The Hong Kong Chapter of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN Hong Kong) is co-hosted by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. It aims to mobilize universities, research centres, civil society organizations, business, and other knowledge centres around practical problem solving for sustainable development.

The roles of the SDSN Hong Kong include:

  • Raising awareness about the SDGs and ‘localizing’ the goals;
  • Promoting solution initiatives for sustainable development in the region;
  • Promoting education for sustainable development;
  • Assisting the government in identifying local, national, and regional sustainable development challenges and in devising long-term strategies.

SDSN has operated under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General since 2012

Initiatives, Education and Knowledge

Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, world leaders agreed to set the world on a path towards sustainable development through the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, which set out quantitative objectives across the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development — all to be achieved by 2030.
Building on the accomplishments of their predecessors the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs are unique in that they call for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.

Prioritized SDGs in Hong Kong

The Sustainable Development Goals are relevant to Hong Kong to various extents as they cover a broad range of sustainable development issues. While some of the goals are less imminent to Hong Kong, e.g. on ending poverty and hunger, other social issues about health and education, combating climate change and making cities more sustainable are particular pertinent to Hong Kong’s context. We believe that the knowledge transfer, sharing experience, support and future collaboration opportunities with different members of the SDSN network would help focus and increase the effectiveness of the SDG related efforts in Hong Kong. Some of the SDGs most pertinent to Hong Kong’s context are:
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

SDG Localization

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and The Chinese University of Hong Kong join hands to co-host the Hong Kong chapter of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). Under the umbrella of the global SDSN of the United Nations, SDSN Hong Kong seeks to mobilize expertise, information and resources from academic, philanthropy, government, business and nonprofits to tackle the challenges of sustainable development. SDSN Hong Kong looks forward to identifying further means of collaboration on research and pursuing sustainability solutions. Among other initiatives, a three-year community engagement programme (2017–2020) titled ‘JC–CUHK Climate Action’ is launched to advance sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Hong Kong and beyond. Key activities of SDSN Hong Kong include:
Scope A — Communicating Sustainable Development Goals  
Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Established in December 2013, the Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change is the first museum of its kind in the world. It offers an interactive, multimedia exhibition that showcases valuable collections and important information about climate change, and has since its inception attracted over 300,000 visitors. Examples of new initiatives to advance SDGs:

‘Climate Change and Human Health’ exhibition: Together with Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (CCOUC), the Museum launched the new permanent exhibition in November 2017, aiming to localize SDG-13 (Climate Change) and increase public awareness of the health impacts of climate change.

‘Mobile MoCC’: The first mobile exhibition of the MoCC, ‘Polar Vision’, was launched in December 2017. Using a collection of portable modular exhibits selected from the museum, the Mobile MoCC will reach out to the public through mobile exhibitions and provide a ‘snapshot experience’ of visiting the actual museum, to spark wider interest in climate change and sustainable development among the general public.

’Exhibition on the Theme ‘Vanishing Glaciers’: Together with Project Pressure, a UK-based charity documenting the world’s vanishing glaciers, and the Hong Kong Observatory the Museum presents a special theme-based exhibition integrating artistic work with science to inspire green action and participation. The exhibition is now open to the public until 30 June 2018.

CUHK Sustainable Development Goals Programme This is a funding scheme introduced in 2016 to encourage CUHK staff and students to initiate and engage in activities that support understanding of the SDGs and address their goals. Eleven projects were funded in 2016/17. The 2017/18 exercise is in progress.
Jockey Club UNESCO Hong Kong Global Citizenship Education and School Drama Programme The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust supports UNESCO Hong Kong in implementing a two-year global citizenship and school drama programme (from 2018), whose aims is to raise the awareness of students in secondary and post-secondary education of the SDGs and inspire them to take an active role in global sustainability issues. The education programme will include workshops, seminars, role plays, exchanges, festivals and experiential games.
Philanthropy for Better Cities Forum, convened by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust Convened by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, this is the first philanthropy forum of its kind in the region focusing on metropolitan social issues. The 2016 Forum covered five main themes: Ageing and Health, Youth and Education, Environment and Sustainability, Innovation and Technology, and Public-Private Partnerships. In the second forum scheduled for September 2018, a session will be dedicated to the theme of Sustainable Development Goals.


Scope B — Research and Knowledge Transfer 
Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability, CUHK The Institute is engaged in ongoing global and local cross-boundary partnerships with universities, institutes, organizations and governments from Australia, Japan, Mainland China, the Netherlands, Norway, Taiwan, the UK and the US, among others, in the areas of climate change, environmental monitoring and management; energy technology and conservation; sustainable urban environment and public health; environmental policy and governance; and the environment of China.

Examples of active research include:

  • The characteristics and historical trends of extreme weather events (such as heat and cold waves, heavy rain episodes, storm surges) in Hong Kong and throughout China.
  • Relationships between climate change and public health.
  • Improvements on prediction of Hong Kong weather and climate using model tools.

