Safeguarding Hong Kong's Natural Environment
Hong Kong, with a total area of 1,104km², consists of more than 230 outlying islands and a section of the Chinese mainland. Although the area is small, Hong Kong has a rich assemblage of flora and fauna – with more than 3,000 types of plants, 3,500 animal species and a wide variety of habitat types within the territory.
Hong Kong’s natural habitats and ecosystems face the constant threat of damage or destruction through inappropriate development. Our watchful efforts through the Ecological Advisory Programme (EAP) play an important role in raising awareness and flagging activities that affect our local biodiversity.
Ecological Advisory Programme
KFBG’s Ecological Advisory Programme (EAP) has been actively monitoring ecologically sensitive areas, since 2000, as well as areas of the natural countryside affected by development proposals. The EAP plays a direct role in helping to protect these areas by submitting letters of concern and lodging objections on a broad range of environmental issues to the relevant authorities in Hong Kong. We act upon reports of possible harmful environmental damage caused by activities such as illegal dumping, disturbance to breeding sites and improper land use. The EAP also acts as an environmental watchdog, monitoring Outline Zoning Plans, Environmental Impact Assessments and government publications (like gazettes and public notices) to assure that Hong Kong's sensitive wildlife areas and species are well-protected from development pressures. Much of this work is carried out in close co-operation with other environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the relevant government departments through regular liaison and networking.
In addition, we advise government and environmental stakeholders including environmental NGOs, local villagers, ecological consultants, academics and private developers regarding ecological issues. The EAP plays a pro-active role in monitoring and submitting feedback on government policy and private planning proposals that affect Hong Kong's ecology and biodiversity.
How you can help to protect the environment in Hong Kong?
It is crucial to involve the public in monitoring and protecting our ecologically sensitive areas and sensitive zones in statutory plans. Without your support, places with high conservation and ecological value could be degraded through illegal activities.
In order to raise public awareness for safeguarding our natural environment, EAP has produced a Standard Operating Procedures manual for monitoring ecological hotspots in Hong Kong. It provides guidance regarding the reporting of local environmental degradation issues with useful contact details of various organisations.
You can call the Hong Kong Government Hotline, 1823, or write to these government departments to report any concerns that you may have regarding environmental activities.
- Environmental Protection Department for environmental hazards (e.g., water pollution, land contamination), environmental blackspots and dumping of waste on agricultural land or in streams (email@example.com)
- Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department for vegetation clearance/ unauthorized collection of wildlife (both flora and fauna) within Country Parks/ Marine Parks, transparent noise barriers that cause bird collisions (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Planning Department's Central Enforcement and Prosecution Section for inappropriate developments such as illegal roadworks or filling of wetlands, farmlands or ponds (email@example.com)
- You can also contact our Ecological Advisory Programme (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Convention on Biological Diversity
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international legally binding treaty on the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of its components, and, the fair and equitable sharing of benefits deriving from the use of genetic resources. It was extended to Hong Kong with effect from 9 May 2011. In the 2013-2014 Policy Address, the Chief Executive indicated that the government will formulate a Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP) for Hong Kong in line with the CBD.
KFBG, together with other environmental NGOs, are engaged in the process of adoption of the CBD principles for implementation in Hong Kong. We hope that our actions taken to protect local biodiversity will raise the publics’ awareness, and that the government and the community as a whole will actively participate in conservation of biodiversity affected by unsustainable developments.
Enhancing Land Supply Strategy
According to the Chief Executive’s 2011-2012 Policy Address, reclamation (outside Victoria Harbour) and rock cavern development would be considered as options for enhancing future land supply and a Stage 1 public engagement exercise was initiated by the Development Bureau, Civil Engineering and Development Department and Planning Department in late 2011.
In early 2012, 25 possible reclamation sites and five strategic cavern development areas were recommended by the Government. The reclamation proposals suggested various options including reclamation upon natural/ artificial shores, construction of artificial islands and reclamation to connect islands. After this engagement exercise, six reclamation proposals have been selected by the Government for further investigation.
Unprotected important sites