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Chp 67, Sustainable development policy – Forty years champion for the environment

Sustainable development policy

In 1995, CA began advocating the concept of a “Sustainable Development Bill” – a message which keeps recurring in subsequent advocacy messages.

CA continued to be engaged in the policy formulation on sustainable development, through involvement in the “Sustainable Development for the 21st Century (Susdev21)” study announced by the government in 1996 and begun in 1997.

A response to the outline study brief for Susdev21 in October 1996 under the name of CA General Secretary Lister Cheung advocated an integrated approach with Awareness, Support, Involvement and Action (“ASIA”) as key elements, and community building as a central theme.

In June 1998, responding to the public consultation on Susdev21, CA warned of the danger of the study losing its focus and instead degenerating into “an attempt to formulate and promote an ill-defined concept of ‘comprehensive development’ for Hong Kong”. In 2000, while continuing to react to the Susdev21 consultation, CA began to make “Sustainable development” the title theme its policy address submission. In its 2000 recommendations, CA reinforced its support for the establishment of a Sustainable Development Council and suggested that the Council should be given two mandates, namely

  • the formulation of a Sustainable Development Strategy and the overseeing of its implementation, and
  • the preparation and advocacy of a Sustainable Development Bill (CA response to Susdev21 second-stage consultation, January 2000)

When the report of the Susdev21 study was published, CA expressed disappointment in April 2001 at the failure of the report “to provide adequate insight for the community on how we achieve sustainable development”, and cast doubts on the usefulness of the Computer Aided Sustainability Evaluation Tool (CASET) model developed from the study.

CA then began a year-long preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. After leading the biggest NGO delegation from Hong Kong to the World Summit, CA made another elaborate submission ahead of the Chief Executive’s Policy Address, entitled “Asia’s World City and a Model of Sustainable Development – Hong Kong Can Do It!”, putting forward recommendations on Local Agenda 21, partnership and participation, governance and institutional structure, resources conservation, and international obligations. It was also in that Policy Address submission that CA floated the idea of forming a People’s Council for Sustainable Development. Accordingly, CA took an active role in the preparatory work for the PCSD, providing the secretariat for the preparatory committee set up in January 2003. The PCSD came into being in September 2003 with former CA Chairman Albert Lai as its first Chairman.

Meantime, the government’s Council for Sustainable Development was established formally in March 2003. CA participated actively as a collaborator organization in the public engagement exercises launched by the Council.

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June 13, 2015 - Posted by | Dr WK Chan book

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