WWF’s Recommendations for 2020/21 Policy Address
End the sale of high disease risk wildlife, including exotic pets, in open markets and online by 2023. We urge the government to end the sale of wildlife known to host serious diseases that can jump to humans, especially in markets where animals and people interact. This includes Hong Kong’s exotic pet trade markets that currently have limited regulation and monitoring.
Include wildlife crimes under Schedule 1 of the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance (OSCO), implement CITES rules and ensure enforcement. We urge the government to treat wildlife crime as a serious crime to further deter transnational criminal enterprises who use Hong Kong as a major transportation hub. WWF recommends government work with financial institutions and anti-money laundering enforcement to prosecute buyers and syndicates and to confiscate proceeds of crime.
Conserve all remaining wetlands in Hong Kong as a nature-based solution to build resilience against the impacts of climate change. We urge the government to include, in particular, the wetlands in the Greater Bay Area conservation plan as a nature-based solution for climate resilience, fisheries enhancement, storm mitigation, and biodiversity protection. The government must apply the no-net-loss policy to all of Hong Kong’s coastal wetlands and prevent conversion of wetlands and fishponds into infrastructure and other developments.
Secure the wetlands in the Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site as a climate adaptation strategy to sustain the Ramsar site and the integrity of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF). We urge the government to conserve and preserve the remaining wetlands, including fishponds, in the Mai Po conservation area and integrate them into a climate adaptation strategy. Conservation of the area’s fishponds including those under private ownership, should be an important part of a climate adaptation strategy and be eligible under the Countryside Conservation Funding Scheme to ensure we retain their ecological function and services.
Increase Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to cover 30% of Hong Kong waters by 2030, with no-take reserves as a foundation. As we approach the COP15, hosted by China, only 5% of Hong Kong’s waters are designated or planned to be established as MPAs by 2023; this is not enough to fulfil Hong Kong’s obligations to China and the international community.
We urge the government to commit a concrete, specific and timebound roadmap for increasing MPA coverage to cover 10% of Hong Kong waters by 2023 and 30% by 2030. The MPA network should consist of science-based, strict no-take reserves, fisheries management zones, dolphin conservation zones, community-based fisheries reserves, and other MPA designations.
Establishing a development-free Dolphin Conservation Management area in western and southern Lantau waters by 2024. We urge the government to implement core and buffer dolphin conservation zones in western and southern Lantau and establish a development-free Dolphin Conservation Management Area by 2024, to form part of an MPA network and secure the future of vulnerable marine hotspots, as outlined in our Emergency Action Plan. This includes management of vessel traffic activities, construction impacts, fishing impacts, and water and noise pollution.
Tackling waste issues to take plastics out of our oceans. We urge the government to ban single-use plastic tableware in the F&B industry and supermarkets by 2022 and implement effective recycling and extended producer responsibility schemes. Effective waste recycling systems should be a priority.
In addition, in line with WWF’s call to transform Hong Kong into a low-carbon society, preserve our environment and enhance the city’s liveability, we urge the government to encourage investment in climate resilient and energy efficient buildings management and accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles in Hong Kong.