Sunday, July 28, 2013

Events: Environment and Climate Change Forum Series―Climate Change: A Global Challenge and Its Latest Situation organized by CUHK on 21 Aug 2013


Environment and Climate Change Forum Series―Climate Change: A Global Challenge and Its Latest Situation

Wednesday, 21 August 2013
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
LT-2, Ground Floor, Esther Lee Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Keynote Speakers:

Mr SHUN Chi-ming, JP, Director, Hong Kong Observatory
Dr Eddy Wai-choi LEE, Science Writer and Member of the Science Museum Advisory Panel

Professor Emily Ying-yang CHAN, Director of the Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (CCOUC), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and WWF Climate Witness
Forum Chair:
Professor Derrick Yuk-fo LAI, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
register long
Rising environmental awareness, together with the proactive policies implemented by the government, has inspired the community to advocate for environmental protection. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), experts from academia, and the green industry all play an important role in leading the development in environmental work. Their comments, suggestions and recommendations assist the government to formulate relevant, effective environmental policies.
In order to draw on collective wisdom and to encourage active public participation in pro-environment activities, CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia organizes the “Environment and Climate Change Forum Series” with funding support of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. Experts and practitioners from different fields and the public are involved to confer on the best ways to deal with environmental challenges and impacts of climate change.
 The upcoming forum, “Climate Change: A Global Challenge and Its Latest Situation”, is also a side event of the “6th International Conference on Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Change” held between 19 and 21 August 2013. Open to public, the forum aims to reach out the wider community on the topic of climate change―the most daunting challenge facing the 21st century.
 At this forum, Mr SHUN Chi-ming will share views on climate change as a global challenge and its current situation. Dr Eddy Wai-choi LEE and Professor Emily Ying-yang CHAN will respond and comment. In addition, there will be a Question and Answer Session for participants to raise questions or comments.
Conducted in Cantonese. Free admission. To participate, please register at First-come, first-served.
Enquiries: 3943-3972

1st Forum -Poster (20130718 JPEG)
For more information:

長春社: 廚餘酵素工作坊 (3 Aug 2013)

日期:2013 年8 月3 日(六)
時間:下午 - 下午
地點:長春社活動室 (香港九龍青山道476號百佳商業中心1樓102室)
(長春社會員將可以優惠價港幣HK$55 參加,請於報名表格填寫會員編號)

查詢電話:2728 6781 (蕭小姐 鄧先生聯絡電郵

For more information:

HK's Updates: Country park enclaves of Tai Long Sai Wan, Kam Shan and Yuen Tun to be incorporated into country parks (17 Jul 2013)

Press Releases

Country park enclaves of Tai Long Sai Wan, Kam Shan and Yuen Tun to be incorporated into country parks


     For the purpose of incorporating the country park enclaves of Tai Long Sai Wan (Sai Wan), Kam Shan and Yuen Tun into their respective country parks, upon the depositing of the approved maps of Sai Kung East Country Park, Kam Shan Country Park and Tai Lam Country Park in the Land Registry, a designation order shall be made under the Country Parks Ordinance (Cap 208).

     A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (July 17) that the incorporation of these enclaves into their respective country parks would improve the management of the sites, enhance their overall conservation and landscape value, and increase their amenities for public enjoyment.

     Unauthorised excavation works were detected on both private land and government land of the country park enclave of Sai Wan in 2010, which triggered increasing public concern over the protection of country park enclaves. To follow up on the incident, the Government undertook to either include the enclaves in country parks, or to determine their proper uses through statutory planning to meet conservation and social development needs.

     After an assessment based on the principles and criteria for designating country parks, the first batch of three country park enclaves at Sai Wan, Kam Shan and Yuen Tun were identified to be better protected by inclusion into country parks. With the support from the Country and Marine Parks Board (CMPB) on the assessments with regard to the incorporation of the three country park enclaves into country parks, the Country and Marine Parks Authority initiated the statutory procedures under the Country Parks Ordinance and prepared the draft maps of the three country parks. The draft maps were made available for public inspection for a period of 60 days from October 26 to December 24, 2012.

