Biodiversity and Sustainability in Hong Kong
Despite Hong Kong’s small size and its reputation for being a “concrete jungle”, the territory has an extraordinarily high level of biodiversity. Few places in the world allow people to travel from the city centre to the middle of the natural world – not simply an artificial park but authentic natural environments like mountains, woodlands, coral reefs and even an internationally-important Ramsar wetland – in the space of an hour or less. Our world-class country park system is one of the best in the world and used to be a regional example of conservation best practice.
However, for too long our precious natural treasures have been ignored, marginalised, taken for granted and taken advantage of. Our unsustainable lifestyles are compounding the stress on the Earth and creating an imbalance in humanity’s relationship with our planet. The holes in our conservation policies have been exploited by environmental vandalism offenders, while our consumption of renewable natural resources goes far beyond the limits of what the Earth can provide. The lack of meaningful enforcement encourages unsustainable lifestyles and emboldens illegal developers.
WWF has an important part to play in bringing this situation to a halt and reversing the damage that has been done. We act as a watchdog for Hong Kong’s natural environment, provide science-based solutions and work with stakeholders to develop a realistic and workable path forward. Our Watchdog team examines and comments on development and town planning issues, and we work closely with various government departments to provide recommendations, advocate on environmental issues and consult on policies and documents, including the upcoming Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Events like Earth Hour and Run for Change help create awareness of sustainability issues and help people change their lifestyles for a brighter future.
It is perfectly possible for sustainable development to occur without destroying species and habitats – together, we can ensure this happens.