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    #Hashtag Hong Kong

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    Listen to #Hashtag Hong Kong every Sunday morning at 8.15

    Focussing on issues affecting civil society, we'll hear from representatives of NGOs, associations, statutory bodies, and non-profit groups.

    (Sundays 8.15am - 8.25am)



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    Hsu Siu-man, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups
    14/07/2024
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    Hsu Siu-man, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

    Hashtag# Hong Kong, Radio 3 RTHK
    I have been privileged to work with young people in Hong Kong for 27 years.  During this time, I have been witness to their strengths, their resilience, their joys and even their struggles and frustrations; fears and anxieties. 
    So, it is a bit worrying, that because of Hong Kong’s record low birth rate, the number of young people in our city is declining. According to the statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department in February this year , the population of young people aged between 20 and 34 stands at 1.23 million or 16.3 per cent of the population, as compared to the total population in 2014, it was declined around 20%.
    Yes, the government was enthused to announce in February this year that, for the first time since 2017, there was an uptick in births in 2023, with over 33,000 births recorded in the same year, a two per cent increase over 2022. But this is not the full picture.  
    The truth is that more and more couples are deciding not to have children, with reasons stated in a Family Planning Poll in 2023 as including, “fear of child-rearing responsibilities, society being unsuitable for children’s development and heavy financial burdens.”   Compounded by delays in young people getting married, along with a death rate above the number of births, and a high life expectancy rate, what this means is that we are looking into a future with an ageing, rather than a youthful, population.    
    I know that this is a phenomenon not unique to Hong Kong. And I do applaud all the measures laid out by the Chief Executive in his last Policy Address to tackle the city’s record low birth rates, including cash handouts and easier access to subsidised housing for families with children. 
    But what does the falling birth rate – in real terms – mean for the future of Hong Kong?
    Working with The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, the city’s largest youth service organisation, my primary concern is how we might address what this challenge represents for Hong Kong.
    We know that young people are incredibly talented and innovative and have contributed to the city’s growth. 
    We know they are technologically advanced to seek pioneering solutions to social problems and have started businesses and become social entrepreneurs.
    We know they are talented in the arts and sports. 
    We know that they are socially aware as they take the lead in environmental sustainability and climate change.
    We know that despite mental and emotional challenges, they did not give up.  
    This is the generation that is ready to make a difference and they are the talent and energy that Hong Kong needs to thrive.
    However, with a declining birth rate and fewer young people, we are facing far-reaching consequences.
    For example, as primary school enrolments drop, this will have a knock-on effect on higher education too. 
    This chain effect will then see employers – across the sectors – struggle to find young workers, and then, with a shrinking workforce, elderly health and social care will be affected as the tax base decreases.  
    All these concerns make me more determined that the decreasing birth rate is not an issue for the government alone.
    We as a society – all of us – the non-profit sector, civil groups, businesses, and policymakers – need to work together to see how we can create a more nurturing environment for families to raise the next generation of talents and drive Hong Kong's continued development. 
    That is why I believe that one area where we can focus our attention is on the family. The family, in my experience, is the pillar of society and from which the seeds of the future sprout. 
    I understand that is not easy, but don't we – as citizens – have a responsibility for the future as well? As a youth centric organisation, the Federation not only provides a range of services to young people, that caters to their emotional, physical, educational and occupational advancement, but also allows them the space and encouragement to actively participate and engage in public issues and policy advocacy. 
    Despite the difficulties – and there are many – including political and social discontent, belief that the quality of life is decreasing, as are educational and employment opportunities, should we not consider how having children is something that ensures development and prosperity in the long term?
    Having families, and increasing our birth rate, is one way to seek a long-term solution for a very pressing short-term problem. But what we must offer young people is a sense of hope and of belonging.
    Then, when our birth rates increase, we must do everything we can to ensure that these children and young people are provided with opportunities so that they too may contribute to Hong Kong’s future development. 
    I make this clarion call to everyone. Let Hong Kong not be left behind. 
    And, on an optimistic note, I'd like to dedicate this song, written to celebrate a baby’s birth, for everyone in Hong Kong: Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder.

    14/07/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    14/07/2024 - Hsu Siu-man, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth

    重溫

    CATCHUP
    05 - 07
    2024
    香港電台第三台

    14/07/2024

    Hsu Siu-man, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

    07/07/2024

    Sky Siu, outgoing CEO of Kely Support Group

    30/06/2024

    Dana Winograd, CEO & Co-Founder of Plastic Free Seas

    23/06/2024

    L-R:  Diana Kam, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Society for the Aged and Professor Elsie Yan from Polytechnic University

    16/06/2024

    Dr. Felix Sze, Co-director and Associate Professor (Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages) CUHK

    09/06/2024

    Dr Cheng Luk Ki, Director of Green Power

    02/06/2024

    Janet Wong, from Junior Chamber International Tai Ping Shan

    26/05/2024

    Koonie Chan, Executive Board Member of Hong Kong Seeing Eye Dog Services

    19/05/2024

    Dr Joey Chan, Secretary of the Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine and CUHK Associate Professor (Clinical) Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK

    12/05/2024

    Dr. Anthony Ying, the Chairman of the Cancer Prevention/Early Detection Subcommittee of the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society
    X

    Dr Cheng Luk Ki, Director of Green Power

    Spring is hot and deadly this year

    The Hong Kong Observatory has reported that high temperatures in April this year are record-breaking. Concurrently, Southeast Asia also experienced historically high temperatures in April this year due to the strong El Niño phenomenon. Many Southeast Asian cities recorded temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. Even located at a higher latitude, Japan’s average temperature last April was the highest in nearly 130 years.