     During the period of public inspection, the Authority received nine objections against the draft map of Sai Kung East Country Park and one against the draft map of Tai Lam Country Park but none against the draft map of Kam Shan Country Park. Apart from receiving the objections, the Authority also received more than 3 200 emails supporting the incorporation of Sai Wan into Sai Kung East Country Park and individual emails supporting the incorporation of the remaining two enclaves into the respective country parks.

     The hearing of objections to the draft maps by the CMPB took place on February 7 and 8 this year. After careful deliberation of all written objections, the opinions of those attending the hearing, the respective representations of the Authority and the Authority's comments at the hearing, the Board unanimously rejected all objections to the two draft maps. The Chief Executive in Council approved the three draft maps on May 7. The new approved maps were deposited in the Land Registry on May 16.

     The designation order in respect of the new approved maps of Sai Kung East Country Park, Kam Shan Country Park and Tai Lam Country Park will be gazetted on October 11 and will be tabled at the Legislative Council on October 16 for negative vetting procedures. It is expected that it will commence on December 30 so as to allow enough time for the Legislative Council to study the designation order.

Ends/Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:00


Chinese Updates: China Resorts to Judicial Protection in Green Push (22 Jul 2013)

China Resorts to Judicial Protection in 
Green Push


By putting an eco-court, an eco-procuratorial bureau and an eco-public security branch into operation earlier this year, Guiyang, capital city of an underdeveloped inland province, is leading China in building a justice system that involves all three arms of judicial forces to promote ecological progress.

Serious pollution in the city led to the establishment of an environmental court in Guiyang at the end of 2007, the first court of its kind in the country. Today, China has more than 130 environmental courts nationwide, as pollution has become a more prominent issue that needs tackled.

"Setting up specialized ecological courts could break the limitations of administrative areas and reduce interference from various parties," said Luo Guangqian, the environmental court's presiding judge.

In the past five years, the court had concluded 619 environmental cases involving water, land and air pollution, punishing 477 polluters. Among them were 13 major public interest environmental litigation cases, which account for half of such cases nationwide.

"For a long time, China has mainly relied on administrative measures to manage and supervise environmental affairs and curb pollution," said national legislator Wang Qingxi, noting that judicial forces have been playing a relatively minor role in environmental protection.

The results proved unsatisfactory, as China has faced worsening pollution problems in its air, soil and water and the public has become less tolerant of environmental hazards.

Apart from innovative local measures, judicial forces, responding to public calls to play bigger role, are also gaining momentum in ecological protection at the national level.

Last month, the country's supreme court and procuratorate jointly issued a new judicial explanation aimed at easing difficulties in investigating environmental pollution cases and convicting polluters by setting down more precise criteria for convictions and sentencing.

In addition, the draft amendment to the environmental protection law, tabled for a second reading last month at the country's top legislature, adopts harsher punishments for polluters and highlights the public's right to know and participate.

The bill also introduces public interest litigation by authorizing the All-China Environment Federation and its provincial branches to initiate lawsuits against polluters on behalf of the public.

Wang Jin, director of the Resource, Energy and Environmental Institute under Peking University, said, "Specifying an organization as a public litigation subject may be defective, but the draft gives a direction for future development for other public interest groups."

Public interest litigation in environmental law is now well accepted in many developed and developing countries, said Ben Boer, professor emeritus at the University of Sydney and a professor with the Research Institute of Environmental Law under Wuhan University.

"There must be a legal mechanism for the public to bring legal action in court in the interests of the public," because large numbers of people are affected by pollution and other environmental impacts and government agencies cannot always deal with all aspects of environmental degradation, he said.
Some organizations in China, such as the All-China Environment Federation (ACEF) and Friends of Nature, have already brought public interest litigation.

The ACEF has filed 14 public interest lawsuits on environment-related issues since 2009.

As environmental courts in China are still fairly young, they have their problems to work through, such as securing adequate resources, overcoming difficulties in ensuring that their jurisdiction is broad enough and accessing appropriate expertise -- issues an Australian judge described as "growing pains."

