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HSBC Rural Sustainability

As an effort to combat the rapid loss of rural culture and environment in Hong Kong and beyond, Policy for Sustainability Lab (PSL) launched the multi-year cross-sectoral collaborative project “Sustainable Lai Chi Wo Programme” (project name in full: "Sustainable Lai Chi Wo: Living Water & Community Revitalization - An Agricultural-led Action, Engagement and Incubation Programme at Lai Chi Wo") in 2013 with the support from the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC). The Programme aims to replenish and revitalise the disappearing social and natural capital of the desolate, remote traditional farming landscape at Lai Chi Wo as an action model through an array of activities, ranging from agricultural rehabilitation and community revitalisation, to cultural reinvention, rural education, climate adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity and hydrology-related research. Building upon the solid foundation of the Sustainable Lai Chi Wo Programme, which was successfully completed in September 2017, PSL has received further support from HSBC​ and launched a new phase of the programme – “HSBC Rural Sustainability” on October 01, 2017.

“HSBC Rural Sustainability” is a four-year programme which focuses on mobilising actions of the local community by socio-economic models emphasising the role of rural community for the benefit of the wider Hong Kong society. Based upon a collaborative and solidarity approach, these models will strengthen a viable sustainability model that can be replicated by nearby villages and similar rural areas in the region.

Lai Chi Wo in October 2017 (Photo credit: Kin-Ming Lau)
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The new project phases have the vision of contributing to the long-term vibrancy and sustainability for Hong Kong’s rural community and beyond. This involves scaling up the impacts that have been attained in the Sustainable Lai Chi Wo Programme (2013-2017). The new initiatives stress on the local implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with special focus on:

  • SDG 3  : Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4  : Quality Education
  • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13: Climate Action
  • SDG 15: Life on Land
  • SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals


Key Outcomes
  • The incubation of socio-economic models and rural start-ups for rural revitalisation
  • The establishment of an Academy for Rural Sustainability to offer curriculum-based training and education programmes for the community
  • The compilation of a comprehensive sustainability assessment framework for the measurement of outcomes and impact of sustainability projects


Initiated by:


The Policy for Sustainability Lab (PSL) formally joined the Centre for Civil Society and Governance on May 1, 2019, and became one of the Centre’s major pillars. The mission of the Centre is to contribute to the attainment of a sustainable society through forging community-based and innovative solutions to social and environmental challenges. The work of the Centre is knowledge-based, with a focus on research, knowledge dissemination, and social impact. Under the overarching mission of the Centre, PSL aspires to promote and facilitate beneficial socio-ecological interactions as a way to attain sustainability.