The Country Parks Programme in Hong Kong was mooted in the 1960s and formally launched in 1976 to designate a series of high-quality, largely unsettled and hilly countryside areas covering in total about 40% of its land. After three decades, there is a need to evaluate the value, goal and operation levels to test whether the protected area (PA) system has been well managed and effective, and to provide a pointer for the future. This study evaluates five key management domains, namely: (1) legal basis; (2) resource support; (3) conservation objectives and goals; (4) recreation objectives; (5) education objectives. The outcome evaluation method is adopted, and the assessment period runs from 1976 to 2005. Both terrestrial and marine PA are studied, although the former is given more attention. The statutory foundation furnished at the inception of the PA programme has been the cornerstone for all subsequent work. The stable and sufficient resource support, which has never suffered from drastic curtailment, is crucial for initial implementation and continual maintenance and improvement. Most of the conservation objectives have been met, and the latest conservation policy basically verifies the original value when the PA was conceived. Some gaps in the conservation of habitats and species require private sector participation which calls for an innovative approach to encompass them under the greater conservation umbrella. Visitors are largely satisfied with the provision of recreational facilities, and the high visitation level at 12 million per annum indicates a sustained demand. Educational use has been fostered by field facilities, information and publications, in conjunction with public and especially student activities with an emphasis on participation and engagement. The precious legacy and fine institution could be sustained by continual improvement in management. Copyright © 2006 World Conservation Union (IUCN).
|Title of host publication||Sustainable management of protected areas for future generations|
|Editors||C. Y. JIM, Richard T. CORLETT|
|Place of Publication||Gland, Switzerland|
|Publisher||World Conservation Union (IUCN)|
|ISBN (Print)||9789882113367, 9882113362|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
CitationJim, C. Y., & Wong, F. Y. (2006). An evaluation of the country parks system in Hong Kong since its establishment in 1976. In C. Y. Jim & R. T. Corlett (Eds.), Sustainable management of protected areas for future generations (pp. 35-58). Gland, Switzerland: World Conservation Union (IUCN).
- Country park
- Nature conservation
- Management evaluation
- Protected area
- Recreational impact
- Hong Kong