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October 24th, 2008:

HK$1b Pledged To Improve City’s Environment

Angela Seet – SCMP | Updated on Oct 24, 2008

HK$1 billion would be allocated to the environmental and conservation fund to help combat pollution in Hong Kong, Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah said on Friday.

He said the Legislative Council had pledged this amount in its annual report, Environment Hong Kong 2008. This is published by the Environment Bureau and Environmental Protection Department (EPD).

But Mr Yau said public concern about environmental issues was growing.

“As Hong Kong becomes increasingly conscious of the need to protect the environment, the community also understands that raising the quality of life must be done in a sustainable way,” he said.

The territory is under more pressure to deal with serious environmental problems including â poor air quality, inadequate waste management, and damage to the natural environment.

The American Chamber of Commerce said in its annual environmental survey recently said 69 per cent of respondents said they knew professionals who are thinking of leaving Hong Kong (or have already left), and over half (56 per cent) knew professionals who had declined to come to the territory because of the unfavorable environment.

Mr Yau said the government was also working more closely with the mainland.

“Regionally, we are co-operating extensively with our counterparts in the mainland on a wide range of issues. We are also working to meet our international obligations on climate change,” he added.

Permanent Secretary for the Environment and Director of Environmental Protection Anissa Wong Sean-yee said: “There was intense concern in the community about air quality.

“It was being tackled from several angles, including the launch of an 18-month study to devise new air quality objectives and develop a long-term strategy for achieving them, Ms Wong said.

She said the government was also trying to identify more sustainable solutions to waste management.

However, green groups and medical academics in Hong Kong believe the government is still not doing enough to deal with environmental issues.

On the issue of air pollution, they argue it is time for the government to adopt World Health Organisation air-quality guidelines.

Anthony Hedley, professor of community medicine at the University of Hong Kong, said last month the territory and the Pearl River Delta were “among the most heavily polluted areas in the world”.

The report is available electronically from

More details on Environment Hong Kong 2008, visit