30 December 2016


Hong Kong Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2021

On 21 December 2016, Environment Bureau of the Hong Kong Government published the first city-level biodiversity strategy and action plan (BSAP). Hong Kong’s BSAP 2016-2021 sets out strategy and actions to be taken in the next five years to conserve Hong Kong’s biodiversity and support sustainable development for future generation.

Publication of the city-level BSAP is Hong Kong’s response to the Convention on Biological Diversity (the Biodiversity Convention) to which China is a signatory. China signed the Biodiversity Convention in 1993, and extended the Biodiversity Convention to Hong Kong in May 2011. Pursuant to Article 6 of the Biodiversity Convention, a contracting party is obliged to develop and establish a BSAP for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in its own jurisdiction.

67 specific actions have been identified in the first Hong Kong BSAP, which can be categorised into four major areas namely, (i) enhancing conservation measures, (ii) mainstreaming biodiversity, (iii) improving knowledge, and (iv) promoting community involvement, to better conserve Hong Kong’s biodiversity.

Specific actions identified in the Hong Kong BSAP 2016-2021
Area 1 – Enhancing conservation measures
1. Prepare and implement biodiversity management plans, outlining the approach to biodiversity conservation in country parks, special areas, marine parks and marine reserve.
2. Carry out a Plantation Enrichment Project (PEP) to enhance the biodiversity of plantations in country parks
3. Review the management plan for  Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) to enhance the conservation and monitoring work carried out
4. Review the Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site Management Plan (RSMP)
5. Enhance habitat management work in the Mai Po Nature Reserve
6. Review and enhance the ecological monitoring and habitat management plan of Hong Kong Wetland Park
7. Designate new marine parks in the waters near The Brothers, Soko Islands and Southwest Lantau
8. Designate new country park at Robin’s Nest, and extend country park to cover country park enclaves at appropriate locations.
9. Develop a nature park at Long Valley for supporting conservation and agriculture in this ecologically important area
10. Continue to implement the Management Agreement and Public-Private Partnership schemes to actively conserve ecologically important sites under private ownership, including the 12 priority sites, country park enclaves and private land in country parks, through collaboration with  non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and rural communities
11. Explore innovative methods to enhance, support and promote the conservation of rural areas with high ecological value
12. Conduct ecological surveys and compile ecological database on natural streams, especially Ecologically Important Streams (EIS)
13. Improve practices in minor maintenance and hygiene works in natural

streams and catchwaters, with a view to minimising ecological impacts arising from these works

14. Control discharge of effluents from unsewered areas and its adverse impacts on streams
15. Enhance habitat connectivity and establish ecological corridors across the boundary
16. Review and update guidelines on design of wildlife crossings
17. Maintain high vigilance and enhance enforcement against illegal poaching or collection of local species and raise public awareness
18. Establish an interdepartmental task force on wildlife crime, to strengthen collaboration and intelligence exchange
19. Strengthen enforcement and legislative measures to combat illegal trade in ivory
20. Establish a standardised mechanism for formulating species action plans
21. Formulate action plans for species that require immediate conservation actions
22. Review and strengthen existing species action plans.
23. Build up capacity for the management of  invasive alien species (IAS)
24. Enhance the monitoring, management and control plans for target IAS
25. Conduct education programmes to raise awareness and to discourage release of alien species to the wild
26. Continue to control the environmental release of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), monitor the development of related technology and expand screening programme
Area 2 – Mainstreaming biodiversity
27. Update the Sustainability Assessment system, to better integrate biodiversity considerations in major policies and plans of the Government
28. Integrate biodiversity considerations in the territorial development strategy
29. Update and amend Chapter 10 of  Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) by incorporating relevant guidelines on biodiversity considerations
30. Enhance the practices in addressing ecological impacts of projects through Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process.
31. Formulate an urban forestry strategy that contributes to a sustainable urban landscape, and promote the appreciation of urban biodiversity
32. Promote diversification of soft landscapes and optimise use of native species for enriching urban biodiversity
33. Promote the concept of Place Ecology in urban landscape designs.
34. Promote knowledge building and sharing among the public and private sectors in the latest landscape concepts, designs and technologies that contribute to a sustainable urban ecosystem
35. Explore opportunities to enhance the value of urban parks for biodiversity conservation and education
36. Adopt the concept of revitalising water bodies in large-scale drainage improvement works and planning drainage networks for New Development Areas (NDAs)
37. Designate and manage Fisheries Protection Area(s) to protect important fish spawning and nursery grounds.
38. Continue to conduct fisheries monitoring programme in Hong Kong waters.
39. Provide funding support to encourage local fishing community to adopt sustainable fisheries operations
40. Conduct study on measures to prevent cormorant predation on commercial pond fish in Deep Bay area.
41. Promote the Modernisation and sustainable development of local

agriculture as an integral part of New Agriculture Policy (NAP)

Area 3 – Improving knowledge
42. Enhance territory-wide biodiversity surveys on major groups of terrestrial and freshwater species
43. Conduct baseline and long-term surveys of priority marine habitats and species
44. Compile a list of threatened species for Hong Kong to guide conservation actions.
45. Compile relevant information on marine habitats to guide conservation of marine habitats
46. Review and develop a standardised classification of habitat types in Hong Kong, and prepare a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based habitat map
47. Develop a web-based information hub to provide a one-stop shop for information on local biodiversity
48. Develop a GIS-based platform to facilitate sharing of data among different groups of users
49. Commission a study on the ecosystem services provided by major habitat types in Hong Kong.
50. Encourage research on traditional knowledge relevant to conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
51. Encourage the wise use of natural resources using traditional knowledge, especially through the Management Agreement scheme.
52. Conduct studies that would directly and significantly contribute to the conservation of biodiversity
53. Encourage research to fill key information gaps on local biodiversity, through funding support by the Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF)
54. Support research on sustainable agriculture and fisheries practices and management.
Area 4 – Promoting community involvement
55. Review and enhance education activities that promote biodiversity, being conducted by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD)
56. Promote awareness and community involvement through citizen science monitoring programmes
57. Organise annual festivals to provide a platform for engaging partners and relevant stakeholders in promoting biodiversity to the public.
58. Conduct a survey on knowledge and attitudes towards biodiversity in Hong Kong.
59. Encourage partnership between Government and business sector in biodiversity conservation
60. Encourage programmes to promote biodiversity education and community involvement, through funding support by ECF
61. Incorporate the concept of biodiversity in the school curriculum
62. Engage NGOs to provide capacity building for teachers on biodiversity
63. Enhance the resources for early childhood education on nature conservation
64. Conduct public engagement and explore relevant measures on promotion of sustainable consumption of biological resources.
65. Open and maintain a permanent exhibition on biodiversity in the Hong Kong Science Museum
66. Support the establishment of biodiversity centres
67. Explore the opportunity for setting up a natural history museum in the long term

The preparation of the city-level BSAP was initiated in 2013. A three-month public consultation in relation to the BSAP was carried out from 8 January to 7 April 2016.  The Hong Kong BSAP 2016-2021 is now available on the website of AFCD at <www.afcd.gov.hk/english/conservation/Con_hkbsap/files/BSAPblueprint_EngWeb16_12.pdf>.

About the Biodiversity Convention

The Biodiversity Convention is an international treaty being endorsed by 196 parties1 to promote conservation of the biological diversity – also known as biodiversity – on Earth, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity, and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

Biodiversity is about more than genetic variations and differences among species and ecosystems on Earth. It underpins the functioning of and boosts the productivity of the ecosystems which provides for, among others, food security, health of life, as well as the provision of clean air and water.

1 As at 30 December 2016, www.cbd.int/information/parties.shtml