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Sustainable Consumption of Biological Resources
The Council for Sustainable Development carried out a territory‐wide public engagement exercise in 2016 (www.susdev.org.hk) to arouse public awareness, facilitate discussions and build consensus on measures to encourage behavioural changes that are conducive to a more sustainable consumption pattern on biological resources such as food, clothing, furniture, etc.
What are Biological Resources?
Biological resources refer to all living organisms that fulfil human’s fundamental needs, such as clothing, food, fuel, paper, and medicine, etc. Generally speaking, biological resources include three types of resources:
Animal resources, e.g. insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals
Plant resources, e.g. trees, shrubs, herbs
Microbial resources, e.g. bacteria
Biological Resources in Our Daily Lives
We rely on biological resources for our daily needs, for example,
Our Consumption Rate
Hong Kong is a consumption-based society which relies heavily on natural resources imported from elsewhere, and hence the pattern we purchase and consume goods and services has strong implications on the biological resources in the planet. Take seafood as an example, Hong Kong is among the world's trop 10 per capita seafood consumers, and is ranked second in Asia. The amount of seafood an average Hong Kong resident consumes each year is more than three times the global avergae.
Biological resources are fundamental elements to the ecosystem, but they are sustainable only if the consumption rate does not exceed the reproduction rate. Over-exploitation of wild animals and plant resources by human may lead to the depletion and extinction of some species, resulting in unstable food supply and disappearance of some common food forever. Moreover, unsustainable consumption of biological resources will destroy natural habitat and disrupt the ecological balance. Human survival and development will be affected.
What is Sustainable Consumption of Biological Resources?
Sustainable consumption is not about avoiding the use of biological resources. It is about making choices and consuming the resources in a responsible manner so that present and future human needs can be met while the natural environment is protected. What we should do are:
Source: Public Engagement on Promotion of Sustainable Conumption of Biological Resources 2016