Michael Rackemann, a judge with the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland, visited China's first environmental court in Guiyang earlier this week.

"There's more to having an environmental court than just creating one," Rackemann said. The courts must be given sufficient jurisdiction, and it's very important for the judges on those courts to develop an understanding of issues and become environmentally literate, which can be achieved through experience and judicial training, according to Rackemann.

Zhan Simin, vice president of Guangzhou Maritime Court, said high costs in obtaining evidence have reduced the number of environmental lawsuits.

In one of the court's cases, it cost 250,000 yuan (about 40,743 U.S. dollars) to get evidence, but the polluter, a local garment factory, was only ordered to give compensation of 170,000 yuan, according to Zhan.

Sun Youhai, director of the China Institute of Applied Jurisprudence of the Supreme People's Court of China, said that although there are many environmental disputes in the country, only a few were taken to court because of the high threshold for filing lawsuits and difficulty in obtaining evidence.

"There is still great room for China to enhance its environmental judicial system and legislation, despite progresses already made," Sun said.

Chinese Updates: China in Action to Ensure Safety of Drinking Water (22 Jul 2013)

China in Action to Ensure Safety of Drinking Water


The Chinese government will enhance monitoring of drinking water sources, control poisonous contaminants and step up early warning mechanisms to ensure drinking water safety, an environmental official told an ecological forum that concluded on Sunday.

Ling Jiang, deputy director of the pollution prevention department under the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said that although 95.3 percent of the monitored drinking water sources in 113 major cities across China met national standards last year, people should not be too optimistic about the situation.

China has no special national standards to monitor drinking water sources, according to Ling.

The figures were obtained from 387 drinking water sources in the 113 cities and by testing only about 20 indicators based on surface water standards. "Some harmful and poisonous contaminants for drinking water were not included," he said.

"We can not conclude that the water sources are of good quality only because these routine indicators meet the criteria," Ling said.

Aside from setting down national standards, the ministry plans to expand monitoring points and include more indicators in the future, according to Ling.

The ministry also plans to take measures to get a more clear view of the quantity and quality of the country's underground water and set up a sound pollution prevention mechanism for underground water within five years, he said.

Ling said the government aims to enhance control of poisonous contaminants from sources of pollution, especially the chemical industry, which has seriously threatened drinking water sources.

"It, however, will be extremely difficult for the government to trace and monitor chemical products from production, transportation to usage," he said.

Last month, the country's supreme court and procuratorate jointly issued a new judicial explanation aimed at easing difficulties in investigating environmental pollution cases and convicting polluters.

Discharging, dumping or treating radioactive waste or waste containing infectious disease pathogens or toxic substances into sources of drinking water and nature reserves will be considered crimes of polluting the environment, according to the document.

"Compared with administrative punishment, the judicial document will increase the costs of environmental pollution, which was previously believed to have been too low to curb polluting activities," Ling said.

The outlook on the quality of China's water sources is "far from optimistic," according to a report released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection last month.

The quality of underground water in 57.3 percent of the 4,929 monitoring points in 198 cities around the country is "relatively poor" or "extremely poor." In addition, the resources in about 30 percent of water monitoring points in major rivers was of poor quality, according to the country's surface water standards.
Environmental pollution scares have popped up across China in recent years.

In March, thousands of pig carcasses were discovered in the Huangpu River, which provides 22 percent of Shanghai's tap water. The incident raised significant concerns, despite local authorities' attempts to reassure local residents about the safety of the water.

Liu Changming, a hydro-engineer and academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said Chinese cities are facing an imbalance in water supply and demand, expanding pollution and excessive use of underground water after about three decades of urbanization.

The government should intensify management and control of water, remedy nonpoint source pollution, allocate water supplies in a more scientific and rational way, and selectively develop water supply sources, he said.

