The government announced the city’s first strategy and action plan to conserve biodiversity and support sustainable development on Wednesday.
The Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP) outlines 67 action points in four major area including conservation, biodiversity, awareness and promotion of community involvement.
The conservation measures include designing new parks and strengthening the management of protected areas such as marine parks. Also included are plans to conserve species that demand specific attention, for example, horseshoe crabs and incense trees.
Director of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Leung Siu-fai said the legislative process of designating the Brothers Marine Park is about to be completed. Three new marine parks will be brought online in the next few years, he added.
“In choosing appropriate locations for country parks, the department has been assessing areas based on their ecological value, and whether they can provide leisure and educational facilities to the public,” Leung said.
A spokesperson for the Worldwide Fund for Nature told HKFP: “We do believe that much can be achieved by implementing this action plan, including expanding Hong Kong’s network of marine parks and developing & implementing effective action plans for species such as Pangolin, Golden Coin Turtle, Black Faced Spoonbill and Chinese white dolphin. We will work with and also hold government to account for the implementation of this plan.”
Secretary for the the Environment Wong Kam-sing added that more enclaves will be incorporated into country parks.
The plan also aims to ensure different government bureaux continue incorporating biodiversity considerations in their work. The government will lead, or commission, studies to monitor and collect data on biodiversity, such as species assessment.
The final section of the plan calls for the promotion of conservation work in schools or to the general public.
“The Government started the preparation of the BSAP in 2013. In the public consultation conducted in early 2016, the initiative to implement the BSAP has received general support from various sectors of the community,” Wong said.
The government has set aside HK$150 million to carry out the initiatives of BSAP in the first three years.