Lawmakers give green light to abolish environmental committee

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Issue 533, Page 5
Word count: 349
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Environmental Protection Bureau which will be set up to replace the Committee which will consist of 107 staff and four main departments to work on pollution control, policy making and infrastructure management.

According to acting president of the Environmental Protection Committee, Vong Man Hung at the Legislative Assembly yesterday, the four major components of the Bureau will be the environmental pollution control department, the environmental planning and assessment department, the publicity and educational department, and also the environmental infrastructure management centre.

The centre will take over duties from a number of government authorities including the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) and the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) in order to “unify management” of infrastructure such as incineration, landfills and sewage treatment plants in Macau, Ms Vong said.

The acting president also said that 107 staff will work in the Bureau including one director and two deputies and also the existing officials transferred from the Environment Protection Committee.

Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Lau Si Io, yesterday presented the bill to abolish the Environment Protection Committee to lawmakers in order to establish the Bureau by an administrative regulation which did not require going through the Legislative Council.

Lau said the “simple structure and limited competency” of the Environment Protection Committee was not able to go with the pace of Macau’s current and future development and also to respond to social demands and satisfy requirements of regional and international cooperation in environmental issues.

The rapid economic and social growth in recent years had contributed to an impact on the environment, and following people’s increasing awareness of environmental concerns, Lau said a “growing demand for a better quality of life and environmental protection” had resulted.

In addition, the Secretary said multiple obligations were derived from the application of international conventions in Macau such as the Kyoto Protocol and thus the existing committee’s structure and duties were “insufficient” to execute all the works arisen such as research, setting up a database and following up legislation.

The bill was passed yesterday to one of the standings committees for deliberation.

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