As the only CIWEM Branch in Asia, differences in economy,
climate and culture make the Hong Kong Branch quite unique when
compared to other CIWEM Branches across northern Europe. Hong
Kong's rapid rate of development combined with a high population
density in a relatively small area of readily developable land,
present quite different challenges to professionals engaged in
managing water resources and the natural environment.
The intensively developed urban environment raises a range of
issues for Hong Kong's environmental scientists and engineers
including those associated with air quality, noise, water quality,
waste management and disposal, energy; and nature conservation.
Despite the pressures put upon it, Hong Kong enjoys a wealth of
scenic natural countryside. Surprisingly, over 40% of the total
land area is designated as Country Park to protect important
wildlife habitats. Hong Kong also boasts an internationally
protected wetland - Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site - which
includes 1500 ha of mangrove, mudflat and fishponds, protected due
to their importance to a number of bird species including the
internationally rare, Black-faced Spoonbill. These areas are
however in very close proximity to a city of seven million people
and the challenges of developing in a sustainable manner are
therefore extremely large.
Given its coastal location, the surrounding marine environment is
also of major importance to Hong Kong. As well as receiving waters
for waste water discharges, the marine environment has also been
impacted through dredging for marine fill and mud dumping to
facilitate its rapid infrastructure growth. These activities need
to be carefully managed to ensure protection of the water quality,
marine ecology and fisheries in the area.
The principal challenge for CIWEM members in Hong Kong is to
enhance, conserve and develop the environment in a sustainable
manner. The issues generated in such a contrasting and constricted
area as Hong Kong provide a great need for open debate and sharing
of knowledge and best practice. CIWEM Hong Kong Branch focuses on
the environmental issues that concern the people of the territory
and the surrounding provinces of southern China in the Pearl River
Delta and provides a forum for lively discussion and
The main function of the Hong Kong Branch is to organise a
programme of events at a local level on subjects relevant to its
branch membership. Most meetings start at five thirty with some
light refreshments and then a presentation, followed by questions
and debate. We normally finish by around seven thirty. Technical
visits to typical projects, research facilities, prominent
infrastructures, conservation site of scientific interests, etc.
are organized on Saturdays or public holidays. Thanks to
sponsorship from regional employers, there is no charge for the
evening technical meetings. Most technical visits are free of
charge for Members. However a minimal charge for covering
transportation expenses and meal may be imposed as and when
necessary. We normally arrange one major conference every two
years, a range of smaller workshops on topical issues, a graduate
student paper competition, and a social event in the
Full details of each technical meeting and visit are sent to
Branch members two to four weeks in advance. Visitors and guests
are welcome and committee members will be pleased to provide
information about how to join CIWEM.
We also collaborate with a number of other professional bodies and
organise joint events where appropriate.