Chinese Updates: Tougher plan to reduce air pollution (25 Jul 2013)

Clean Air Initiative

Tougher plan to reduce air pollution

China's environment watchdog recently issued its most comprehensive and toughest plan to control and in some regions reduce air pollution by the year 2017, setting stricter limits on the levels of PM 2.5 particles.
Zhao Hualin, head of the pollution prevention and control department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said on Wednesday that the State Council approved the plan last month.
The Airborne Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (2013-17) will be the second plan to tackle pollution in the past two years and will be backed by 1,700 billion yuan ($277 billion) in total investments from the central government.
Zhao announced the State Council's approval during this week's 13th China International Environmental Protection Exhibition and Conference in Beijing.
Wang Jinnan, vice-president of the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning, who participated in drafting the plan, said the new program will give priority to regions that have heavy air pollution and high levels of PM 2.5 — particulate matter that is 2.5 microns or less in diameter and that harms the respiratory system more than larger particles.
The new plan specifically targets North China, particularly Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province. The plan's goal by 2017 is for a 25 percent reduction in air emissions from 2012 levels in that region.
Zhao said more details will be released in late July at the earliest.
"The Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province area is the most stringently targeted because airborne pollution is most serious in this area," Wang said during the Eco-Forum Global Annual Conference on Saturday in Guiyang, Guizhou province.
A previous prevention plan on airborne pollution in 13 key areas of China was released in late 2012. Chai Fahe, vice-president of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, which is affiliated with China's Ministry of Environmental Protection, said the nation's top leaders realized that a tougher approach against air pollution was needed after releasing the plan in 2012.
Zhao said the latest plan is one of three key action plans that will be released over the next five years. The plans will address airborne pollution prevention, water pollution control and improvements to the rural environment.
Wang said that although eliminating outmoded methods of industrial production may have negative effects on local economies, the plan will boost the green industry. He said the plan will also create GDP growth of about 2,500 billion yuan.
Zhao, of the environment ministry, said officials from the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region have already had several joint meetings regarding regional air pollution prevention.
"The detailed cooperation plan is still under discussion," he said. "Basic rules, such as unified law enforcement, monitoring and the release of data, are sure to be included," Zhao said.
Many cities have already announced their updated targets to control PM 2.5.
The target for Beijing is keeping the concentration of PM 2.5 at around 60 micrograms per cubic meter by 2017, a level about 25 percent lower than 2012 levels, said Zhang Gong, deputy mayor of Beijing, Beijing News reported last week.
Officials from Shanghai and Tianjin have vowed that by 2017 their PM 2.5 levels will be reduced by 20 percent compared with 2012 levels. Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei, has promised to reduce emissions by 30 percent from 2012 levels.
"The thick smog and haze that covered large areas of the country in January has focused public attention on this issue," Zhao said.
He said that apart from sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are widely known as major air pollutants, volatile organic compounds are more harmful and deserve more attention.
They are mainly generated in the petrochemical industry and the auto coating industry, Zhao said.
"The central government is thinking about promoting a volatile organic compounds emission control project in the 13 most polluted areas," said Hao Zhengping, head of the exhaust gas purification committee of the China Association of Environmental Protection Industry.

Events: Clean Air Ride-Manila organized by Clean Air Asia 28-29 Nov 2013

Clean Air Initiative

Clean Air Ride-Manila

28-29 Nov 2013
The Clean Air Drive-Manila project promotes the use of non-motorized transportation options and alternative fuels to reduce emissions from vehicles. It provides an opportunity to present the concept of electric vehicles and alternative fuels in a public discussion forum.
The Nissan Global Company Limited and CO2 Green Drive of the Danish Cultural Institute have engaged Clean Air Asia and Partnership for Clean Air to implement the Clean Air Drive-Manila.
The Clean Air Ride-Manila will be integrated in the 3rd Electric Vehicle Summit at the Meralco Theater on 28-29 November 2013.
• Clean Air Ride Program: The Clean Air Ride (Clean Air Drive) program has been performed 26 times in 22 cities on 5 continents using alternative fuel powered transportation solutions such as Brushes, smart phone GPS technology as Paint and cities as Canvases.
•Communication materials (brochures) on:
o Air pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
o Contribution of transport sector to air pollution and GHG emissions
o Non motorized transportation
o Electric vehicles as alternative to conventional vehicles
•Public forum, with a panel discussion during the Clean Air Ride-Manila. Five panelists will be invited representing:
o Private sector (Nissan and possibly 1 more)
o Government
o Academic expert
o Development agency
Supported By: Nissan Global Company Limited
Partners Partnership for Clean Air (PCA) and CO2 Green Drive
For Inquiries: Mylene G. Cayetano,

