting.

Speakers at the seminar.
Speakers at the seminar.

All arms of government are also required to make progressive reductions in paper consumption, under a directive issued by the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau in 2003. The Bureau and EPD organised a joint seminar in December 2003 where 170 officials from about 70 bureaux and departments shared views and experiences in paper saving and other green office measures.

170 officials from about 70 bureaux and departments share views and experiences on paper saving and other green office measures.
170 officials from about 70 bureaux and departments share views and experiences on paper saving and other green office measures.
We will contribute actively to government-wide policies and programmes that support sound environmental management and sustainable development, and we will advise the government on the environmental impacts of strategic development proposals.
   
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