WWF Walk for Nature 2022 Exploring Endless Possibilities at Mai Po
Officiating at today’s opening ceremony were Miss Diane Wong, JP, Under Secretary for Environment and Ecology, Mr Mickey Lai, Acting Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, Mr Gordon Wu, JP, District Officer (Yuen Long), Miss Asha Cuthbert, Walk for Nature 2022 Ambassador, Mr Dan Bradshaw, Chairman of the Executive Council of WWF-Hong Kong and Miss Nicole Wong, CEO of WWF-Hong Kong.
Mr Dan Bradshaw, Chairman of the Executive Council of WWF-Hong Kong welcomed everyone to the event and highlighted the importance of conserving Mai Po Nature Reserve. “Lying at the heart of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, the Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay wetlands are recognised as a Wetland of International Importance under the prestigious Ramsar Convention. Mai Po receives huge numbers of migratory waterbirds every winter, providing a wide range of habitats for several types of species. Wetland also served as a nature-based solution to build climate resilience. We have an enormous responsibility to conserve this important wetland. With the government putting forward the Northern Metropolis plan, we believe that Mai Po can serve as a best practice example for its sustainable development. We hope that by adopting environmental considerations during the earliest planning stages, the Northern Metropolis will become a thriving liveable city, where people and nature coexist harmoniously.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Miss Diane Wong, JP, Under Secretary for Environment and Ecology said that the Policy Address has put forward a New Proactive Conservation Policy under the framework of the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy, to gradually resume private wetlands and fish ponds with ecological value and develop a Wetland Conservation Parks System. Locating at the centre of the Deep Bay Wetland Area, Mai Po Nature Reserve’s contribution to the conservation work of wetlands in Hong Kong as well as the Greater Bay Area is getting more significant. “The WWF’s project, namely Smart Wetland – Where Traditional Management Meets Innovation & Technology, was recently approved under the Countryside Conservation Funding Scheme of the Environmental Protection Department. The project aims to increase wetland management efficiency of Mai Po Nature Reserve through enhancement of environmental monitoring by Internet of Things. The Government will make on-going efforts to promote and support the research work in nature conservation.”
Miss Asha Cuthbert, Walk for Nature 2022 ambassador said, “I had a chance to visit Mai Po Nature Reserve earlier this year for a TV programme filming and I was completely attracted by the beauty of the nature. Being the ‘Walk for Nature’ event ambassador allowed me to experience different kinds of habitat management, research and monitoring works of the Reserve which are even more eye-opening.” Asha is especially impressed by the installation of camera traps to capture elusive Eurasian otter. Asha exclaimed, “I never know there are otters Hong Kong!” She hoped the public can learn to appreciate the nature and together protect these Hong Kong's natural treasures. WWF-Hong Kong will show participants how photos of the elusive Eurasian otter are captured with the camera traps, explain how buffaloes create open freshwater marshes, and uncover many other marvels. Participants can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Mai Po along the way and participate in various mini-games, such as coloring competitions, water bird tracking, and visiting the Gei Wai Museum, etc. They can also learn to make a mini perch pole during the activity and take their own works home.