The inaugural Hong Kong 2020 International Urban Forestry Conference, organised by the Development Bureau (DEVB), opened at the JC Cube Auditorium, Tai Kwun in Central this morning (January 16).
On the theme "Challenges and Opportunities of Urban Greening in High-density Cities", the two-day conference provides a platform for renowned international experts, decision-makers, academics and industry professionals to share experiences and best practices on urban forestry management to enhance the liveability and resilience of Hong Kong.
In her opening address, the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, said developable land is a scarce resource in Hong Kong but the Government is determined to ensure that public parks, landscaped areas and roadside planting are an essential variable in the city's town-planning.
"As our tree inventory expands, we are turning to smart technology to augment our technical capability and capacity in tree management. The DEVB has initiated a grove of research and development projects in collaboration with government departments and research institutes. The intent is to develop a technology-enabled framework to manage our urban forest," she said.
Mrs Lam said the Study Sponsorship Scheme and the Trainee Programme under the Urban Forestry Support Fund are targeted for launching later this year. The Government will subsidise tuition fees to encourage more young people to pursue studies in arboriculture, and graduates of arboriculture and tree management courses will be offered formal on-the-job training with a monthly allowance.
"The DEVB is also working on a voluntary registration scheme for tree management personnel. That will mark another important step forward in raising professional standards of our industry practitioners," she added.
During the conference, over 20 speakers from Mainland China, overseas and locally will share their insights on three key topics, namely Green Cities, Resilient Landscape and Tree Care. A field demonstration at Victoria Park has also been arranged for participants to learn more about practical tree care techniques.
Co-organised by the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong and supported by other government departments, green organisations as well as education and professional institutes, the conference has attracted about 600 participants.
Also attending the conference were the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, and the Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr Lam Sai-hung.
Ends/Thursday, January 16, 2020
Issued at HKT 19:40