Meet the members: CIWEM Hong Kong branch

CIWEM’s first Asia-based branch celebrates a landmark this year, writes CF Leung

The CIWEM Hong Kong branch was established in 1987 – which means we celebrate our 35th anniversary this year. Ours was the first CIWEM branch in Asia and we believe that differences in economy, climate and culture give the Hong Kong branch its own, distinct character within the global CIWEM family.

Hong Kong’s rapid development, high population density and small geographic area present great challenges for managing water resources and the natural environment.

CIWEM HK provides professional, independent advice to the public and government on matters relating to water, environmental management and sustainable development. Our members are renowned environmental professionals from major consultant firms, government departments, contractors and engineering solutions providers.

To mark this year’s anniversary we are holding a series of events to celebrate and bring local members closer together, including our Meet the Honorary Fellow series. CIWEM awards honorary fellowships to reward professionals for making an incredible contribution to shape the water and environment profession. The series offers our young members the opportunity to talk to and learn from renowned professionals, who will share their valuable experiences.

Meanwhile we would like to introduce you to the Hong Kong branch committee:

Branch chair CF Leung

I’m a practising environmental engineer, working to spearhead sustainability advisory services in Hong Kong’s Business Environment Council. I specialise in green building design, circular-economy advisory services and enhancing small and medium-sized enterprises’ ESG performance. I joined the CIWEM HK committee in 2011 and was honoured to be elected branch chair in 2019.

What are the greatest opportunities and challenges that face CIWEM Hong Kong?

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam announced in the 2020 policy address that our Special Administrative Region would strive to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050. Most of Hong Kong’s carbon footprint comes from buildings’ electricity consumption, followed by transport and waste generation. The whole Hong Kong community must participate to achieve this challenging target.

But it requires professionals advice and knowledge to transform Hong Kong into a low-carbon economy and city. As for opportunities, plans to build New Development Areas in Hong Kong create golden career prospects for the younger generation. CIWEM HK will continue to work with all the different stakeholders to achieve both goals.

Senior vice-chair HH Cheng

I’m a professional mechanical and environmental engineer working on design, supply and construction of sewage-pumping stations, sewage-treatment works, water-treatment works and combined heat and power-generation systems using biogas. Having joined CIWEM in 2016, I’ve been active in CIWEM HK since 2019.

What are the greatest opportunities and challenges that face CIWEM Hong Kong?

The Hong Kong government has proposed several new water and wastewater-treatment projects in coming years. These will open plenty of new opportunities for engineers working in these fields. CIWEM HK offers a platform for these engineers to develop their careers and to become professional water specialists.

Past chair Norman Cheng

I’ve worked in the environmental-management industry for more than 20 years, specialising in water, sewage and waste management. Now I’m business-development director of Veolia Environmental Services Hong Kong, leading its strategic business development in the water, waste, and energy sectors. I’m extremely active in professional circles having served on the CIWEM HK committee since 2004 and as its chair in 2008-2010.

What are the greatest opportunities and challenges that face CIWEM Hong Kong?

Hong Kong lacks specialist water and environmental skills; only a handful of institutions offer professional qualifications in environmental management. That makes it difficult to attract new environmentalists. CIWEM can take advantage of this, highlighting its professional status and qualifications, which are recognised internationally. The Hong Kong government has just issued its Climate-Action Plan 2050, to reduce future carbon emissions. The plan opens ample opportunities for environmental careers.

A challenge remains CIWEM membership fees, which are high for Hong Kong-based practitioners – local institutions’ membership fees are half the price. Hong Kong people are very practical. Local bodies recognise their qualifications and CIWEM’s services may apply less to them. That can make it difficult to justify CIWEM’s higher membership fees.

Past chair PK Lee

I’m an engineer and specialise in planning, design and construction supervision of infrastructure projects including new towns, transport, drainage, flood control and water supply. I joined CIWEM as a member in 1995 and became a Fellow in January 2007. I was chair of CIWEM HK branch in 2012-2014.

What are the greatest opportunities and challenges that face CIWEM Hong Kong?

Hong Kong faces a crisis over its shortage of land for new housing and economic development. The government is launching different schemes to obtain land for these. CIWEM Hong Kong will continue to advise on these, working with government and stakeholders to increase access to land for development without adverse effects on the environment.

Past chair Samuel Kwong

I’m an engineer by training with more than 25 years’ experience in sustainability management, most of it with multinational conglomerates covering beverages, aviation, hospitality, estate management, retail, shipping and infrastructure development. I was chair of CIWEM Hong Kong branch from 2014-2016. I’ve been a branch committee member since 2010 and a CIWEM member since 2000.

What are the greatest opportunities and challenges that face CIWEM Hong Kong?

The greatest challenge/opportunity for Hong Kong is to achieve carbon neutrality while maintaining high growth as an international hub and a bridge to mainland China, especially in the Greater Bay area. CIWEM Hong Kong provides unique technical support, structured professional development and a qualifications programme to nurture the environmental and sustainability experts who will be critical to help Hong Kong to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.

Past chair Alfred CK Lee

I’m a chartered waterworks chemist at the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s water supplies department. I have extensive experience in formulating water treatment and water-quality monitoring policies. I was chair of the branch in 2016-2018.

What are the greatest opportunities and challenges that face CIWEM Hong Kong?

The government has mapped out its water-safety plan under the Water Supplies Department’s Drinking Water Quality Management System, to ensure a safe, clean and reliable drinking-water supply for Hong Kong.

CIWEM executive and CIWEM HK established a historic partnership with government, offering advice on securing water supply, including water-network management and other matters that shape Hong Kong’s water supply and quality. Offering the best advice on this level is imperative, as the public has growing expectations for water access and quality in Hong Kong.

CF Leung is chair for 2021-2022 of CIWEM Hong Kong branch

Find out more:



As membership-services officer I am the first contact for our members via email and phone. I also help to process applications and produce welcome packs and certificates for our new members. I am here to keep everything running smoothly for our members and within the membership team.


I was born and brought up in the German countryside but left for the UK in 2015 after finishing school. The trip I had planned as a gap year turned into a new home.

My degree in environmental studies increased my passion for the environment so I gave my time to The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and London Wildlife Trust and joined a conservation project in Tanzania. Having previously worked in different customer-service roles, I’m excited to combine that experience with my interest in the environment in my new role at CIWEM.


My parents are such a great team; they are so open minded and focus on what makes them happy. They have always been so supportive in what I wanted to do, which motivates me every day working towards my goals.


I love the fact that CIWEM is there to support anyone interested in the water and environmental sector. It doesn’t matter what background you have. Also the people are great; everyone has been so welcoming and supportive. I can’t wait to see what is yet to come and look forward to learning from the rest of the team.


Going on long walks with my dog, cooking and baking and meeting friends.

Connect with me on LinkedIn at:

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