The rapid economic development of the Macao Special Administrative Region in recent years and the consequent expansion of the construction, tourism and transport sectors, inevitably have a worrying effect on the state of the environment.
Some concrete measures have been adopted for the preservation of the environment.
The Environmental Protection Services Bureau is responsible for the study, planning, implementation, co-ordination and promotion of the environmental policies in the Macao Special Administrative Region. In order to build a quality living environment, some environmental guidelines were created and are worthy of mention, for instance: Noise impact assessment; Assessment of waste management impacts; Estimation of motor vehicle emission factors in Macao (2010-2020); Classification of waste at construction sites; Engineering and pile foundation engineering smoke and noise Control; Environmental pollution control in hotels and similar premises; Waste battery collection.
In addition to these guidelines, in view of the reduction of the emission of gases by two- -wheeled vehicles, a subsidy scheme for the elimination of heavy and light two-stroke motorcycles was created, regulated in the Administrative Regulation no. 2/2017.
In turn, the Companhia de Electricidade de Macau – the public utility company that transmits and distributes electricity in Macao – is also promoting the advantages of using electric cars, with the installation of charging equipments in the city’s various car parks, thus contributing to the electric mobility of Macao.
Just out of curiosity, in January of this year, from the 250,070 cars and motorcycles circulating on the roads of Macao, electric vehicles already represented 0.7%, corresponding to 180 vehicles (95 cars, 84 motorcycles or mopeds and one Industrial machine), demonstrating that the policy of encouraging the use of environmentally friendly vehicles, as it’s set out in the Motor Vehicle Tax Regulation, is working.
Due to the influence of some local Environmental Associations and the Media, the general population is more participatory and aware of the issues of waste reduction, reuse and recycling and the reasonable use of resources.
At a regional level, the Macao SAR Government celebrated the tenth anniversary of the creation of the Macao International Environmental Co-operation Forum & Exhibition (MIECF), which took place last March 30th to April 1st, with the co-operation of the governments of the Pan-Pearl River Delta’s provinces, namely Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and of the SAR of Hong Kong. The strategic aim of MIECF is to nurture environmental business, technology and information exchange between the Pan-Pearl River Delta Region in Southern Mainland China and the international markets. Due to its importance, in 2014, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Services Bureau signed an “Environmental Cooperation Agreement” which has been further developed.
In conclusion, the competent authorities of the Macao SAR are on the right track in defining a comprehensive environmental strategy to fill the resource gap and minimize the negative effects that economic development and the quality of life of residents have on the environment.