The First Annual Report

In this report, we intend to give an account of the activities of the Association in 2010 and 2011, and to inform our members of the activities in the coming year. It is important that we refer to our vision from time to time so that we may steer ourselves in the right course of action. 

We have defined our vision as “To establish the Environmental Management Association of Hong Kong as a leading contributor to environmental management and sustainable development discourse, as well as to the advancement of environmental management as a professional field”. We seek to achieve our vision through the following areas:

  1. Policy influence
  2. Contribution to providing environmental management solutions to problems of common interest
  3. Education
  4. Be educated
  5. Progression to a recognized professional body
  6. Networking and have fun too!

I am happy to report that we have progressed rather actively towards many of these areas but admittedly, we have not been able to do much on others. Let me summarize our activities one by one.

Activities in 2010/11

 1.      Establishing the Association

With the encouragement from the University and popular support from members of the Association, we have established our Association in November 20, 2010 when our first Annual General Meeting and Election General Meeting was held. I am happy to report that we have over 180 members up to date, of whom 12 are members of the Executive Committee

2.      Policy influence

This Association has submitted three responses to the Government and Public Bodies. The response to the Environmental Protection Department on Hong Kong’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Agenda Consultation Document is the result of our members’ discussion on the subject. We have also responded to the Hong Kong Airport Authority’s consultation on Master Plan 2030 which entails the building of the third runway for Hong Kong International Airport. Thirdly we have pledged to support the Council for Sustainable Development’s Public engagement on Combating Climate Change: Energy Saving and Carbon Emission Reduction in Buildings. As a result of that we have returned our response to the Council.

Whether we have positively influenced such policy making is unclear, as these organizations are not very good at feeding back with their comments, which may be an inherent issue with the consultation system in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, the sessions that went with the preparation of these responses did help us understand the related environmental management issues better.

3.      Contribution to providing environmental management solutions to problems of common interest

The responses we offered to the Public sector in the form of written responses were some of the work we have done towards this goal. However, we could have done a lot more in terms of mobilizing our membership to discuss issues among ourselves, and to make our opinion more accessible to the Public. This is an area we need to focus on in the future

4.      Education

We have been sponsors to several international events hosted by the University of Hong Kong. Meanwhile we are still formulating programmes and means to better educate the teenagers about environmental management.

5.      Be educated

We have organized several activities so to educate ourselves. The visit to the modern incineration facilities in Macau helped our members to understand more about the feasibility of less emissive ways to treating municipal solid wastes, while the visit to the Lamma Island Power Generation plant gave us ideas on the pros and cons of using coal fire generation and how emissions from coal fire power generation may be mitigated.

We have also organized The First Career Forum of SUSDEV 2011 to let our members and students who would like to pursue a career in the related fields.

6.      Progression to a recognized professional body

It is still a work in progress.

7.      Networking and have fun too!

In terms of membership benefits, the visits we organized ended with nice lunch gatherings. In the case of Macau, many of us chose to stay behind for the rest of the day to obtain a renewed impression about the former Portuguese enclave.

On the other hand, we have organized a career day so to introduce to our members the opportunities in Environmental Management careers. It is so successful that our Executive Committee has decided to repeat this for 2012.

Activities planned for 2012

The EXCOM had met in October, and after many revisions, had come up with a list of items for us to work on for 2012. Our agenda is of course subject to input from the general membership. We would sincerely welcome your input.

1.       Establishing the Association

 a. Public appearance on the internet

It was agreed that we shall continue to improve the contents, look and feel of the EMAHK website. Participation in social media is another tool for us to communicate to members and the Public.

b. EXCOM Membership

According to the Articles of Association, the membership of EXCOM should at least be 9 and do not exceed 21. The change will bring 3 additional members into the EXCOM making a total number of 14.

 I am happy to report that we shall from 2012 on reserve two seats in the Executive Committee for the graduating class of the MSc ENVM Programme at the HKU. This will ascertain the continuous supply of new entrants into the EXCOM, and will serve to generate interests in the Association.

 Edward Oosthuizen, graduated from MSC ENVM in 2010, volunteered to join the EXCOM. He has been admitted into the EXCOM, and specific designation will be advised at the AGM.

 2.       Policy influence

Participation in the Public domain on topical issues will continue. We shall also take the lead in the discussion in newer issues such as the HSI Sustainability Index.

3.       Contribution to providing environmental management solutions to problems of common interest

a. The EXCOM had endorsed an event to celebrate the successful projects funded by the ECF.

b. It was also proposed that regular surveys will take place through our website, and reports will be published on a regular basis

4.      Education

a. The EXCOM agreed upon the creation of IOS/Android based game apps for environmental management education for teenagers.

b. In association with the Faculty, it was proposed that a book of environmental management essays and stories will be published.

5.      Be educated

We shall continue to look for interesting areas for visits and exchanges. One idea being planned on is the visit to Shanghai and/or Shenzhen Municipal Governments and local educational institutions on China’s strategy towards environmental management.

6.      Progression to a recognized professional body

Affiliation with international Associations or Societies of similar interests has been proposed and the search in a suitable one will be on our agenda.

7.      Networking and have fun too!

The career day will continue. There will be other activities from time to time.

Concluding remarks

It has been a lot of fun and education running the Association for the past year. We have indeed achieved a lot given that all of us in the EXCOM are on voluntary basis and we all have our work and family commitments. The increase in EXCOM membership is a step to enlist more help from all those who are interested.

In my opinion, the issue of sustainable development will continue to gain higher importance in everyone’s agenda in the international, public and private domains. Having done our first year, I believe we have set foot on the area at the right time. The first year has been quite successful in the number of activities we have run. In order to gain recognition from policy makers and the corporate world, which are resourced and empowered to make sensible sustainable development policies, we need to increase our exposure.

Meanwhile, we should continue to work on educating the Public and ourselves towards the goals of environmental management.

I hope that the membership will continue to support our professional approach in tackling environmental discourses by means of unrelenting support and participation.

Last but by no means least, may I thank Prof. Hills and Dr. Leung for their unfailing support and advice. I would also like to thank the members of the EXCOM and other volunteers who made use of their spare time to enable activities are well run. We certainly hope that the coming year will see higher level of participation from the general membership.

Happy new year to all, and I hope to achieve even better results in 2012.

 

Clement Lam

President

14 Jan 2012, Hong Kong

 

Appendix:

List of EXCO members:

President:                                             Mr. Clement Lam

VP Internal:                                          Mr. Yan Wah Tah

VP External:                                          Mr. Albert Li

VP Activities:                                        Ms. Mabel Lau & Mr. Shaun Martin

VP Policy Research:                             Ms. Equeen Leung & Mr. Victor Chan

VP Training:                                          Ms. Melody Lau & Mr. Wilson Tsui

Publication:                                          Ms. Peggy Li

Treasurer:                                             Mr. Ritar Lau

General Secretary:                                Ms. Sui Lau

Committee:                                           Mr. Edward Oosthuizen

Graduate Class Representative:          Ms. Nicola Cheung & Mr. Martin Wan