     

    The temperature in Hong Kong in April has not always risen significantly in the past. The abnormal temperature increase in April this year may tell us that climate change is precisely changing Hong Kong's seasonal climate.

     

    This year, the weather in Hong Kong continued to be rainy since mid-April, making everyone ignore that this April was about to set a historic abnormal temperature record. Under the joint impact of climate change and El Niño, Hong Kong recorded exceptionally high temperatures in April:

     

    the mean maximum temperature was 28.9 degrees, 3.3 degrees higher than the average value and 1.4 degrees higher than the previous highest value (in 1994);

    the mean temperature was 26.4 degrees Celsius, 3.4 degrees higher than the average value and 1.6 degrees higher than the previous highest value (in 1998);

    the mean minimum temperature was 24.6 degrees Celsius, 3.5 degrees higher than the average and 1.7 degrees higher than the previous highest value (in 1998).

     

    Moreover, these temperatures on most days throughout the last April were above the average.

     

    If we look into the figures of the top records of April temperature rankings in the past, we will find that the difference between two consecutive rankings is mostly within 0.1 degrees Celsius, and rarely more than 0.5 degrees Celsius.

    However, the monthly mean maximum, mean and mean minimum temperatures in April this year are 1.4, 1.6 and 1.6 degrees higher than the previous highest records. The temperatures of April 2024 were unprecedently far higher.

     

    April is usually the hottest month in mainland Southeast Asia such as Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Extreme high temperatures will happen in this month when the intensity of El Niño in previous winter is high. The meteorologists call these Aprils “post-Nino” Aprils and this situation has been worsened by global warming in recent years.

     

    The last time extremely high temperatures occurred in mainland Southeast Asia was in April 2016, and that year there was also a strong El Niño phenomenon that occurred in the previous winter.

     

    However, unlike mainland Southeast Asia, Hong Kong did not use to record unusually high temperatures in April during El Niño years such as 2016. Although Hong Kong did not experience extremely hot weather in April this year, the abnormally high-temperature record may imply that the “post-Nino” Aprils phenomenon is extending from mainland Southeast Asia to southern China, and causing Hong Kong's summer to start earlier.

     

    Hong Kong’s “Post-Nino” April this year also shows that climate change can significantly change the weather of a certain month which will be exacerbated under the influence of climatic cycles such as El Niño.

     

    Hot weather can be deadly. Heat-related death cases increased throughout Southeast Asia countries in this spring season. In Hong Kong, according to the results of a local hot weather-related mortality study conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, when the local average daily temperature exceeds 28.2 degrees Celsius, the mortality rate will increase by 1.8% for every 1-degree increase.

     

    Checking the data of the Hong Kong Observatory, the number of high-temperature days (i.e. the daily mean temperature exceeds 28.2 degrees Celsius) increased from some 70 days to more than 100 days from 2000 to 2023. According to the study, the risk of death related to high-temperature weather in Hong Kong has increased significantly by 1.5 times over the past two decades.

     

    Looking into the future, according to projections by the Hong Kong Observatory based on data from various global climate models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Hong Kong's annual mean temperature will range from 24.6 to 27.1 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. Then, the number of deaths triggered by high temperatures will increase by 55 to 554 cases compared with 2022. The situation cannot be ignored.

     

    Environmental Protection Department’s research report on assessing the health and economic impacts of air pollution in Hong Kong set the “Value of Statistical Life (VSL)” at HK$20 million (2022 value). Based on this figure, by the end of this century, the economic loss due to death caused by high-temperature weather in Hong Kong due to climate change will range from HK$1.11 billion to HK$11.08 billion.

     

    We can expect that Hong Kong’s high-temperature weather is likely to extend beyond summer in the future. We have checked the Observatory data and found that from 2000 to 2023, the months with the fastest increase in mean temperature were March, September and November (about an increase of 0.7 degrees Celsius per decade). The months with the fastest temperature increase are in spring and autumn. This means that in the future, the risk of death caused by high-temperature weather will also extend to months other than summer.

     

    Under the aggravating hot weather of Hong Kong, Green Power urges the Government to strengthen urgently the city's ability to adapt to high temperatures and reduce the exposure of citizens to extremely high temperatures, including adding more shaded pedestrian corridors, strengthening community heat shelter services for the needed and reducing the heat sources in our living environment such as exhaust gas from the vehicles. At the same time, public health policies and medical services need to be improved to respond to the increasing risk of death caused by high temperatures. Ultimately the local carbon emission reduction measures must be accelerated to reduce economic and human losses caused by hot weather in the long term.


    And now I'd like to dedicate this song for everyone in Hong Kong. "The other side of the sun" by Janis Ian. Thank you and Enjoy!

    香港電台第三台

    09/06/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    09/06/2024 - Dr Cheng Luk Ki, Director of Green Power