The Institute also conducts collaborative research with other universities and government bodies. For example:

  • Collaboration is being sought between CUHK, Hong Kong Baptist University, City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Observatory to estimate the potential maximum precipitation rate in the Hong Kong region.
  • Collaboration between CUHK, City University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Polytechnic University is proposed to investigate the interactions between air quality and climate change in Hong Kong–Pearl River Delta region, and the implications on human exposure to air pollutants.

The network of climate change and sustainability research is also extended to include various international partners, including University of Exeter, UK, and University of Sydney, Australia.

Institute of Future Cities, CUHK

The Institute is involved in ongoing global and local cross-boundary partnerships with universities, institutes, organizations and governments from France, Japan, Mainland China, the Netherlands, Taiwan, the UK, and the US, among others, in the areas of (1) urban history, culture and media, (2) land resource and housing policy, (3) community and place governance, (4) urban sustainability, and (5) urban informatics.

The Institute is in collaboration with Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks in the setup of a ‘smart region living lab’ to pilot smart city applications on both campuses. It is expected that the first batch of pilot projects will be implemented within three years and there are plans to extend the pilot projects beyond Science Park and CUHK in the Shatin community, e.g., The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Sports Institute and residential buildings, to see how these solutions can be applied in their properties.

CUHK–University of Exeter Joint Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Resilience (ENSURE)

The Joint Centre aims to engage researchers from different disciplines to tackle emerging issues related to a changing environment and human health and wellbeing. The main objectives of ENSURE include:

(1) to embark on large, impactful interdisciplinary collaboration, not only to understand the complex physical and socioeconomic basis and evaluate the health and ecological impacts of global environmental change, but also to tackle environmental threats including climate change, air and water pollution and biodiversity loss in an integrated approach;

(2) to serve as a platform for international academic exchange, promoting policy related works, and nurturing the next generation of young researchers; and

(3) to engage and co-create solutions with local and wider communities and other stakeholders affected by climate and other environmental changes to meet societal needs and global challenges.

The CUHK Jockey Club Institute of Ageing

The CUHK Jockey Club Institute of Ageing is engaged in ongoing global and local cross-boundary partnerships with universities, institutes and organizations from Australia, Japan, Mainland China, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, UK and US.

The Institute undertakes cross-disciplinary researches related to health and well-being of elders. Examples are as follows:

  • Relationship between Ageing-well and Environmental Factors: the cross-disciplinary research examines the effect of different environmental factors such as green space, building height and district variation to health outcomes including frailty, cognitive decline, depression and mortality.
  • Development of a new Telomere length measurement protocol and application to the HK community elderly cohort.
  • Establishment of Active Aging Index (AAI) in Hong Kong: the research adapts the European AAI (developed across 28 European countries to benchmark the diverse experience of active ageing and quantify older people’s potential) in the Hong Kong context and incorporate additional elements essential for the lived experience of older Chinese people.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and its Economic Evaluation - A Hong Kong Taiwan Comparative Study: the inter-institutional and cross-disciplinary collaboration project examines effective DRR measures between Hong Kong and Taiwan, compares the DRR frameworks and identifies gaps that lead to effective and ineffective DRR implementation in terms of risk assessment, dialogue, and action.
  • Understanding loneliness among older people and developing interventions.


Scope C — Engagement and Action 
JC–CUHK Climate Action

This is a community outreach programme (2017–2020) funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and hosted by CUHK, whose aim is to localize the SDGs and to promote climate action, environmental conservation and sustainability in local communities through public education and carbon- and waste-reduction partnerships with schools and non-governmental organizations.

The Drama of Climate Change: The Creation of a Low-carbon Future The Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change has obtained funding support from the Environment and Conservation Fund of the Hong Kong SAR Government to launch a two-year (2018–2020) engagement project, underpinned by a ‘Theatre in Education’ approach and experiential learning. The aim of the project is to educate the public, especially primary school students, on the subjects of climate change and carbon reduction, and on the importance of making green choices and taking green action to ensure a low-carbon future.
CUHK I•CARE Programme Established in 2011, the I•CARE Programme is designed to echo The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s devotion to nurturing well-rounded graduates in serving the needs and enhancing the well-being of the citizens of Hong Kong, Mainland China, and the wider world community. The Programme comprises: (1) University Lecture on Civility, (2) Social Service Projects Scheme, (3) Local Poverty Alleviation Initiative, (4) Community Research Scheme, (5) Social Enterprise Startup Scheme, and (6) NGO Internship Programme.
SDSN Youth SDSN Hong Kong plans to establish its youth chapter, SDSN Youth, by the end of 2018. Aimed at empowering the youth globally to create sustainable development solutions, the new platform will create opportunities for young people in Hong Kong to connect, collaborate and integrate their ideas and perspectives into national and regional pathways for attaining the SDGs.

SDG Academy

The SDG Academy is an initiative of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It provides free, graduate-level courses on sustainable development for students around the world. From sustainable cities to human rights to climate action, each of the courses addresses the fundamental and pressing challenges we human being are facing today.
See the SDG Academy website for course descriptions, syllabus and registration.
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