Sea for Future – Champion School ProgrammeOver the past decades, the area of land reclaimed from Hong Kong’s marine environment has grown enormously, to about 7,000 hectares. At the same time, the area set aside for marine parks and marine protected areas (MPAs) is only 2,430 hectares – a mere 1.5% of Hong Kong total marine area. Such a tiny area is not nearly sufficient to afford proper protection to our rich and fragile marine environment. Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve on the south side of Hong Kong Island was established in 1996. Since then, there have been no new marine areas set aside with a high enough level of protection to conserve marine species. WWF believes it is essential to establish a comprehensive MPA network and a comprehensive management plan for Hong Kong waters that will save habitats and species like Hong Kong’s Chinese white dolphins and Finless porpoises, as well as other precious marine creatures like Green turtles. These solutions are our only hope of ever seeing a vibrant marine world in Hong Kong in the future.
Education is a crucial part of WWF’s advocacy work. Our Sea for Future – Champion School Programme will allow teachers from 10 secondary schools to gain a better understanding of Hong Kong’s marine conservation landscape. They will also come to understand the various natural and man-made threats that our marine ecosystem faces.
We believe that schools in Hong Kong can easily include the MPA issue in their current curriculum. In turn, this will encourage students to learn more about various conservation issues. The programme will see marine conservation act as an “entry point” into the world of conservation, and a way for students to understand the concept of sustainable development – ultimately turning words and concepts into action. School talks and field trips will help motivate students, encouraging them to spread conservation messages to their friends and families during and after the programme, raising public awareness of conservation issues. In the end, we will be able to help create and eventually experience the long-anticipated recovery of our marine ecosystem.
WWF’s Education team has prepared a number of related teaching materials for teachers participating in this programme. The materials pack includes a case study, discussion questions, an outdoor field study teaching flow and campus survey materials. We believe that these materials will be extremely useful to teachers as they integrate marine issues into the regular curriculum. They will “plant a seed” in the hearts of their students, helping them create a positive, long-lasting influence on marine conservation in Hong Kong.
Materials available for download: