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Wetland Incubator
© Credit-Neil_Fifer


Thanks to a generous donation from the Hongkong Bank Foundation, WWF has initiated the Wetland Incubator project. Its aim is to find conservation solutions to create thriving flyways and environments for the future. This three-year project began in July 2021, since then it has been bringing together conservationists, young people, scientists, academics, and other stakeholders who form action teams and brainstorm solutions to secure wetlands……

Wetlands provide important ecosystem services and play an essential role in mitigating climate change. Despite this, more and more wetlands are being converted into farmland, buildings, roads, and other types of infrastructure. Science dictates that the continued loss of wetlands will result in the collapse of an important ecosystem and reduce our climate change resilience. 

As wetland-related problems grow in scale and complexity, WWF hopes that this project will bring together different stakeholders to incubate future-focused solutions and create a multi-pronged approach that will secure the future of wetlands and the iconic species that depend on them.  


Project Objectives:  

• Close knowledge gaps through scientific research   
• Develop and prototype nature-based solutions   
• Bring enhanced economic and environmental stewardship opportunities to wetland communities   
• Promote widespread awareness of the importance of wetlands   



Encourage participants to “think out of the box” to develop and test creative solutions which can be implemented at Mai Po and potentially replicated along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.   

Wetland Incubator features four themes: Migratory Birds, Mammals, Future-proofing Wetland Stewardship and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. Teams of passionate individuals are recruited to work on each theme, contributing creative ideas that focus on safeguarding the future of our wetlands.

Migratory Birds

Migratory birds connect ecosystems and keep nature healthy. We must do all we can to protect precious migratory birds. In particular, we need to create suitable habitats and raise awareness about the importance of securing their wintering and stop-over sites. 

Shorebird Satellite Tracking (on-going)
Migratory Bird Education Design Team (on-going)
Water Caltrops Fostering Programme (on-going)


It’s a little-known fact that Eurasian otters inhabit Hong Kong’s Deep Bay, and there isn’t much information available on these elusive creatures. Several action teams are working to design education materials to raise public awareness, enhance the effectiveness of otter studies and to help us understand the distribution of local otters.

Joint Study on Hong Kong Otter Ecology (on-going)
Otter Citizen Scientists (batch three has begun)
Spraint Detection Conservation Dog (on-going)
Otter Education Design Team (completed)
Otter Spraint Platform (on-going)
Eurasian Otter Awareness Campaign and Storybook Production (new programme)
Otter Artificial Holt Design Challenge (new programme)

Future-proofing Wetland Stewardship

Wetland stewardship involves multiple aspects, and local fishponds play an important role. Fishponds act as buffer areas for flooding and storm surges and are part of an integrated climate mitigation strategy. However, traditional fishponds are disappearing. By utilising design thinking and social innovation skills, action teams are looking to turn aquacultural operations into promising and profitable sustainable businesses.

Walk & Pitch Competition (on-going)
Youth Innovator (completed)

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

Climate change has begun to impact us and we are losing our biodiversity at an alarming rate. Aiming to build safer habitats for wetland animals, incubators test their prototypes through trial-and-error methods.

Black-winged Stilt Floating Breeding Platform (on-going)