The Environmental Protection Department has been awarded the Special Achievement in Geographical Information System (SAG) Award 2020 by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI).
The award recognises the department’s positive application of Geographical Information System (GIS) technology with innovative ideas to provide better services for the public.
The ESRI is an international authority in GIS technology. Every year, its review committee selects organisations that have produced an outstanding performance in applying GIS technology from nominations worldwide.
The department is the only award-winning organisation for the SAG award in Hong Kong this year.
In the past year, the department’s Environmental Compliance Division has extensively used GIS technology to develop different applications on its own to strengthen its law enforcement capability and effectiveness.
It launched a GIS-based Pollution Tracking Platform in February 2019, which enables frontline enforcement officers to conduct real-time spatial analyses with the support of a mobile Global Positioning System to quickly retrieve environmental information for tracking pollution sources.
To further enhance the effectiveness of analyses and management of a district’s environment, the department added the District Environment Dashboard and the Environmental Management Geodatabase Platform in June last year.
The dashboard and platform provide real-time visualised data of complaint and enforcement statistics to facilitate the identification of pollution trends and blackspots, planning of strategic operations, and management of enforcement resources.
The department also developed the Flytipping Spotter App in March this year.
Field inspectors can report abandoned construction waste via the app during their patrols, while photos and locations of abandoned waste can be captured and uploaded to the GIS platform instantly.
This facilitates case referrals to the relevant departments for prompt clearance. The handling of 90% of the illegal abandoned construction waste cases had thus been accelerated by about 40%.
The Operation Deployment Platform launched in July enhanced the efficiency of real-time communication and case information sharing among enforcement team members, further boosting the department’s operational deployment capacity for enforcement to detect and combat misbehaviours of polluters.
Deputy Director of Environmental Protection Elvis Au said the department is committed to applying innovation and technology in environmental protection to improve work efficiency and effectiveness as well as to promote the development of Hong Kong into a smart city.
It will continue to embrace innovation and make good use of technology to work with all parties in enhancing environmental protection, Mr Au added.