Environmental Protection Department Environmental Performance Report 2004 Environmental Performance Report 2004
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Our Contribution to the Environment
  5.5  Environmental Awareness and Education

The EPD supports a number of programmes that encourage community involvement in environmental protection. These programmes reach into every sector of the community, from housing estates, schools and community groups to businesses, other government departments and District Councils.

Community Relations Unit

The Community Relations Unit is the main co-ordinator of the EPD’s community education programme and the secretariat to the government-appointed Environmental Campaign Committee (ECC), which organises activities to promote community participation in environmental protection.

In 2003 the Community Relations Unit:
organised 291 programmes;
delivered 580 talks;
worked with 3 061 organisations including nine District Councils (the latter figure is down from 2002 due to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the District Council elections); and
organised 895 guided tours of the EPD’s Visitors Centre and Environmental Resource Centres for about 57 000 local and overseas visitors.


Waste recycling
The EPD and ECC organise campaigns to encourage community participation. The largest is the Waste Recycling Campaign in Housing Estates, which began with 41 housing estates in 1998. Colour-coded bins in blue, yellow and brown are provided to collect waste paper, aluminium cans and plastic bottles for recycling. The campaign now reaches 1 333 housing estates covering 1.58 million households.

We aim to promote community awareness through environmental campaigns, publicity, education and action programmes, and public access to environmental information, with a view to harnessing the community's support for, and contribution to, achieving the desired environmental goals.

Waste Recycling Campaign in Housing Estates

No. of estates
No. of households
Phase I
160 000
Phase II
458 000
Phase III
809 000
Phase IV
1 193 000
Phase V
1 050
1 429 000
Phase VI
1 218
1 527 000
Phase VII
1 333
1 580 000
Note: Plastic bottles were not included in Phases I & II of the Campaign.



The government’s Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF) provides grants to non-government organisations to promote waste recovery in the community, including a pilot scheme on wet/dry waste separation. Since 2001, $13.82 million has been given to 24 green groups and community groups to organise 40 waste recovery projects. The ECF has also granted about $1.23 million to community groups and non-profit making organisations since April 2000 for implementing environmental education and community action projects on waste reduction and recovery. A waste campaign is also being run in schools (see below).

Annual events
Two major events are organised each year by the ECC, the World Environment Day festivities in June and the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Festival in the latter part of the year.

Guests holding up their "green wishes" at World Environment Day 2003 celebrations.
Guests holding up their "green wishes" at World Environment Day 2003 celebrations.

The United Nations has designated June 5 as World Environment Day and each year the day is celebrated in Hong Kong. In 2003 events were affected by the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). To minimise the risk of infection, celebrations were held outdoors and later in the month, on June 22. The theme was “Walking for a Green and Healthy Hong Kong”. More than 100 000 people participated in walks in 18 districts of Hong Kong, including 31 green walks organised by the EPD and green groups on that day. As in past years, a joint celebration was organised with the Environmental Protection Bureaux of Dongguan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhongshan and Zhuhai and the Macau Environment Council.

The Hong Kong Environmental Protection Festival was held in November. A one-day event featuring a “Forum on Business Opportunities for SMEs in Environmental Protection Industry” was held to promote the waste recovery and recycling industry. 17 seminar sessions were organised and a trade show on waste recovery ran alongside the event. More than 8 000 people attended the seminars and exhibition. The forum and trade show were jointly organised by the ECC and EPD. Co-organisers included the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Hong Kong Women Professionals & Entrepreneurs Association.


Schools are a high priority in the EPD’s community work. A number of programmes have been organised for pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, universities and vocational institutions.

Waste Separation and Recycling Scheme in Schools
This programme places bins in schools for collecting waste paper, aluminium cans and plastic bottles for recycling. The bins are funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. By the end of 2003, 1 199 schools had bins. The remaining 100 or so schools are not participating mainly due to lack of space for the bins. In April the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department started to arrange the collection of recyclable materials from schools. Pre-schools also have a recycling scheme in which miniature bins are provided as a teaching tool. The bins are funded by the Zonta Club of the New Territories and 870 pre-schools participated in 2003.

Pre-school pupils learn to use the waste recycling bins.
Pre-school pupils learn to use the waste recycling bins.

The Schools Environmental Award Scheme (SEAS) cum Student Environmental Protection Ambassador Scheme (SEPAS) has been running since 1995 to cultivate a sense of responsibility for the environment among schools and students. In 2003 more than 11 000 SEPAs participated and organised activities for more than 400 000 students. The environmental protection ambassador programme has also been extended to the Scouts, Girl Guides, Junior Police Call, Lion’s Club, Rotary Club, Zonta Club, the elderly and housing estate residents and property management staff. In 2003 an ambassador programme was set up to train staff of the Hang Seng Bank.

Number of Schools Participating in the Schools Environmental Award Scheme since 1995

Number of Student Environmental Protection Ambassadors since 1995

Hong Kong Green School Award
The Hong Kong Green School Award was launched in 2000 to encourage school managers to introduce environmental management systems into their schools and involve the entire school community in green efforts. In 2003 186 schools participated. A green schools website was also set up with a helpdesk. The first Hong Kong Green Pre-School Award was launched and over 110 pre-schools participated.

Business Partners
Various award schemes have been introduced for young people, organised jointly by the ECC and business partners. The MTR Corporation has sponsored an environmental leadership programme for 72 SEPAs and ambassadors from Scouts, Girl Guides and Junior Police Call. 10 outstanding SEPAs were invited to join the Bangkok environmental study visit in summer 2003 with sponsorship from the AEON Education and Environment Fund. The ECC and Shell Hong Kong Limited have jointly organised an award scheme to recognise the environmental efforts of tertiary students in Hong Kong and youths in the Mainland since 1997-98. An exchange programme is part of the scheme and Hong Kong winners go to the Mainland on study visits and Mainland winners come to Hong Kong for the same purpose. In 2003 the ECC, EPD and Hong Kong Disneyland launched the Jiminy Cricket’s Environmentality Challenge for primary schools.

Other Community Activities

Environmental Resource Centres
Environmental Resource Centres have been established in the community to provide people with easy access to information on environmental protection. The first centre opened in Wan Chai in December 1993. For its 10th anniversary, special sessions for visitors were organised and a guidebook was produced on the nearby Wan Chai Green Trail. There is also a centre in Tsuen Wan and a Mobile Environmental Resource Centre which made 112 visits to different parts of Hong Kong in 2003.

The largest Environmental Resource Centre opened in Fanling in August 2003. The 400-square-metre centre hosted more than 12 000 visitors in the first three months of operation.

Community Green Network
The network involves EPD staff going into housing estates in the early evening to deliver talks and discuss environmental issues with residents and owners’ Corporations. A “green desk” may also be brought along at which residents can drop by to ask about any environmental topic. (A green desk also accompanies the Mobile Environmental Resource Centre.) In 2003, 106 talks were held and 126 green desks set up.

Green Leaders
The Green Leader Programme involves training trainers from among 10 groups of stakeholders. It was completed in March 2003. The programme trained about 10 000 leaders from the transport industry, District Councils, non-government organisations, community and youth groups, teachers and principals, women’s associations, the commercial, industrial and business sectors, local green groups and members of Owners' Incorporations and Mutual Aid Committees of housing estates.

Hong Kong Eco-Business Awards
The Hong Kong Eco-Business Awards honour businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental management. In 2003 entries were received from 139 organisations in the award categories of Green Property Management (Private Housing), Green Office and Best Environmental Reporting. The awards are jointly organised by the ECC, The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and Hong Kong Productivity Council.

(Top Left) Display panels being brought to housing estates, featuring tips on green living.
(Bottom Left) Mutual aid committee members of a housing estate attend a talk on environmental protection.
(Top Right) The Mobile Environmental Resource Centre.
(Bottom Right) Children enjoying the facilities aboard the Mobile Environmental Resource Centre.
(Top Left)   Display panels being brought to housing estates, featuring tips on green living.
(Bottom Left)   Mutual aid committee members of a housing estate attend a talk on environmental protection.
(Top Right)   The Mobile Environmental Resource Centre.
(Bottom Right)   Children enjoying the facilities aboard the Mobile Environmental Resource Centre.

Press Releases and Publications

The EPD aims to make environmental information widely available to the general public. Press releases are issued regularly and the Internet is increasingly being used to disseminate information.

Weekly press releases on water quality at gazetted bathing beaches are issued to the media. The press releases and reports on beach water quality are uploaded on the EPD website.
Hourly Air Pollution Indexes (API) have been issued since July 1999 via the EPD website and a telephone hotline. Daily API forecasts and hourly API reports are issued to the media.
Statistics on environmental prosecutions brought by the EPD are released to the media on a monthly basis. This information has also been made available to the general public through the EPD website since August 2003.
A list of environmental impact assessments (EIAs) that are either in progress or about to start is released quarterly to the media. The EIA reports, and the Director of Environmental Protection's decisions on the reports, are placed on the EPD website.
Monitoring data for rivers and streams and marine waters are published in separate annual reports, as are air and beach water monitoring data.
An Environmental Protection Interactive Centre was set up on the website in 2003, where the public can set parameters for the information they are seeking.

In addition, the EPD produced 49 publications in 2003 ranging from publicity and training materials to guidelines on new services and initiatives. Most publications and other information from the department can be viewed on the EPD website http://www.epd.gov.hk/.

During the year, seven media visits were organised to the following sites: the Air Quality Monitoring Services Laboratory; a scientific vessel for monitoring water quality, the Dr Catherine Lam; the Island West Transfer Station; the Southeast New Territories Landfill; the West New Territories Landfill; and two workshops for the Trial Recovery Programme for Computers and Electrical Appliances. The EPD also handled 7 323 press enquiries during the year, issued 108 press releases, organised eight press conferences and briefings, and arranged 68 press interviews.

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