Freshwater and Wetlands

Background and Threats

As one of the most important sources of mankind’s well-being, the water cycle is a life support system for our planet. Yet pollution from human activities and extraction for cities, industry and agriculture usage threatens the water bodies that freshwater species and people rely on for survival. More than 20% of the world’s 10,000 freshwater species have already become extinct, threatened or endangered in recent decades.
Mai Po background and threats / ©: Bena Smith
Mai Po background and threats
© Bena Smith
The rapid economic and population growth of Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region over the last few decades has created numerous threats to inland freshwater and coastal wetland biodiversity. In addition to the disruptive effect this has on the important ecological functions of wetland ecosystems, it is also causing water shortages and deteriorating water quality. The original landscape is extremely reduced and mountainous, so low-lying flat plains and wetlands formed by sedimentation have supported most development.

Mai Po at a glimpse

Mai Po background and threats / ©: Bena Smith
View the video here.