The largest international conference ever held in Hong Kong on waste management was kicked off today (October 23) at the New Extension of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
Jointly organised by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and the Hong Kong Waste Management Association, the ISWA International Symposium and Exhibition on Waste Management in Asian Cities has attracted more than 400 participants from some 30 countries and international organisations.
Those participating include representatives from the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), the United Nations Environmental Programme, the European Commission and the World Bank.
The Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the event and Principal Environmental Protection Officer of the EPD, Mr Patrick Lei, said: "It is a great honour for Hong Kong to host this important event soon after China has joined the ISWA in July this year."
The theme of the four-day conference, 'Waste Management: The Challenge for Asian Cities - Search for a Sustainable Future', underlines the major challenge being faced by modern cities in Asia.
"The conference provides a unique forum for the exchange of views on and experience and technology of developing a sustainable approach to waste management.
"It focuses on strategic waste management policy and planning; waste management technological improvement; modern waste management infrastructure; and waste minimisation, recycling and clean technology," Mr Lei noted.
Officiating at the opening ceremony were the ISWA President, Dr Christoph Scharff; the Vice-Minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration, Mr Wang Xinfang; and the President of the Legislative Council, the Hon Mrs Rita Fan.
In parallel with the conference, the Organising Committee also holds an international waste management exhibition at the HKCEC New Extension with 38 exhibitors taking part. It is open to the public free of charge.
Apart from the plenary, technical and poster sessions, the conference will include a workshop on 'Communication and Social Issues' to be held on October 24 at the conference venue to discuss community participation in waste reduction. It will be chaired by the Chairman of the Wan Chai District Council, Mrs Peggy Lam.
Five technical tours will be organised for the delegates on October 26 to visit the state-of-the-art waste management facilities in Hong Kong and the contaminated land remediation work at the former Kai Tak International Airport.
After the conference ends on October 26, two training courses on waste management will be held for the delegates at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on October 27.
End/Monday, October 23, 2000