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LCQ11: Regional Cooperation Plan on Building a Quality Living Area

     Following is a question by the Dr Hon David Li Kwok-po and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, in the Legislative Council today (April 25):


     Regarding the three-month public consultation commencing on September 1, 2011 on the initial proposals for the Regional Cooperation Plan on Building a Quality Living Area (the Plan), will the Government inform this Council:

(a)  as the dedicated web site ( for the consultation is unreachable, how members of the public may follow future progress under the Plan;

(b)  whether a dedicated coordinating framework or agency exists among the Governments of Guangdong, Macao and Hong Kong to take forward the cross-boundary initiatives outlined in the consultation document; if not, whether the three Governments have held any discussion with a view to establishing a dedicated coordinating framework or agency and the details thereof; and

(c)  whether the Government has conducted any review to identify measures which can be taken forward before final decisions are made so as to score ¡§early wins¡¨ (e.g. noting the significant progress that Guangdong Province has made in creating cycling ¡§greenways¡¨ since the beginning of 2010, whether the Hong Kong Government has given consideration to facilitating cycle access across the boundary)?



(a)  To implement the "Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta Region (2008-2020)", the Guangdong Provincial Government, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and the Macao Special Administrative Region Government are jointly drawing up a Regional Cooperation Plan on Building a Quality Living Area (the Plan). The public consultation jointly carried out on the initial proposals for the Plan was completed in the second half of 2011. The three governments are consolidating views and suggestions received during the consultation period to conclude the compilation of the Plan. The HKSAR Government will brief to the Panel on Environmental Affairs of the Legislative Council.

     The dedicated website for the Plan had operated properly during the consultation period.  However, due to technical problems that recently took place at the server of the network service provider, the performance of the dedicated website had been unstable. We had subsequently followed up the matter and the network service provider had also carried out improvement works. The website is now in normal operation.

(b)  With a view to promoting collaboration efforts, the three governments had already established the Hong Kong-Guangdong, Guangdong-Macao Cooperation Joint Conferences as co-operation platforms, under which various expert groups had been set up. The existing institutional framework provides a solid basis for taking forward the various collaboration initiatives proposed in the Plan. Specific cooperation proposals will be taken up and discussed at the relevant expert groups, and there shall be coordinated implementation having regard to the prevailing circumstances. On environmental protection, we will continue to join hands with Guangdong in pursuing the various environmental cooperation initiatives at the Hong Kong-Guangdong Joint Working Group on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection, which is co-chaired by the Secretary for the Environment and the Director-General of Environmental Protection Department of Guangdong Province.

(c)  In implementing cooperation proposals of the Plan, the three governments will accord higher priority to those that enjoy wider consensus. Well-founded initiatives or proposals that sustain past efforts will be taken forward as they become mature. In areas such as improving the regional environmental and ecological quality, Hong Kong and Guangdong will strive for early completion of the joint study on air pollutant emissions reduction arrangements in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region for 2011-2020; enhance the regional air quality monitoring network; and explore opportunities in controlling air pollutant emissions from vessels in the Greater PRD waters, including giving consideration to promoting ocean-going vessels at berth at the Greater PRD ports to use cleaner fuels, etc.

     The HKSAR Government will also continue to facilitate convenient commuting between Hong Kong and Guangdong as well as encourage green transportation. Taking account of practical considerations, we shall follow up the collaboration recommendations of this area to be put forward in the Plan.

Ends/Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:55


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