SPEAK UP FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!
Hong Kong's environmental petition platform
142 SIGNATURES OBTAINED, THIS CAMPAIGN ENDED ON December 31, 2020
Hong Kong government to install accurate and easy to understand digital displays of Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) levels in public spaces such as sports grounds, free outdoor pitches/courts, jogging tracks, fitness trails, cycling tracks.
Displays would allow individuals to keep track of the status of air quality based on easy to read and understand AQHI levels which track average concentrations of four criteria air pollutants: ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and particulate matter (PM10 or PM2.5, whichever has a higher risk). The intention is to better inform the public of air quality and allow them to make informed decisions about their outdoor activity and its potential impact on their health and overall comfort.
To Director of Home Affairs, Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Secretary for Home Affairs and Secretary of the Environment,
Public displays of AQHI would allow individuals to monitor the level of air pollution in their immediate area. Whilst the public displays can’t clean up the air in Hong Kong, they could help individuals better prepare for deteriorating air quality for example carrying a face mask or avoiding the area all together. There is a rising concern for health among the general public, and exercising outdoors has become a norm for those hoping to improve their health, however, are we aware of the risk of exposure to toxic air during exercise? Globally, it is estimated that about a half billion people run on a regular basis, and many of those people are running in cities- like Hong Kong where the air quality is poor. We are encouraged to run for our health, but if the air we are running in is polluted, then we are actually being exposed to health risks. In our modern society, many individuals track AQHI through apps, smart watches and the internet but for a large percentage of the population this isn’t possible and applications are also not specific to an area – just the district. Raising awareness of the deteriorating air quality in Hong Kong is also likely to encourage citizens to lessen their individual impact and make switches to their everyday life.
Public displays would:
- Allow individuals to alter their plans on days when the concentration of pollutants, such as PM2.5 is high, to avoid outdoor sports/activities such as running and take part in indoor sports instead.
- Educate the public about air pollution and make AQHI become a household term – its categories would become widely recognised.
- To bring awareness to Hong Kong’s pollution emergency and reduce potential short term/long term health effects.
In a pollution emergency, public spaces in Hong Kong should display changing AQHI levels.
This petition was started by 健康空氣行動 Clean Air Network (CAN) on February 17, 2020, with an end date of December 31, 2020.
Clean Air Network is an independent NGO that encourages the public to speak out about the health impacts of air pollution. Our vision is to build a Hong Kong with clean air. To achieve this vision, CAN dedicated to drive policy change by building knowledge, collaborating strategically and advocating solutions in a collaborative approach. Without losing sight on the pollution from regional activities, marine vessels and power plants, our current primary focus is on roadside pollution.
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