Status and prospects of environmental protection in Hong Kong

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Environmental protection in Hong Kong traditionally has been neglected by the government and private sector, with citizens showing little interest. The overwhelming pre-occupation with economic growth and a plethora of pressing social needs are often cited as the main excuses for past apathy. Since the late 1970s, the government has taken positive steps to establish administrative structures and statutes to arrest environmental decline. Legislative processes, however, have often been delayed and the effectiveness of the laws trimmed by the strong industrial lobby. The erratic developments in the 1980s nevertheless allowed the enactment of four dedicated environmental laws and a complement of ancillary control measures. The current status of the environment in the fields of water, waste, air and noise has been assessed to highlight the pertinent maladies and shortcomings. The 1989 White Paper provided a clear package of official policies and programmes to correct past ills in a ten-year comprehensive plan. The ameliorative measures, both present and projected, are evaluated for their effectiveness and prospects. Some issues that deserve more attention and improvements are suggested. Copyright © 1992 Science and Technology Letters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-46
JournalThe Environmentalist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1992


Jim, C. Y. (1992). Status and prospects of environmental protection in Hong Kong. Environmentalist, 12(1), 29–46. doi: 10.1007/BF01267593


  • Economic growth
  • Environmental management
  • Environmental protection
  • Private sector
  • Nature conservation


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