Hong Kong, with a paltry 1104 square kilometres of land, is home to 6.9 million
people. But it is also one of the world's largest trading economies. Its steep
mountains allow it only 225 square kilometres on which to put up buildings for
people to live in and to work in. Strict control over urban development is, therefore,
imperative. Over 400 square kilometres of what remains are designated as 'protected
areas'. These include country parks, special areas and conservation zones.
Understandably, the heavy concentration of people and activities in a small area
strains the environment, particularly the air in it. Hong Kong is also increasingly
affected by air pollution in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region.
Tackling air pollution continued to be a government priority in 2006. A
campaign called 'Action Blue Sky' was launched in July to rally the public behind the
efforts for better air quality. The Government also stepped up action to improve
water quality in Victoria Harbour and to better manage municipal solid waste.