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WWF-Hong Kong Walk for Nature 2023 Unveiling upgraded facilities in Mai Po Nature Reserve

2 December 2023, Hong Kong  --  WWF-Hong Kong held annual charity walkathon “Walk for Nature” on 2 and 3 December at Mai Po Nature Reserve. The theme of this year is “Amazing Mai Po”, showcases new facilities, routes and experiences that lead the public to explore the different aspects of Mai Po. The new facilities, including the WWF Jockey Club Mai Po Peter Scott Visitor Centre, accessible wooden footpath and tower hides, are open to the public for the first time. These upgraded facilities not only enhance the visitor experience but also establish the reserve as a world-class "nature classroom" to promote the importance of wetland conservation.
 
Officiating at today’s opening ceremony were Miss Diane Wong, JP, Acting Secretary of Environment and Ecology, Mr Mickey Lai, JP, Deputy Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation and Ms Nicole Wong,CEO of WWF-Hong Kong.

Ms Nicole Wong, CEO of WWF-Hong Kong welcomed everyone to the event and called for public support in understanding the importance in wetland conservation, advocating responsible implementation of urban development. “This year's ‘Walk for Nature’ event is the first time that the newly opened facilities in the Mai Po Nature Reserve are open to the public. We hope that the reserve can become a centre of knowledge and inspiration for all visitors, showcasing our enhanced capabilities in wetland training and research, environmental education, community engagement, and corporate involvement. With the upcoming development of the Northern Metropolis, we call on all sectors to work together and seek sustainable solutions to ensure the protection of the important habitats and ecosystems of Mai Po. We also hope that the reserve can become a hub for wetland conservation, research, and collaboration between Hong Kong and Mainland China, bringing together experts from various fields to work together in safeguarding the Deep Bay wetlands and enhancing ecological resilience in the region.” 
 
During the ceremony, Miss Diane Wong, JP, Acting Secretary for Environment and Ecology emphasized the significant ecological value of the wetlands in Mai Po, both locally and internationally. She stated that the government has been working hand in hand with WWF-Hong Kong to manage the Mai Po Nature Reserve, ensuring the conservation of these previous wetlands and their biodiversity to enhance its ecological diversity. Miss Wong also expressed her delight in the completion and official opening of the upgraded visitor facilities including the new exhibition at the Education Centre, tower hides and barrier-free nature trail. She hoped these upgraded facilities will further establish Mai Po as a regional hub for wetland conservation, research, training, and education, and will also enable more effective promotion of the importance of wetlands to the public, encouraging greater understanding, appreciation, and protection of wetlands, thereby achieving a harmonious coexistence between humans and nature. She said that the government will continue working closely with WWF-Hong Kong in the conservation of this ecological treasure – Mai Po.
 
The new tower hides "Jockey Club Kingfisher Tower Hide" and "Jockey Club Osprey Tower Hide" are now open to the public for the first time, providing a disturbance-free birdwatching opportunity. The new accessible wooden footpath "Jockey Club Nature Trail" also offers a barrier-free wooden path to the main facilities, making Mai Po an accessible nature reserve.
 
This year's "Walk for Nature" will guide participants through a new walking route in the southern part of Mai Po Nature Reserve and our researchers will share their interesting discoveries in Mai Po. During the walk, participants will learn about habitat management and research work, including using infrared cameras to record Eurasian Otter traces, creating open freshwater marshes with the help of buffaloes, using smart technology to maintain water levels, and creating diverse habitats with brackish rice. Along the way, participants can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Mai Po, observe birds, and take part in various interactive workshops such as "LOLO's Flying Journey", the Eurasian Otters colouring competition, and a meeting with Lutra and friends.
 
WWF-Hong Kong Walk for Nature 2023
WWF-Hong Kong Walk for Nature 2023
WWF-Hong Kong Walk for Nature 2023
WWF-Hong Kong Walk for Nature 2023
WWF-Hong Kong Walk for Nature 2023
WWF-Hong Kong Walk for Nature 2023

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