Sustainability impact assessment in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta: "both necessary and impossible"?
Rapid economic integration of Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta under the policy of "One Country Two Systems" and the consequent social and environmental degradation mean that assessment of sustainability impacts of development projects is essential. However, some fundamental problems are identified for the two systems to carry out SIA before embarking on development projects: minimal integration in terms of institutional set-up, strategies and policies concerning sustainable development; pre-set sustainability indicators rather than tailor-made ones to assess policies, programmes and projects of various nature; and rather different social, economic and environmental norms and development problems. In the short run, given these constraints, SIA in the region though "necessary" is rather "impossible". Nevertheless, recommendations are put forward to facilitate regional co-operation of SIA practices in the longer term.
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