17th meeting of Hong Kong-Guangdong Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection held in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong-Guangdong Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection (JWGSDEP) held its 17th meeting in Hong Kong this afternoon (December 15). The meeting was co-chaired by the Secretary for the Environment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, Mr Wong Kam-sing, and the Director-General of the Environmental Protection Department of Guangdong Province, Mr Lu Xiulu. The meeting reviewed the 2017 progress of environmental collaboration between the two sides, and agreed on a work plan for 2018.
Reviewing the work in 2017, the JWGSDEP noted that there had been smooth progress on environmental work on various fronts including improving the air quality in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, protecting the water environment and managing forestry and marine resources (as detailed in Annex 1). On air quality, which is one of the key areas of environmental collaboration between Hong Kong and Guangdong, both sides jointly completed the mid-term review study on emission reduction targets of air pollutants in the PRD for 2015 and 2020 and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Joint Regional PM2.5 Study as planned. The results of the mid-term review will be announced later today. On the management of the marine environment, the HKSAR launched a trial notification and alert system on marine refuse this May to monitor the real-time rainfall data of Hong Kong and 13 cities of Guangdong Province in the Pearl River catchment and to predict the mutual areas which may be potentially affected by massive amounts of marine refuse, so that both sides can deploy resources effectively to tackle the situation. Since the operation of the related notification mechanism, it has been activated seven times with notifications issued in response to heavy rainfall, flooding or other major environmental incidents.
The JWGSDEP also endorsed the work plan for 2018, which focuses on jointly forming a scientific research team to discuss the regional air pollution reduction co-operation beyond 2020; taking forward the proposal to include the regular monitoring of volatile organic compounds (VOC) concentration in the PRD Regional Air Quality Monitoring Network; and reviewing the operation of the notification and alert system on marine refuse and related notification mechanisms, as well as the existing collaboration arrangement on tackling major cross-boundary marine environmental incidents. The work plan also covers collaboration in protecting the water environment, forestry and marine resources (as detailed in Annex 2).
Officials of the HKSAR Government attending today's meeting included representatives of the Environment Bureau, the Development Bureau, the Environmental Protection Department, the Water Supplies Department and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Officials of the Guangdong side included representatives of the Environmental Protection Department of Guangdong Province, the Development and Reform Commission of Guangdong Province, the Water Resources Department of Guangdong Province, the Forestry Department of Guangdong Province, the Department of Ocean and Fisheries of Guangdong Province, the Guangdong Maritime Safety Administration, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of Guangdong Province, and the Zhuhai Environmental Protection Bureau. The JWGSDEP mainly discusses and exchanges views on matters relating to environmental quality, natural resources, and the ecological environment and sustainable development of the two sides. Seven special panels have been set up under the JWGSDEP to take forward the implementation of the various co-operation initiatives.
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