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Many policymakers are responding to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by integrating multiple economic, social and environmental concerns into their development plans. Much of the recent research on SDGs has sought to help policymakers with this cross-sectoral integration by developing evidence-based models and analytical frameworks that can identify linkages across a wide range of issues. Fewer studies have examined the governance arrangements needed to align agency and other stakeholder interests behind integrated solutions. This is a significant gap because policymakers will need to understand both issue linkages and governance arrangements that can help align interests to make integrated solutions effective.

This study has aimed to fill that gap by determining whether and to what extent three different dimensions of governance—horizontal coordination, vertical coordination, and multistakeholder engagement—affected narrowly drawn efforts to mitigate climate change and achieve other development objectives. The study sought to draw lessons from a series of case studies focusing on the governance arrangements that supported 1) co-benefits, 2) sustainable transport, 3) integrated solid waste management and 4) the water-energy-food nexus in the Asia-Pacific region. Overall, the case studies suggest that the greater the number and diversity of issues in an integrated solution, the more countries will need to strengthen institutional structures and enhance decisionmaking processes to advance that solution.

However, more coordination within and engagement beyond government may not be needed for all integrated solutions. Particularly when there are already close relationships between issues and sufficient capacities to manage related interests, less coordination and engagement may save time and resources. This suggests that policymakers and researchers may want to take a step back from advocating for multi-level, multi-stakeholder governance for all integrated solutions. Instead, such recommendations are arguably better seen as contingent, depending on the content of the integrated solution and other factors such as the capacity of relevant agencies to coordinate different interests.

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Chief Executive Carrie Lam today opened WEEE·PARK, the Government's waste electrical and electronic equipment treatment and recycling facility in Tuen Mun.

The park has adopted advanced technology to turn the waste into reusable materials like plastics and metals through detoxification, dismantling and recycling processes.

It also refurbishes some serviceable electrical appliances for donation to people in need for reuse.

Mrs Lam said the commissioning of WEEE·PARK marks a key milestone in the development of waste-to-resources facilities in Hong Kong, and demonstrates the Government's determination for achieving resources recovery.

The park, with a wide range of green building features, will be accredited in accordance with the BEAM Plus standard.

"The WEEE·PARK is the newest member of the advanced waste management infrastructure that is being established as set out in the Government's Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources," Mrs Lam said.

It comes after the commissioning of the T·PARK nearby that transforms sludge into energy, and will be followed by the city's first organic resource recovery centre on Lantau Island later this year and the first food waste pre-treatment facility at Tai Po Wastewater Treatment Plant next year.

"We have also awarded the contract for constructing the Integrated Waste Management Facility recently," she added.

From August 1, those who sell air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, computers, printers, scanners and monitors - collectively referred to as regulated electrical equipment (REE) - should arrange for consumers a free removal service to collect the same type of equipment abandoned by a consumer by a specified collector for proper treatment by a licensed recycler.

Through the removal service, the consumer can request the seller to remove the old piece of equipment for free on a "one-piece-to-one-piece" basis.

The control over disposal, import and export of abandoned REE will start on December 31.

The public can call the recycling hotline 2676 8888 to request collection service for abandoned REE by the park operator.

ALBA Integrated Waste Solutions (HK) has been commissioned to design, build and operate WEEE·PARK to provide the required capacity for the proper recycling and treatment of locally generated WEEE to meet the increasing demand upon the implementation of the producer responsibility scheme on WEEE later this year.

Guided tours will be arranged to the park and interested groups can call 2290 9500 for reservations from April 3.

A flowery fragrance fills the air at the Drainage Services Department's Siu Ho Wan Sewage Treatment Works, hardly the smell expected at a sewage plant.

But at this facility, which has the capacity to treat 180,000 cubic metres of sewage a day, the stench of wastewater is washed out by the fragrance produced by a teeming ecosystem made up of 50 plant species.

Trees and shrubs are housed at the treatment works' nursery where the department's landscape architects cultivate native plant species.

Responsible for greening and landscape planning, design and management, the landscapists visit the nursery twice a week and have found a number of plants help enrich the biodiversity of the facility through their ability to attract insects and purify water.

Biodiversity boost

When Landscape Architect Stanley Hoi steps into the nursery, he is greeted by bees and butterflies.

Many plant species depend on these insects to disperse pollen, a key ingredient in their reproduction.

"Reevesia thyrsoidea is a native tree. The flower is very showy and the fragrance can attract many butterflies and bees," Mr Hoi said.

Another plant in the nursery, Garcinia oblongifolia, produces yellow fruit, while Celosia argentea has uniquely shaped flowers and Coix lacryma-jobi can filter nitrogen and phosphorus from water.

Mr Hoi said all four species are well suited for the sewage facility, while Coix lacryma-jobi can also be planted on riversides.

Refreshing revamp

More than 15 green roofs have been installed by the Drainage Services Department at various sewage treatment works in recent years in an effort to beautify the facilities.

Landscape Architect Sandy Tong said greening features in both new and old sewage facilities is a good thing for the community.

She joined the department two years ago and said greening features at the Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works, built in 1982, have helped the district's appearance.

"(For) the landscape works in the Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works, there are three aspects.

"The first one is at-grade planting, the second one is roof greening and the third one is vertical greening, to enhance the biodiversity of the site and also the surrounding environment.

"(It) provide(s) a better visual impression to the neighbourhood and also the staff within the facility."

The Drainage Services Department will hold open days at Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works on January 27 and 28.

The public can learn about the department's work on flood prevention, sewage treatment and greening works through a variety of entertainment and educational programmes.

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