Hong Kong-Guangdong Joint Working Group on Environmental Protection and Combating Climate Change meeting held via video conferencing (with photos)

The Secretary for Environment and Ecology of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mr Tse Chin-wan, and the Director-General of the Department of Ecology and Environment of Guangdong Province (GDDEE), Ms Xu Xiaoxia, today (December 19) co-chaired the fifth meeting of the Hong Kong-Guangdong Joint Working Group on Environmental Protection and Combating Climate Change (JWGEPCCC) via video conferencing. The meeting reviewed the progress of collaboration between the two sides in 2023, and agreed on the work plan for 2024.

In the past year, Hong Kong and Guangdong have maintained close co-operation on various fronts, including improvement of air quality in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, protection of the water environment, strengthening forestry and marine resources conservation as well as combating climate change.

On improving air quality, Hong Kong and Guangdong implemented the PRD Regional Air Quality Management Plan and monitored the progress and effectiveness of various improvement measures. In the coming years, Hong Kong and Guangdong will work together on the regional ozone problem and continue to work on the inclusion of ambient volatile organic compounds (VOCs) routine monitoring in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao PRD Regional Air Quality Monitoring Network.

On marine environment management, the Notification and Alert System on Marine Refuse has been functioning well since its commencement in 2017. As of mid-November 2023, it has been activated 47 times with notifications issued in response to heavy rainfall or other major marine environmental incidents, which enabled relevant government departments to take timely clean-up actions as required.

The JWGEPCCC also endorsed the work plan for 2024. Hong Kong will conclude the three-year project on "Characterisation of photochemical ozone formation, regional and super-regional transportation in the Greater Bay Area" to identify the causes of ozone formation in the Greater Bay Area and provide recommendations for the formulation of regional ozone control policy on a scientific basis.

Hong Kong and Guangdong will continue to promote and deepen exchanges and co-operation on mitigation, adaptation and resilience to climate change and the relevant scientific research.

The two sides will also jointly explore technologies and measures to monitor marine refuse and tackle marine environmental incidents with a view to further extending co-operation in the management of the marine environment with the neighbouring cities in the region.

As regards ecological conservation, Hong Kong and Guangdong will foster in-depth exchanges and enhance collaboration on forest and wetland reserve projects regarding the construction, management, conservation, staff training, publicity and education, etc. The two sides will continue to work closely to promote the sustainable development of marine resources, conservation of ecosystems and construction of marine nature protection waters.

Officials of the HKSAR Government attending today's meeting included representatives of the Environment and Ecology Bureau, the Development Bureau, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the Buildings Department, the Civil Engineering and Development Department, the Drainage Services Department, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, the Environmental Protection Department, the Hong Kong Observatory and the Water Supplies Department. Officials on the Guangdong side included representatives of the GDDEE, the Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission, the Department of Industry and Information Technology of Guangdong Province, the Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province, the Department of Natural Resources of Guangdong Province, the Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Guangdong Province, the Department of Transportation of Guangdong Province, the Water Resources Department of Guangdong Province, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of Guangdong Province, the Guangdong Administration for Market Regulation, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the People's Government of Guangdong Province, the Guangdong Meteorological Service, the Guangdong Maritime Safety Administration of the People's Republic of China, the Guangdong Academy of Sciences, and the Ecological and Environmental Bureau of Shenzhen. The JWGEPCCC mainly discusses and exchanges views on matters relating to environmental quality, natural resources, ecological environment, sustainable development and climate change on the two sides. Eight special panels have been set up under the JWGEPCCC to take forward the implementation of the co-operation initiatives.

Ends/Tuesday, December 19, 2023
Issued at HKT 18:29