The Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, who is also the Country
and Marine Parks Authority, is responsible for the conservation of terrestrial and
marine ecological resources, and for the enforcement of legislation on nature
The Forests and Countryside Ordinance provides for the general protection of
vegetation and gives special protection to certain rare plants, including native
camellias, magnolias, orchids, azaleas and the Chinese New Year flower.
The Wild Animals Protection Ordinance prohibits hunting and the sale or export
of protected wild animals taken in Hong Kong. It also restricts entry to three
important wildlife habitats that are designated as 'restricted areas' under the
ordinance: the Mai Po Marshes, the Yim Tso Ha Egretry and the green turtle nesting
beach at Sham Wan.
The Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance imposes
controls on the import, introduction from the sea, export, re-export and possession of
endangered species in order to prevent their over-exploitation.
The Country Parks Ordinance provides for the designation, control and
management of country parks and special areas for nature conservation, education
and scientific research purposes. Country parks can also be designated for compatible
recreation and tourism uses.
The Marine Parks Ordinance provides for the designation, protection and
management of marine parks and marine reserves for nature conservation, education
and scientific research purposes. Recreational activities such as swimming and diving
are allowed in marine parks.
Besides general conservation of the countryside, the Government has been
identifying and conserving sites of special scientific interest, such as natural habitats
of rare plants or animals, through exercising strict development controls. In all, 65
sites have been listed.
The Fisheries Protection Ordinance provides for the regulation of fishing practices
and the prevention of destructive fishing activities such as using explosive or toxic
substances for the purpose of fishing.