Walk for Nature 2018: Flap Your Wings at Mai Po | WWF Hong Kong

Walk for Nature 2018: Flap Your Wings at Mai Po

05 November 2018

Walk for Nature, celebrating the best of Hong Kong biodiversity, kicked off today at the iconic Mai Po Nature Reserve. Over 2,000 participants signed-up to Connect2Nature at the two-day event, which represents the start of the public visit season to experience the nature reserve with friends and family. This year’s theme “Flap Your Wings” focuses on the important role of Ramsar sites, such as Mai Po Inner Bay Area, and the challenges faced by migratory waterbirds, which need protected places like Mai Po, on their journey along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.

Officiating at the event’s launch ceremony today was Mr Wong Kam-sing, GBS, JP, the Secretary for the Environment; Dr Leung Siu-fai, JP, the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Mr Edward M. Ho, Chairman of WWF-Hong Kong’s Executive Council; Mr Peter Cornthwaite, CEO of WWF-Hong Kong, and Hong Kong singer/songwriter Ms Eman Lam, this year’s event ambassador.

Mr Ho welcomed new and returning and participants and highlighted the infrastructure upgrade work currently taking place at the Mai Po Nature Reserve, funded by a HK$347.86 million grant from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. “Construction began in September with the commencement of internal renovations at the Mai Po Education Centre for a state-of-the-art learning area. Two new bird hides will be built and a natural boardwalk will replace the existing path that runs through Mai Po. The updated facilities will provide visitors a comprehensive ecological experiences that combines technology, art and nature.”

Mai Po is an excellent example of Hong Kong’s unique local biodiversity. Mr KS Wong reiterated the government’s commitment to safeguard Hong Kong’s natural environment, “Apart from conservation of the precious wetlands, we are also taking forward Hong Kong’s first Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP) to strengthen our conservation of the local biodiversity and sustainable development. The latest implementation progress of BSAP includes designation of new marine parks, establishment of the Countryside Conservation Office, funding a number of relevant research and public education programmes, and organising the fourth Hong Kong Biodiversity Festival.”

Home to over 2,050 species, Mai Po plays a crucial role in regional biodiversity. Dr Leung explained, “From the Far East of Russia to Australia and New Zealand, tens of thousands of waterbirds choose Mai Po and the surrounding Deep Bay wetlands every year as an important refuelling stop on their journey along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. These migratory birds include 51 globally endangered species, like the Black-faced Spoonbill that we all know and love. This ‘refuelling stop’ is crucial to the migratory birds’ journey, breeding, and even survival of the species.”

In addition to learning about migratory birds’ journey and Hong Kong’s extraordinary local biodiversity, this year, participants can take part in educational activities, interactive games, and a guided visited to a floating boardwalk through a magnificent mangrove forest.

Enjoy nature with guided eco visits for the public at Mai Po Nature Reserve. Open Wednesday through Sunday. Book online: wwf.org.hk/en/centres/mai_po_nature_reserve/gomaipo/