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Mai Po Nature Reserve
40th Anniversary
© WWF-Hong Kong

It is with great joy and pride that we celebrate  the 40th anniversity of Mai Po Nature Reserve with all of you. This incredible milestone is a testament to the unwavering dedication and commitment of the WWF Hong Kong in preserving this precious wetland and its magnificent biodiversity. 

The Reserve and the Inner Deep Bay wetlands have long been a haven for wildlife and a crucial stopover for migratory birds along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF). As the world's only Ramsar site within a global financial centre, the Reserve stands as a shining example of wetland management and serves as a regional hub for wetland conservation and training. 

For four decades, the Mai Po Nature Reserve has stood as a shining testament to the crucial role that wetlands play in our ecosystem and climate resilience, and as a nature-based solution, it is imperative that we raise awareness about their importance and encourage more people to join us protecting them.

But as we celebrate this momentous occasion, we also look towards the future, eager to continue our vital conservation work. 

With  the recent completion of the Mai Po Infrastructure Project, The Reserve has been upgraded into a world-class “nature classroom”, greatly enhancing our capacity for wetland training, research, environmental education programmes, and community outreach activities. The upgrades will allow us to be a catalyst for wetland conservation and education, further amplifying public awareness of the importance of wetlands.

These state-of-the-art new facilities at Mai Po will take the Reserve and Inner Deep Bay to a new height. By fostering a sense of connection with nature and nurturing environmental stewardship, we can inspire more people, including our future generations to protect and conserve our natural heritage. I hope they will truly appreciate and be inspired by the breath-taking beauty of this remarkable jewel, and deepen their understanding of this internationally renowned wetland.

Together, let us continue to champion the cause of wildlife preservation and wetland conservation for many generations to come. May our collective efforts ensure a thriving and harmonious coexistence between humans and nature. 
Dan Bradshaw, Chairman, Executive Council




“Thriving Mai Po, Thriving Communities” Commemorative Brochure

The Conservation Journey of Mai Po Nature Reserve


Traditional gei wai shrimp cultivation ponds are built at Deep Bay’s inter-tidal area by mainland Chinese immigrants who settled around there after World War II.


Mai Po Marshes is declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest. A decade later, the designation is extended to the entire Inner Deep Bay area.


WWF began to develop and manage the land at Mai Po with the aims of increasing biodiversity and promoting it for educational and research purposes.


The first Big Bird Race, a bird spotting event is held. A signature outdoor event that is attracting local and overseas birders, students, corporate sponsors and teams.


The reserve’s education programme launches school visits bringing in more than 1,300 students. Activities are designed to increase awareness of the significance of wetlands.


Built with a HK$2.9 million grant from the Jockey Club, the reserve’s Education Centre opens with HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, presiding over the inauguration.


The Peter Scott Field Studies Centre is officially inaugurated, extending Mai Po’s function as both a local and international wetland research and wetland management training centre.


Mai Po Inner Deep Bay is recognized as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, largely due to a high concentration of waterbirds.


The first rain-fed pond is created at gei wai #20, providing a freshwater habitat and enhancing the Reserve’s biodiversity.


Since 1991, WWF has conducted its Wetland Management Training Programme at Mai Po Nature Reserve. HSBC has funded the Programme since 2000, offering annual training courses for wetland management experts from across Asia, with a focus on mainland China.


A pioneering research project on grazing at Mai Po is launched with water buffalo. They are selected for their ability to help maintain freshwater habitat conditions.


WWF launched a pioneering project “Eco-fish Farming Scheme” which worked with local pond-fish farmers to develop best practices that can benefit both the local pond-fish farming community and wildlife in a sustainable manner, and raise public awareness and acceptance for the eco-fish.


WWF is the first Hong Kong conservation organization to receive the BirdLife International Conservation Achievement Award, recognizing its efforts in protecting the endangered black-faced spoonbill.


The completion of a two-year biodiversity survey looking at Mai Po’s current ecological situation, raises the number of record wildlife species to over 2,050. The species counts continue with the biodiversity checks by One Planet Youth and City Nature Challenge activities each April.


A Eurasian otter research and education project is launched, bringing together specialists, citizen scientists and students to advance understanding of this rare species in Hong Kong, learn about its ecology in and around the Reserve, identify its conservation needs, and raise public awareness.

Another community engagement initiative launches this year, the “Powering Our Wetlands” project, which begins by revitalising a local villager’s abandoned gei wai next to the Reserve.


The Mai Po Nature Reserve Infrastructure Upgrade Project was made possible, thanks to a historic HK$347 million grant from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The project aims to consolidate the Reserve’s leading role as a centre of excellence for wetland management. It will transform the Reserve into a world-class nature classroom, with the new WWF Jockey Club Mai Po Peter Scott Visitor Centre being the highlight of the project’s four independent elements.


“At WWF-Hong Kong, conservation and education are always the fundamental objectives and core focuses. We must aim towards striking a balance between humans and the healthy natural environment, with a clear conscience to motivate the people of Hong Kong to carry out sustainable behaviour and attitude.”

Mr. Dan Bradshaw

Join us in celebrating the 40th anniversary of Mai Po Nature Reserve by supporting wetland conservation. Let’s unite to preserve biodiversity, conserve habitats and promote sustainability. Together, we can create a brighter future for wetland ecosystems and the countless species that depend on them.

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© WWF-Hong Kong