For more information:

Conference: 4th Diesel Emissions Conference India organized by Integer from 8th to 10 Oct 2013

Clean Air Initiative

4th Diesel Emissions Conference India

8 to 10 October 2013
Integer’s 4th Diesel Emissions Conference India will provide a fundamental insight into India's current and future diesel emissions control legislation for both the commercial vehicle and non-road industries, including the impending CPCB-II regulation for diesel generator set engines, to ultimately improve air quality across the country.
The conference will examine cost-effective legislation compliant diesel emissions reduction technologies, the progress being made in improving the supply and distribution of lower-sulphur diesel fuel and the results of research into compressed natural gas (CNG) and hybrid technologies.
Expert speakers, fantastic networking opportunities and cutting edge topics including diesel fuel supply and quality, emission control technologies and alternative fuels make this the region's leading event.
10% discount for all Clean Air Asia members – register via email at quoting reference ‘CAA10’.
For further conference information and the full programme visit

Publications: UNFCCC Releases Annex I GHG Inventory Documents on 15 Jul 2013

UNFCCC Releases Annex I GHG Inventory Documents

UNFCCC15 July 2013: The UNFCCC Secretariat has published the review of the individual annual submission of Portugal and the Czech Republic, as well as a synthesis report on 2013 greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories.

In the report of Portugal's Individual Annual Submission Review (FCCC/ARR/2012/PRT), the Expert Review Team (ERT) concludes that Portugal's inventory submission has generally been prepared and reported in accordance with the UNFCCC reporting guidelines. It also finds that the party's National Inventory Report (NIR) is complete in terms of geographical coverage, years and sectors, but requires some additional information on GHG emissions for a few categories. The ERT also provides cross-cutting and sector-specific recommendations for improvement.

In the report of the Czech Republic's Individual Annual Submission Review (FCCC/ARR/2012/CZE), the ERT concludes that the party's inventory submission has been prepared and reported in accordance with the UNFCCC reporting guidelines and is generally complete. It also considers that the common reporting format (CRF) tables and the NIR are generally complete, noting that a lack of resources continues to affect the accuracy and continuous improvement of the quality of the inventory. The ERT commends the Czech Republic for the improvements in its reporting and provides a number of cross-cutting and sector-specific recommendations for further improvement.

The synthesis and assessment report on the 2013 GHG Inventories (FCCC/WEB/SAI/2013) intends to facilitate the consideration of inventory data across Annex I Parties, and to identify issues for further consideration during the reviews of individual inventories. It contains GHG inventory information compiled in tabular format and provides comparisons of implied emission factors (IEFs) and activity data (AD). [Publication: Report of Portugal's Individual Annual Submission Review] [Publication: Report of Czech Republic's Individual Annual Submission Review] [Publication: Synthesis and Assessment Report of 2013 GHG Inventories]

For more information: 

Call for proposals: NAMA Facility Issues First Call for Project Proposals (Deadline: 2 Sep 2013)

NAMA Facility Issues First Call for Project Proposals

Energy and Climate Germany

18 July 2013: The NAMA Facility, an initiative supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) of the UK, has launched its first call for project proposals with the aim of fostering implementation of developing countries' nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs).

The objective of the call is to provide funding for NAMA implementation in developing countries and incentivize leadership in climate change through ambitious and concrete actions. To be considered for the first open call, developing countries' governments or delivery organizations must submit NAMA projects by 2 September 2013.

