Fund picks out eight sustainable projects

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 May, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 May, 2004, 12:00am

Ecological tours across Peng Chau, turning Aberdeen into a green paradise and enhancing historical buildings' economic benefits are among the eight projects supported by the government under a $100 million fund to promote sustainable development in Hong Kong.

The fund, established in mid-2003 under the initiative of Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, aims at promoting public understanding and discussion of sustainable development.

It is available to non-government organisations, individuals and schools over a 10-year period.

Projects sponsored by the scheme must be one-off projects that do not need ongoing financial commitment.

All projects should be non-profit making and any proceeds should be ploughed back in to help further the aims of the programme.

Christian Fang Meng-sang, chair of the Education and Publicity Subcommittee, which approved the funding, said yesterday 127 proposals were received in the first round of applications.

Eight projects, totalling $7.75 million, with individual amounts ranging from $230,000 to $1.52 million, were selected.

'The eight selected projects are educational, promotional and training in nature. They are targeted at young people and the local community, and will last from 12 to 36 months,' she said.

Progress of the eight projects will be closely monitored to see if they can be carried out according to the schedules and financial conditions that they signed to with the government.

The second round of applications for the fund will open next month.

Sunnie Chan Lit-fong, who was awarded $1.52 million for a two-year project, said she would use the funding to help educate the public on the need to conserve the natural and cultural heritages of Peng Chau.

'In one of our many projects, guides will be hired to offer ecological tours to visitors to Peng Chau,' she said. 'It not only offers job opportunities to residents but also enables more Hong Kong people to get to know the rich biodiversity of the island.'