Fighting for our future – OPY results sharing
In the past year, over 260 new members joined the OPY Education Programme and worked with us on nature conservation. To acknowledge their efforts in the past year, a sharing on youth motivation in conservation was held in Hoi Ha Marine Life Centre in July. Youth participants of the OPY education programme, Mr. Peter Cornthwaite, CEO of WWF-Hong Kong and Ms. Sylvia Chan, the Chair of WWF-Hong Kong’s Education Committee gathered to discuss the projects youth led in the past year.
“OPY is providing a platform for all young people who are passionate about nature conservation to implement their ideas and take action with us. WWF-Hong Kong OPY participants collectively contributed over 2700 hours in the projects, Earth Hour and citizen science in the past year”, stated Peter during his opening remarks.
During the gathering, OPY leaders shared the results of the self-generated conservation projects. During the year, project topics covered various conservation areas including market research on coral-safe sunscreen products, a hand drawn storybook to promote ocean conservation amongst children, production of a guide for waste reduction, promoting a zero-waste life and zero-waste camping. One of the OPY Leaders, Yiu Chuang, reflected, “I was fortunate to meet friends with the same values. Through the market research on sunscreen products, I reconsidered what ‘responsibility’ is… As a consumer, we have to make responsible choices for ourselves, the community and nature”.
OPY citizen scientists also shared their experience of conducting ecological surveys, such as recording the amount of marine litter under the sun, counting Black-faced Spoonbills in the rain at Mai Po, collecting photos from infrared cameras installed in Mai Po. Wing Chan, one of the citizen scientists said, “The most memorable experience was to conduct crab, dragonfly and firefly surveys in the mangroves. It was my first time to walk along the floating boardwalk. The feeling was so special, like visiting a wonderland. The most surprising thing was to spot two species of fireflies in Mai Po—there weren’t many, but I was so lucky to see them.”
Four OPY Leaders traveled to Tokyo in April to participate in the City Nature Challenge 2019. Karol Fong, one of the participants shared, “When I compared the biodiversity between Hong Kong and Tokyo, I realized the richness of biodiversity in Hong Kong. I hope the people in Hong Kong will treasure what we have now. We should conserve our environment now before it is too late”.
Concluding the event, Ms. Sylvia Chan, the Chair of WWF-Hong Kong’s Education Committee encouraged young people saying, “I am glad to know young people can turn ideas into action in creative and pragmatic ways. I hope all of you continue to support nature conservation in the future.”
WWF-Hong Kong will continue to support young people to take a spend on conservation issues and gain skills in our training workshops. The details of the 2019-20 One Planet Youth Leadership Training Programme and One Planet Youth Action- Citizen Science Programme will be announced in late August. Please stay tuned to the WWF-Hong Kong website and social media channels for further updates.