The initial funding contributed by the UK and Germany is Euro 70 million. The selection process of projects will consist of a two-stage assessment. [NAMA Facility Open Call] [Background Information on the NAMA Facility and the Selection Process] [IISD RS Story on the Launch of the NAMA Facility]

For more information: 

Chinese Updates: US, China Agree on Climate Change Mitigation Actions (10 Jul 2013)

US, China Agree on Climate Change Mitigation Actions

US Department of State10 July 2013: The US and China agreed to five new action initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution, focusing on: emission reductions from heavy-duty and other vehicles; smart grids; carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS); the collection and management of GHG emissions data; and energy efficiency in buildings and industry.

A joint US-China working group on climate change defined the actions and will develop the implementation plans for the initiatives. The working group was constituted as a result of a joint statement on climate change issued on April 2013, where both countries noted "the overwhelming scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate change and its worsening impacts," and recognized that nationally appropriate action by both countries is "more critical than ever." The establishment of the joint working group aimed at advancing ways in cooperation on technology, research, conservation and alternative and renewable energy.

In particular, the working group is expected to develop, by October 2013, implementation plans for the selected initiatives in collaboration with the private sector and non-governmental stakeholders. One of the initiatives addresses the reduction of emissions from heavy-duty and other vehicles, comprising the deployment of comprehensive policies for efficiency standards, cleaner fuels and emissions control technologies. Other actions will aim at increasing CCUS to address emissions from coal combustion, as well as enhancing energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transport.

Furthermore, joint efforts will also consider improving GHG data collection and management by fostering capacity building, and promoting the development of modern "smart" grid systems, as well as alternative and renewable energy. [US Department of State US-China Climate Change Working Group Fact Sheet] [Joint US and China Statement on Climate Change] [Report of the US-China Climate Change Working Group]

For more information: 

Forests: Near real-time deforestation monitoring system to go global (25 Jul 2013) logo

Near real-time deforestation monitoring system to go global

Rhett A. Butler,
July 25, 2013

A near real-time deforestation monitoring system will soon cover all the world's tropical forests, report the researchers behind the initiative.

Terra-i — a collaborative project between Colombia's International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the Nature Conservancy (TNC), the School of Business and Engineering (HEIG-VD) in Switzerland, and King’s College London — has been testing its system in tropical Asia, extending its reach beyond its stronghold in Central and South America. Terra-i uses data from NASA's satellite-based MODIS sensors to assess changes in forest cover at a 250-meter resolution every 16 days. The system is similar to the near real-time deforestation tracking system used in Brazil by the government and Imazon, a local NGO.

"We can now provide near real time data on land cover change in Latin America and we expect to be producing pan-tropical results over the next few months," Louis Reymondin, a researcher at CIAT, told "Since this is the first continental scale system on operation and the first to work outside of the Brazilian Amazon, this allows a similar level of reporting and understanding of land cover change for other countries as Brazil has had in place for some time."

The system detects deforestation based on changes in "greenness" in natural vegetation. It normalizes seasonal vegetation response to rainfall to reduce false positives. The data is then mapped and made available for download For Latin America, data is available at the national level and by protected area, ecosystem, and state or municipality.

Deforestation in Borneo 2004-2012, according to Terra-i

Reymondin says Terra-i has applications beyond serving as a deforestation alert system.

"Terra-i has a range of applications, such as: monitoring the effectiveness of conservation; assessing the impact on the environment of the construction of new infrastructure like roads; assessing the contribution of deforestation to climate change and understanding the likely impacts of deforestation on downstream and downhill populations."

Terra-i isn't the only near real-time deforestation alert system under development. The World Resources Institute (WRI) is putting the final touches on Global Forest Watch, a tool that will also track deforestation on a bi-weekly basis, while offering layers like plantation concession maps as well as providing a mechanism for users to share photos and reports from the field.


Friday, July 26, 2013

PEGAsia Monthly Update – July 2013

PEGAsia Monthly Update - July 2013

I. Regional/Local Updates



South Korea



The Philippines




Hong Kong


II. Books and Publications


Other Publication

III. Events and Conferences

Recent Events

Forthcoming events:


IV. Useful websites

Please visit: