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5 Social Engagement

C. Promoting Community Involvement

1.     Community support and participation are essential in our efforts to improve Hong Kong’s environment. We promote public involvement through a number of channels.

Funding community activities

2.     The Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF) was established in 1994 to help fund green projects by community groups, such as energy conservation and waste recovery projects. $450 million has been allocated to establish the Buildings Energy Efficiency Funding Schemes (BEEFS), which offers subsidies to building owners to carry out energy-cum-carbon audits and energy efficiency projects. An amount of $100 million has been earmarked in addition to the original amount of $50 million to help schools reduce lunch-related waste through on-site meal portioning.

3.     Following the injection of $1 billion into the ECF in 2008, ECF has approved to finance over 1 600 projects and plans. Subsequent to the funding support to the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals and the Po Leung Kuk, a grant of $17.99 million was provided in 2010 to the Yan Chai Hospital for turning itself into a green non-government organisation.

Table 8  -  Major projects approved by the ECF in 2010
Project area  Number of projects Funding ($million)
Energy conservation*    475 188.98
Environmental education and community action – general projects 19 6.32
Minor works at schools and NGOs 235 87.05
On-site meal portioning at schools        47  60.86
Research, technology demonstrations and conferences   20 21.40
Community waste recovery     5 4.90
Source separation of waste      7 0.31
Public education programme under “Policy Framework” on waste management 1 0.78
* Including Buildings Energy Efficiency Funding Schemes and funding for energy conservation projects for NGOs.

4.     The Sustainable Development Fund (SDF), established in 2003 to promote sustainable development concepts and practices in the community, has provided $35.1 million to 38 projects to date. A report describing funded projects is produced annually.

Community workshop in progress.

The SDF project "Public Participation in the Sustainable City Development: Starting from the Community" aims at promoting public participatory approach in the practice of sustainable community planning and city development. Through a series of structured community design training activities and workshops, the participants from different sectors of the community proposed and organised "Public Participation" programmes to address local community issues.

Raising awareness

5.     The Government organises several awareness-raising activities each year to promote new environmental initiatives and green behaviour. For example in 2010, 13 roving exhibitions / video broadcasting sessions were organised at shopping malls and estates, to promote “Source Separation of Waste”, attracting 7 000 participants. In addition, to spread the message of combating climate change and adopting low carbon lifestyle, four public seminars were organised and a series of four books on low carbon living were published. 60 talks and 17 roving exhibitions were also organised at schools.

6.     Numerous on-going programmes such as competitions, award schemes and guided tours were continued in 2010 with the participation of tens of thousands of people and hundreds of organisations.

Table 9  -  Community training and awareness outreach in 2010
Environmental awareness talks for the community    16 sessions for 650 participants.
Environmental training programme for civil servants     45 talks for 1 435 civil servants.
Sustainability workshops for civil servants     283 staff participated.
Environmental certificates and badges for the training programme of the Scout Environmental Protection Ambassador Scheme 31 certificates and badges awarded.

Access to information

7.     The EPD has facilities that provide the public with access to environmental information and activities (see Figure 16). The public and operators can also use the interactive Environmental Protection Information Centre to request specific environmental data and apply, pay for and receive licences and permits electronically.

8.     We regularly publish environmental data for public viewing. People can get the latest readings and statistics about Hong Kong’s environment in the following areas:

  Beach water quality
  Air quality
  Pearl River Delta regional air quality
  Environmental impact assessments
  Solid waste arisings
  River, stream and marine water quality

Figure 16 –Distribution of use of our community-based facilities in 2010

(i) Distribution of visitors

  No. of visitors
  (i) Distribution of visitors

(ii) Distribution of guided visits / workshops

  No. of guided visits / workshops
  (ii) Distribution of guided visits / workshops

(iii) Green desks available and talks delivered

  No. of guided green desks/ talks
  (iii) Green desks available and talks delivered

Working with our youngsters
  A school project under Sustainable Development School Award Programme on display in a shopping mall.

A school project under Sustainable Development School Award Programme on display in a shopping mall.

9.     We have established programmes to educate our youngsters targeted at school students to equip them with greater environmental knowledge and skills. The Student Environmental Protection Ambassador Scheme promotes green leadership among primary and secondary school students. In 2010, more than 14 000 students participated in this scheme.

10.    The Hong Kong Green School Award encourages pre-schools as well as primary and secondary schools to implement environmental management plans and we had 213 participants in 2010. In addition, an environmental education kit for pre-schools was produced under the Little Green Ambassador Scheme, funded by The Dairy Farm Group.

11.    Low carbon living is promoted through the School Outreach Programme, which enrolled about 60 schools in 2010, and the Sustainable Development School Award Programme. Both programmes are organised by the Council for Sustainable Development.

Climate FootPRINT Book Series
Case Study 9 - Climate FootPRINT Book Series

To raise public awareness on climate change and low carbon living, the Environmental Campaign Committee (ECC) has collaborated with The Climate Group (Hong Kong) Limited and RoadShow Media Limited to launch and publicise the Climate FootPRINT Book Series (The Climate FootPRINT). This series consists of four publications with themes of New Green Generation, Low Carbon Economy, Environmentally Friendly Households and Green City Life. The Climate FootPRINT is targeted specifically at youngsters, business sector, homemakers and working class to help mitigate climate change through collective effort of society and to encourage the public to actively practise low carbon living.

See also: Targets - Our Progress and 2011 Aims.

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