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Published on : Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) announced on 22nd November that the management committees for the Marine Ecology Enhancement Fund (MEEF) and Fisheries Enhancement Fund (FEF) have been set up. Open invitations to apply for support from the two funds will start next month.
The MEEF and FEF are structured in accordance with the conditions of the Environmental Permit for the expansion of the Hong Kong International Airport into a Three-runway System (3RS). As part of the Environmental Impact Assessment study for the 3RS, the AA committed to formulating and implementing a Marine Ecology and Fisheries Enhancement Strategy to improve marine ecology in the vicinity of the 3RS project area, western Hong Kong waters and the Pearl River Estuary. The strategy is also intended to provide support to fisheries and promote sustainable fishing in Hong Kong waters.
The AA will inject a total funding of HK$400 million into the MEEF and FEF. A steering committee has been established to provide overall directional guidance for the funds’ operation, and to consider the allocation of resources to meet the funds’ objectives.
The MEEF will support initiatives related to conservation and enhancement of marine habitat and resources, scientific studies, environmental education and eco-tourism. The MEEF management committee, chaired by Professor Paul Lam Kwan-sing of City University of Hong Kong, has 11 members, including academics, dolphin expert and representatives from green groups.
The FEF will support initiatives related to sustainable management and enhancement of fisheries resources, sustainable fisheries operations, promotion of fisheries-related business opportunities, and measures that may assist in shifting fisheries operations. The FEF management committee, chaired by Professor Kenneth Leung Mei-yee of the University of Hong Kong, has 12 members, comprising representatives of fishermen’s associations, fisheries expert, green group representative and academics.
Both the MEEF and FEF will publicly start calling for applications next month, with successful applicants expected to be informed by mid-2017. Third-party groups such as non-governmental organisations, academic institutions and organisations from the fisheries sector may submit applications. The two management committees will be responsible for vetting and selecting relevant applications in an independent and objective manner based on the merits of the project proposed by each competing application, and reviewing that selected projects are properly and effectively conducted by the successful applicants during the relevant financial year.