Experts discuss marine environmental protection at CityU conference

Zoey Tsang

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Over 250 marine environmental protection experts discussed crucial issues and technologies in marine environmental protection at the 5th International Conference on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology at City University of Hong Kong (CityU), which was kicked off on 4 June.

The three-day conference attracted scientists, government officials and consultants and was organized by CityU’s Department of Biology and Chemistry and Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation.

Officiating at the opening ceremony were Dr Sarah Liao Sau-tung, Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works; Professor David Tong Shuk-yin, Deputy President of CityU; and Professor Rudolf Wu Shiu-sun, Professor (Chair) of the Department of Biology and Chemistry and Director of the Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation.

Dr Liao said the conference provided a timely opportunity for international experts to discuss ways to tackle marine pollution issues facing Hong Kong and its neighbours today.

“The conference provides a forum for us to strengthen collaboration between policy makers and scientists,” Dr Liao said. “Marine pollution and ecotoxicology are not just academic subjects. They are issues closely related to the well-being of the human race. Marine ecosystems must be protected through proper policy and government decisions.”

Professor Tong said CityU was determined to develop marine and environmental science as one of its major research areas. In the past few years, CityU has participated in many marine environmental protection research projects with government and international organizations, thus contributing its research findings to society through knowledge and technology transfer.

During the conference, Professor Wu, Chairman of the conference’s organizing committee, will share key findings from his research team. These findings will have a major impact on international marine environmental research.

The conference focuses on topics such as innovative technology in marine pollution control and monitoring; chemicals of emerging concern in the marine environment; ecotoxicology and risk assessment; eutrophication and hypoxia; persistent organic pollutants; endocrine disrupters; and pollution monitoring and remediation. There will be several references to key areas in the Hong Kong and South China coastal regions.

The first International Conference on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology was held in 1995 and the subsequent conferences have become a signature event in the international scientific community.

The conference is supported by the Regional Programme on Building Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia; United Nations Development Program; International Maritime Organization; Global Environment Facility; Australasian Society for Ecotoxicology; Hong Kong Oxygen; Wei Lun Foundation; Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (Hong Kong); Xiamen University; Marine Biological Association of Hong Kong; and the Centre for Marine Environmental Research and Innovative Technology.

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