Management Agreement and Public-Private Partnership
Management Agreement (MA)
Under the New Nature Conservation Policy (NNCP) announced in 2004, funding support for the management agreement (MA) scheme would be granted through the Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF) to enable non-governmental organisations to enter into management agreements with landowners for enhancing the conservation of the twelve Priority Sites for Enhanced Conservation.
In June 2011, the ECF Committee supported the extension of the MA scheme to cover country park enclaves as well as private land within country parks in order to further enhance their conservation.
In July 2018, the Countryside Conservation Office was established under the Environmental Protection Department to co-ordinate conservation projects and promote sustainable development of remote countryside. The Countryside Conservation Funding Scheme (CCFS) was also established to provide financial support to non-profit making organisations and villagers for organising diverse and innovative conservation activities or projects based on an interactive and co-operative approach, including the MA scheme under the NNCP.
There are currently eight MA projects being carried out at Fung Yuen, Ho Sheung Heung, Ramsar Site and Deep Bay Wetland outside Ramsar Site, Sai Wan, Lai Chi Wo, Sha Lo Tung and Mui Tsz Lam and Kop Tong, which cover around 50 hectares of land and over 600 hectares of fishponds.
Since 2005, MA projects have been implemented at Fung Yuen and Long Valley and Ho Sheung Heung, which resulted in substantial increases in the diversity of butterflies and birds within the areas. After the resumption of land in core areas of Long Valley by the Government for the development of the Long Valley Nature Park in December 2019, MA projects have continued at the Ho Sheung Heung part of the site.
In 2012, MA projects were launched in Ramsar Site and Deep Bay Wetland outside Ramsar Site to restore and enhance the conservation value of commercial fishponds. These projects not only resulted in direct benefits on birds, they have also enhanced the public’s knowledge and awareness of nature conservation through participating in a series of educational activities. Meanwhile, in 2018, another MA project was launched at Sha Lo Tung to protect its existing habitats and preserve its natural landscape through restoration and active management.
Since 2017, two MA projects have commenced at country park enclaves at Sai Wan and Lai Chi Wo, to rehabilitate these areas and enhance their ecological value through collaborations with the local rural communities. In addition, in 2021, a new MA project was launched in the country park enclaves at Mui Tsz Lam and Kop Tong, to conserve, revitalize and enhance the natural, cultural and landscape values in these old upland Hakka villages.
The scheme will be publicised on the CCFS website regularly at fixed times every year for open invitation for MA proposals.
Public-Private Partnership Scheme
Under the PPP Scheme, private developments of an agreed scale and plan will be allowed at the ecologically less sensitive portion (Developable Portion) of a site within the 12 priority sites, provided that land owners of the private land will provide a lump sum contribution to the Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF) sufficient to generate recurrent income to support the long-term conservation work for the ecologically more sensitive portion (Conservation Portion) of the site. The land owner shall retain private land ownership of the Conservation Portion and appoint a conservation agent to apply for time-limited funding from the ECF regularly to carry out the required conservation work.
Additional Option on Conservation Portion
With effect from 6 October 2021, an additional option will be provided to land owners to surrender the Conservation Portion to the Government for proactive conservation and management by the Government.
Under this option, land owners are still required to provide to the Government a lump sum contribution that is sufficient to generate recurrent income to support the long-term conservation work for the Conservation Portion. Full market value premium will continue to be charged in accordance with the established mechanism for the Developable Portion.