Environmentalism in Hong Kong

| September 4, 2015

Introduction

In both China and Hong Kong, environmentalism continues to thrive in response to the growing problem of pollution. Both countries have poor quality air. Hong Kong harbour has become notorious for high levels of water pollution. However, the level of environmental degradation in Korea seems to be lower compared to that of most Third World countries. In both countries, pollution has been caused primarily by efforts towards industrial upgrading. However, environmental lobby groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in these two countries have responded differently to this problem. There is a tendency for social resistance, public pressure lobbying, and mass mobilization in Hong Kong. Such a sustained confrontational element is lacking in China.

A number of environmental movements have been established in Hong Kong. Some of them are locally-based while others are territory-wide environmental NGOs. Examples of territory-wide environmental NGOs include Conservancy Association, Green Power, and Friends of the Earth. As a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic China, Hong Kong shares a lot with mainland China in terms of environmentalism. However, some major differences are inherent. The aim of this paper is to discuss the main differences between environmentalism in Hong Kong and China. The thesis of the paper is that environmental movements in Hong Kong have a confrontational element but those in China lack this element.

Environmentalism in Hong Kong

Many environmental organizations that advocate for environmental protection have emerged since 1980s. Some of them have sprung up as a result of spontaneous protests following the initiation of contentious development projects while others have emerged as part of growing public concern about rising levels of pollution in the country. The emergence of these organizations has gone a long way in …

 

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