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Hong Kong's first Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan announced
     The Government announced today (December 21) the first city-level Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP) for Hong Kong, which outlines the strategy and actions to be taken in the next five years for conserving biodiversity within and outside Hong Kong as well as supporting sustainable development.

     The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said, "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."

     Mr Wong said the BSAP sets out an action plan of 67 specific actions in four major areas, namely enhancing conservation measures, mainstreaming biodiversity, improving knowledge and promoting community involvement.

(1) Enhancing conservation measures

     The Government will enhance existing measures and undertake new measures, including the enhancement of management of protected areas such as country parks and marine parks as well as the designation of new parks, to conserve biodiversity. Relevant conservation action plans will be drawn up for local species that require specific attention, such as incense trees and horseshoe crabs.

(2) Mainstreaming biodiversity

     The initiative to mainstream biodiversity within the Government which started in 2013 will continue. Relevant bureaux and departments will incorporate biodiversity considerations into their business according to particular situations in Hong Kong. Examples include enhancing biodiversity considerations in development plans, projects and programmes as well as promoting biodiversity in the urban environment.

(3) Improving knowledge

     The Government will lead or commission studies on priority issues such as biodiversity surveys and monitoring, species assessment and collating information on habitats. The Government will also consolidate existing data and collaborate with partners in establishing an information-sharing platform. In addition, funding support will be provided for relevant projects.

(4) Promoting community involvement

     The Government will work with organisations from various sectors in holding activities that promote direct participation in conservation work as well as to support incorporating the concept of biodiversity into school education to drive home the message of conservation to the general public.

     Implementation of the BSAP will require the concerted efforts of various government departments. An inter-departmental Working Group chaired by the Secretary for the Environment has been set up to co-ordinate the work among government departments and monitor progress.

     The Government has earmarked $150 million for taking forward the initiatives under the BSAP in the first three years. The Environment and Conservation Fund has also reserved funding allocations for research and education and community projects related to biodiversity.

     The BSAP is available on the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department's website (www.afcd.gov.hk/bsap).
Ends/Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:01
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